The Widow's Wisdom
Sat Nam. Yogi Bhajan was a wise and fascinating story-teller. He would regularly reinforce universal truths with spell-binding tales from ancient days or his own experiences in India. Sometimes his stories would shed light on dismal customs of the West or East. Always his tales would illumine the very best in humankind. And he would hardly repeat a story.
“The scriptures say neither something is bad, nor any of your behavior is bad. Bad is that person who had the bad intention. Clean intentions mean clean conscience and no harm can come to that man who has a clean conscience. That is very important. It is very important for your happiness.
“I remember, it was about ten years ago, a lady came to me. It took her five hours to explain her case, a very negative situation. Her story was filled with every known misery on the planet. Her six sons had died in her lap, one after the other. Her husband had died. The husband's brother took away all the money. And all the other relatives said she had squandered all that money which was hers. They put out legal cases on her, put her in the cold. The day came when she could not take it any more. She decided to commit suicide to get out of this trouble. So she was staying with a girl friend of hers and she recommended she come talk to me.
“She came. I sat down. I remember I was overtired that day. And I was lying down with a blanket underneath and one over me, and a pillow, in my garden trying to enjoy the beautiful roses and that beautiful rose smell coming from them.
“This lady came. I listened to her for five hours very calmly, quietly, straightly. In the end, when she had finished, she said, 'What should I do?'
“I said, 'You should do nothing. Play football. Laugh. Ignore it.'
“She looked at me, 'What is going to happen?'
“'I will tell you what is going to happen to you. Nothing is going to happen to you. Nothing! Absolutely nothing. So you can do nothing. And, mind my words, one day you will tell me you are the happiest woman on this planet. Go, have fun!'
“She looked at me again and said, 'How have you come to this conclusion?'
“I said, 'First of all, God was on one month holiday when he made you, you are so beautiful. He carved your own features with great exactness. Secondly, he has made you so beautiful that with all through that five hour story of what you have gone through, there is not a single sign of suffering on your face. That shows you are perfect. It all happened for a purpose. And thirdly, somehow you have found me and I am a very positive man. Neither I believe in negativity, nor I listen to it, nor I spread it, nor I become a part of it. That is the way I have lived.'
“She said, 'I have to do something.'
“You know, in that very pensive mood I said, 'Get up every morning and look toward the sky, inhale deep and say, 'Do whatever you like!' and then relax. And if something good happens, you tell me.' And so we broke.
“After a week, she rang me up and said, 'All the cases have fallen clear and now I have got ample money because after my husband's death the decision came that I own everything and I am all by myself.'
“And you know in India legal remarriage is impossible. First of all, nobody remarries. If the husband is dead, the woman feels she must live out the rest of her life alone. It is her karma. It is a different attitude from the west. And she said, 'Someone has proposed to me and I don't know what to do!'
“I said, 'Do you feel if you marry him that you commit something that is wrong?'
“She said, 'Yes. I feel that it is not true. God took my husband away for a purpose and there is no reason for me to get married.'
“I said, 'In this country, no one proposes. The very fact God has made a person to propose to you, shows it is God who is doing it. And I believe you should go ahead.'
“She said, 'You know to what extent women oppose remarriage in this country. If the women rally against me and they start picketing my house, I will not be able to live in India.' That is their method. They don't let any man divorce, and they don't let any woman remarry.
“So they went to an adjoining country and they got married there. They came back and it was kind of cool. No problem. Time went by. I forgot about it. She forgot about it. Once, at an airport we met again. She was very happy, very strong. I watched her. For forty-five minutes she sat, she was smiling and laughing. For the last fifteen minutes, I went over and her first words to me were, 'I am very happy!'
“I said, 'You were the opposite when you met me.'
“And she asked, 'Why am I so happy?'
“I said, 'The long, dark nights have passed and now you can enjoy the day. Enjoy the day! The world is the same. It is the same world which was there. And now you and I live unattached with it. As you became unattached with the sorrow world, be unattached with the happy world. Be balanced. You will be beautiful.'” --
The Sentry and The Saint
Sat Nam. “There is nothing in this universe except sound. The life in the atom is sound. When you become an instrument, you are positive your sound will be effective. Relate to the universal, positive being whom we call 'God' and the result can be be whatever you shall say, it will turn everything into positivity.
The Simple Holy Man
Sat Nam. “I have met a very great and saintly man. I wanted to talk to him about scriptures. I was fool enough not to know he never knew what scriptures actually mean, because I asked him, 'Is there any shastra you have read?'
“And he said, 'What? What is shastra?'
“Shastra means scripture book and Bible is a shastra, scripture. And I asked him, 'Have you read any shastra?'
“He said, 'What is that?'
“'Have you studied with any master teacher?'
“He said, 'What has that to be done for? Why?'
“He asked me 'Why?'. Do you know what I felt on hearing such an answer? I said, 'Ji, there is one little request I will make.'
“He said, 'Yes. Go ahead.'
