19 Feb Yogi Bhajan: A Teacher for Aquarius
“It was the summer of 1929. In the little village of Kot Harkarn in what is now Pakistan a child was born who had a great destiny written upon his forehead. The man we know today as Yogi Bhajan was born Harbhajan Singh Puri. His father, Kartar Singh, a Sikh, was a well-known doctor and healer; his mother, Harkrishan, daughter of a Hindu family, was a woman of great strength and righteousness.
…As a young man, Harbhajan Singh was in the habit of seeking out and visiting every holy person he could find. He studied the spiritual teachings, scriptures, and technologies of all the religions of the world. He learned Kundalini Yoga with Master Sant Hazara Singh and he became a Master himself at the age of only sixteen.
…When India was partitioned in 1947, he was only 18 years old. It was a terrible time as hundreds of thousands of people resettled and many families were torn apart. Even then, he took charge and led his family and over 7000 people from the surrounding areas to safety.
Majoring in economics at Punjab University, Harbhajan Singh won prizes in debate, and continued his athletic achievements. He served in the Indian Army. After military service he worked for the Indian government, until 1968 when he resigned to answer the call of his destiny and travel across the world to serve us here in the West.
…He left India in September of 1968…and flew to Canada to take a job he had been offered—teaching yoga at the University of Toronto. True to predictions, not only was his luggage lost en route, so that he arrived with nothing but his Air India carry-on bag, but also, the man who had hired him had been killed in an auto accident, just a few days before. No job, no money, except for $35 the Canadian government supplied, the yogi accepted everything as God’s will. He got a job as a clerk in a bookstore. He ate day-old donuts softened in water, and wrapped newspapers around his thin shoes to keep out the brutal, cold Canadian weather. Then he was hired as a nerve therapist at a yoga center.
Invited to visit Los Angeles for a weekend, he discovered there the souls whose aspiration and longing had drawn him to the West. He gave his first public lecture in the United States on January 5, 1969, at the East West Cultural Center where he stated his firm conviction that it is the birthright of every human being to be “healthy, happy, and holy.” The young people he met wanted to experience God. Unfortunately, many had been using drugs to alter consciousness. Despite the centuries old taboo against teaching Kundalini Yoga publicly, the Yogi knew that it was the most effective technology he could share with them to heal their bodies and their minds, and give them a valid experience. They could get “high” without side effects, and it was legal! Their souls were hungry to be awakened. He told them he hadn’t come to gather students; he had come to train teachers. …He made people laugh, never criticized anyone, and though he told them, “Don’t love me, love my teachings,” he touched the hearts of every seeker. A master of communication, whenever he spoke, each person felt he was talking directly to him or her. His words sank in.
In the next few years he sowed the seeds for institutions and events that have multiplied and mushroomed worldwide, attracting thousands of people who embraced the 3HO way of life. He said 3HO was to be a family of people who lived not just “with” each other but “for” each other. To provide a structure for the teachings, the 3HO Foundation was legally incorporated in California on July 29, 1969. Yogiji also founded KRI, the Kundalini Research Institute in 1971.
…In 1971 the mantle of authority and responsibility as the only living Mahan Tantric—Master of White Tantric Yoga—was passed to him when the former Mahan Tantric left his body. Yogi Bhajan personally led this group meditation experience in cities all over the world until 1987 when he was able to transfer the workshops to videotape. He selected representatives to facilitate these courses, while his subtle body continues to direct them.
Pioneer in inter-religious dialogue, outstanding advocate of World Peace, Yogi Bhajan established the first Interfaith International Peace Prayer Day in 1985, which now draws thousands to the mountains of New Mexico every summer. …A great many of the people who have been impacted by Yogi Bhajan’s wisdom, knowledge, and teachings are sharing the technology of peace, strength, and awareness to the whole planet.
– Excerpts from Yogi Bhajan’s 75th Birthday Tribute presented by Shakti Parwha Kaur, Yogi Bhajan’s first student teacher in the United States.
My first encounter with Yogi Bhajan was in a dream. I was 17 years old and had recently begun practicing Kundalini Yoga regularly. In a vivid dream a white-robbed man with long hair and beard appeared before me. He questioned my constant fears about my spirituality. Upon looking into his dark and kind eyes, my heart suddenly exploded in joy and as I bowed in tears before him, he faded into an intense bright light that continued to fill my college bedroom long after I woke up.
A few months later, I went to the 3HO/Kundalini Yoga Summer Solstice celebration in the mountains of Mendocino, California. The first morning after breakfast, a man riding on a horse appeared from behind the trees. He wore an orange turban and wrapped himself with a brown shawl. As he dismounted, I recognized this tall and powerful looking being as the man in my dream. I had found my teacher…
Yogi Bhajan was no ordinary teacher. He was tall, robust and handsome. He was loud and outspoken. A Sikh by birth, he proudly wore his long beard and turban, giving him an air of spiritual authority and royalty. He was a yogi, a master of the elements. He truly loved people but was not afraid of confronting his students, seeming harsh at times, yet at the same time his lovingness and compassion always shone through.
He never glorified himself or claimed to be nothing more than ‘a postman’. “My only job is that of a postman and my only duty is to empty my bag, you read the letter or you burn it, that is your problem, it is not my joy. I am not paid for it, my qualification in my life is to deliver the message on the door of those who have attained a human body on the promise with God that they shall meet to rise and resurrect in their consciousness and experience God in a real sense, that is my basic sense of achievement.”
He was both highly spiritual and worldly at the same time: a Master of yoga and a savvy businessman, a spiritual teacher and an advisor to politicians. He saw everyone though the eyes of the teacher he was and treated them as such. He never dismissed anyone and was always genuinely present when he spoke with anyone.
But he did have a vision. “I did not come here to gather disciples. I came to create teachers”. From the very beginning he saw his work as that of a teacher of teachers, preparing the world for the times to come. The times we live in now. He spoke of the speed at which life would move, the speed of communication and the pressures this would bring on. “You will not be able to keep any secrets”, he said. He was a sort of harbinger of the Age of Aquarius, a time of intense and swift transformation, individually and in the world at large. He spoke about Mother Nature, and how if we didn’t tune in to living in an environmentally conscious world, we would pay the price.
He believed that his greatest contribution to the world was the science of Kundalini Yoga and the community of teachers he left behind to carry on bringing this eternal science of consciousness to all. He was a ‘people’s teacher’, if you may. He broke many traditional yogic rules by teaching Kundalini Yoga openly, to the masses. But he did not care and would often laugh about the curses put upon him that had not yet struck.
His motto: “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”
His credo: “It’s not the life that matters, it’s the courage that you bring to it.”
His challenge to students: “Don’t love me, love my teachings. Become ten times greater than me.”
We are now witnessing the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, a time of deep transformation and global change. As with any new start, we are confronted daily with tremendous challenges, unimaginable to our forefathers – all of it within a global village, interconnected and interdependent. There is a potential to truly experience the world as ONE, to live in harmony, cooperation and peace. Yogi Bhajan knew this and left us a legacy of consciousness and love, of techniques and teachings to share with the world. Every Kundalini Yoga student and teacher is bearers of this legacy…share it! As Yogi Bhajan said…”the time is now, and now is the time!”
– By GuruDass