“I said, 'You are in a very remote area, far from the area you had known. Now you are with the people here, there is community and everything is provided for. You are a holy man. I have seen from your vibration. I can see from your patterns that you are a very good man, but how it happened?'
“And you know what he said? It will impress you. He said, 'I met a holy man and he told me to do this, this, this, that, that, that,' and in the end I said, 'I don't want to do all this. Is there any one little thing I can do and be better than you?'
“He said, 'Yes. Just think you are a God-conscious being all the time.'
“And the holy man told me, 'Now it is my habit. I think I am a God-conscious being. So when I speak, I feel God is speaking through me. When I eat, I feel God is eating through me. When I sleep, I feel God is sleeping through me. I go through the nature call, I feel God is going through the nature call. I feel that way and I am that way.' And he laughed at me, and he said, 'Yogi-raj, do you know how long it took me to become God?'
“And I laughed back and I said, 'It could not be more than nine and twenty days because I understand the way you can concentrate.'
“He said, 'You are right. All I missed is four or five times, and those days I slapped myself and turned my back to myself and said, 'Hey, you are a God-conscious being! What are you talking about?' And finally it became a very solid, permanent thing in me, and now I cannot slip from that.' And then he asked me, 'Tell me, why do all these people come to me and see me, and what do they get out of me?'
“I said, 'I can tell you. You are a permanent source of light. Any candle which comes near you will get the light and start burning. You arouse the soul in people. It is the highest of the highest karma. You make them aware and conscious of the truth about themselves because your intention is to make them be God.'”--
The Essential Grace of Womankind
Sat Nam. Yogi Bhajan had long instructed his students about the essential grace of womankind. He had founded the Grace of God movement the previous September. Early on, Yogiji had said, “O beautiful creative power of God, the woman, you have to create three kinds of children: the giver, the saint, the hero. Otherwise, don't lose the charm of your creative power and God in you. Don't bother to conceive at all, if you cannot create these three kinds of children.”
Yogi Bhajan had also reached into the heritage of Indian spirituality to revive the holy custom of honoring the mother and especially celebrating her on the fifth month of her pregnancy. On Mother's Day in Los Angeles, he decried the crass exploitation of women as sex objects in America and spoke of the teacher's need to raise people's awareness that every exploited woman is a sister, daughter or mother of someone.
Yogi Bhajan continued:
“I am a worshipper of the woman, Bhagwati. Lord Shiva is known to be the God of this Earth and I can kid with him any time I like. I don't care for him. But for Bhagwati I do care very much because I worship her in my heart. She is with me. And the Divine Mother protects me all the time.
“I know my faults and my follies. And I know my strong protection. That protection is stronger than anything I have realized in my whole life.
Therefore I feel like just lodging a great protest with the world today:
“I do not know whether my tiny and feeble voice – well, it is strong. I know about it. - can be heard and where, but I am pretty sure I will shout from those mountains. I will never rest on that planet on which woman is still being exploited. That is my ultimate goal and my ultimate urge. But I am not fool enough to try single-handed. I know my thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of children shall be ready, when the day shall be ready, we will wipe this insult to our own generation out from our planet.
“God has given me a sufficient big heart, I can practice patience better than I can practice yoga, therefore I will wait up to the time when the soul in you will be so pure, so awake, so aware that you will be willing to sacrifice your being to protect the very gentle, sweet being who brought you to what you are today.
“With these words and with this prayer of mine, on this most beautiful day I can relate to – it is a day to be reminded of my own source of energy – I bow to every mother and I also ask the would-be-mother to be graceful. And I ask every man who would seek peace to realize peace doesn't come by protests and rallies. We know it and we are aware of it. Peace comes by peaceful actions, and so long as the born of the mother will not learn to respect the woman, there shall not be any peace on this planet. The day on this planet the woman will not be exploited, there shall be peace on this Earth.” -- See FirstTeachersAreWomen.com.
The True Husband
Sat Nam. Whenever Yogi Bhajan came to San Francisco, he liked to visit the ashram of Dr. Rammurti Mishra who was a yogi in his own right. Yogi had such respect of Dr. Mishra that he had even once invited him to speak to his UCLA class in Los Angeles.
All kinds of interesting people came through the ashram. One was an American man with a crippled wife whom he carried on his shoulders everywhere he went. One day, Yogi Bhajan sat with him and asked the husband about his unusual relationship, “Don't you feel your life is totally entangled with her?”
He replied, “Yes, it is entangled. When I married her, Yogiji, I knew I was entangling myself with another human being. She was healthy. She was beautiful. I loved her. Then, all of a sudden, a fever happened. And now she cannot even walk. I am a rich man. I cold have cared for her in a hospital, but that would not give me satisfaction. I married her, not the hospital, not the doctor, not the nurses. I took a vow before God that I would accept her as my wife, be true to her, and now I am just trying to be true to her.”
Yogi Bhajan answered, “Well, sometime you must work.”
The man replied, “Yes, once in a while I work for a month and make one thing, and that sells and gives us two years' money. I am a very well-known person.”
“How do you personally feel?”
“Very healthy because I am always carrying these hundred and ten pounds on my shoulders. It is a very good exercise.”
Yogi Bhajan had observed the husband walking blocks and blocks with his wife on his shoulders. He asked, “Why don't you put her in a wheelchair?”
He said, “No, that would be very uncomfortable. She enjoys my ride. I am good. She is a human being. I am a human being. I want to hold her until my death. I took a vow, Yogiji, before God.” -- See MasculineMoments.com.
Sat Nam. One of Yogi Bhajan's many talents was as a nutritional healer and chef. He could make make healing and restorative food that tasted great. His original recipes abounded and soon some of his student teachers set out to start their own cooking enterprises – variously named Guru Ram Das Conscious Cookery in Detroit and Houston; Hanuman's Conscious Cookery (later Golden Temple Conscious Cookery) in Denver; and Nanak's Conscious Cookery in Santa Fe. They would be followed by a similar inspirations, Golden Temple Conscious Cookeries in Amsterdam; Bend-Oregon; Colorado Springs; Dorchester-Massachusetts; Kansas City-Missouri; London; Los Angeles; Phoenix; and in the American capital, Washington, DC.
The restaurants provided the communities that ran them with honest employment and lots of hard work. They also gave customers a unique glimpse into the Healthy, Happy, Holy lifestyle. Tens of thousands of people first heard “Sat Nam” and the sweet sounds of Sat Nam music at a Conscious Cookery somewhere. (See Khalsa String Band.) Sometimes the food led to larger questions of yoga and meditation, even a class nearby.
The 3HO yogis were on the cutting edge of a new holistic understanding, a vegetarian ethic and what in thirty years would grow to be a huge natural foods industry. Their Conscious Cookeries provided answers to the perennial question of those days: “What do vegetarians eat? Carrots?!” The answers turned out to be surprisingly flavorful, nutritive, ethical and filling.
Aside from Yogi Tea, customers were sure to find a range of tasty and wholesome staples on the menu like mung bean and rice stew, well-seasoned soups and hearty breads, lively sprouts and zingy yogurt, delicious squares and cookies. Much of Yogi Bhajan's conscious cookery was absolutely unique, not to be found anywhere outside the growing and glowing 3HO Universe.
How about some energy-packed Potent Potatoes?
Wash and oil the potatoes and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
Makes enough to feed a small gathering of hungry yogis. -- See Yogi Bhajan's Favorite Native American Dish.
The Fight Is On
Sat Nam. When the word went out to find a place to celebrate the turning of days, no better place could be found than an organic farm called “Sat Nam Farms” located near Paonia in the hills of Colorado. In fact, it was perfect. There was water aplenty for an invigorating dip before sadhana. The air was pristine, the sunrises exquisite. What more could a yogi ask?
Yogi Bhajan went ahead to Denver and Colorado in May to oversee preparations for the second 3HO Summer Solstice Sadhana in America. On their way from California, Yogiji and a four students took a scenic drive across the Great Divide near Aspen, Colorado.
When they reached the top, the car began to slip. The road was covered with a slick layer of ice. To their right was the sheer side of the mountain. On their left was a several thousand foot drop.
The car slid and scraped the mountain, then veered in the opposite direction. One wheel, and a quarter of the car, dangled helplessly over the abyss. Yogiji went within. He could be heard softly chanting, "Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru..."
Faces blanched all around. Then, the car defied all known laws of physics and returned to the road... only to swerve off it and into the void, again.
Hearts stopped. Yet again, strangely, the car returned to the icy pavement.
Yogiji began, " Angsang Wahe..."
Someone asked, "Why did you stop?"
"Because it's going to do it once more..."
As though on cue, one of the front wheels lurched crazily off the road and into space. Then once more, defying gravity, the car returned to the road.
The rest of the way down the mountain, the trauma of what had happened haunted everyone but Yogiji. Visions of the car tumbling through open space with the five of them inside were being replayed over and over in everyone's frightened and overheated imaginations. Nobody spoke.
Yogi tried to cheer them up, "Look at me. I am talking. I am okay."
One of his students, known as "Richie the Wild" spoke up, "Yogiji, I'll tell you something! There is a difference between you and us."
Yogiji replied, "My God! In one minute now we have become different. We were in the same car, remember?"
Richie went on, "That is where we learnt that we are different."
"How are we different?"
"When you were born, man, all you had was Shiva who sits and snakes curl around him and Ganges comes out of his rishi knot, and he sits and meditates."
"When we were born, we had Mickey Mouse. We are the product of Mickey Mouse. You are the product of Shiva, the Deathless One. That's why, when we were dying, we were dying. When you were dying, you were living. And that's why you said 'Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru' and you chanted 'Angsang Waheguru'."
"How does it feel to be that way?"
"Man... I feel very, very disturbed."
"How can you be trained, and not us?"
"I am here."
By now, there were tears in Richie's eyes as he spoke,"It's too late."
"Well, the fight is on!"
"Don't take anything lightly. Everything counts! The fight begins, now!" --
More 3HO History