Journey To The East
Sat Nam. The was much to do and no time to waste. Right after Solstice, Yogi Bhajan and his tour secretary, Sardarni Premka Kaur, drove on to New Orleans. In the city of the Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street, he gave talks at the Celebration of Life Festival and the Unity Temple. Yogiji also taught several classes at David Kazmirzak's yoga centre, the Sat Nam Sunshine Warehouse.
From there, they went north and east, over the Appalachians, to America's capital where Larry Singh Wentink and Ganga Bhajan Kaur were growing a community of yogis at Ahimsa Ashram on Q Street. That visit netted an interview published in the Washington Post.
Yogi Bhajan also had it in mind to visit with a number of colleagues and acquaintances with a view to creating a yoga confederation in America. Each of them was having similar experiences. They were gaining enthusiastic followings among young people, genuine interest among various scientists and clergy and members of the media. But the vast majority of Americans were baffled by the eastern names and terminology. Was it: “Yogurt or Yoga?” “Yogi Bhajan or Yogi Bhahan?” Like most people, the people of the United States preferred the familiar to the unfamiliar, the known to the unknown – and they found the yogis and swamis newly arrived from India to be strange and curious indeed. Yogiji and Swami Satchidananda in particular thought that by joining forces, the advocates of yoga in the United States would have a better chance of creating understanding in the mainstream culture.
Yogi Bhajan's next stop was Philadelphia where he met with Yogi Amrit Desai. Yogi Amrit had originally come to study art in 1960, but shortly thereafter had begun teaching yoga in the “City of Brotherly Love.” By 1966, he had founded the Yoga Society of Pennsylvania and was managing hundreds of classes a week. The next day, Yogiji's friends, Swami Satchidananda and Dr. Rammurti Mishra, came and joined them.
Swami Satchidananda had first visited New York City in 1966, at the invitation of pop artist Peter Max. Soon thereafter, he had moved to the United States where he actively toured the country giving workshops. Like Yogi Bhajan, he had a mind toward inter-faith pioneering. In 1968, with Rabbi Gelberman, Swamiji co-founded the Center for Spiritual Studies as a forum for priests, rabbis and swamis to respectfully exchange views. With his flowing hair and beard and saffron robe, he was was an iconic presence famous now for inaugurating the big Woodstock rock festival with a poignant talk and a short chanting meditation. Swami Satchidananda's organization was the Integral Yoga Institute.
Dr. Rammurti Mishra had been in America the longest. He divided his time between New York City and San Francisco. Dr. Mishra had founded the Yoga Society of New York in 1958 and published “The Textbook of Yoga Psychology” five years later. He was a trove of knowledge of Sanskrit, Hatha Yoga, Yoga-Vedanta and the ancient Vedic Fire Ceremony.
After meeting with all of them, Yogi Bhajan continued on to New York City to see Swami Rama. The accomplished yogi had spent many years living in caves in India. In 1969, Swamiji had started the Himalayan Institute in Homesdale, Pennsylvania. Swami Rama's special mission was to convince the American medical establishment of the powers of yoga. He did this by submitting his body to tests confirming his remarkable ability to control his heartbeat and other autonomic functions of the body.
After visiting with Swami Rama, Yogi Bhajan set off for Rochester to give a radio interview, then to Staten Island for a press conference, to Hartford for a lecture at a Unitarian Church, then to Boston for a radio interview, and back to Washington, to New York again for a talk at Hunter College, and a return drive to Ahimsa Ashram for a talk at American University on July 14th. In Washington, Yogiji stayed and conducted a White Tantric Yoga course lasting eight days, about five hours each day
Untired, Yogi Bhajan continued northward to teach in Buffalo, then to Detroit where he gave another White Tantric Yoga course. From the Great Lakes State, Yogiji flew to the west coast to teach in Seattle, Portland, and Eugene, then on to San Francisco.
By August 10, Yogi Bhajan was back at the San Rafael Ashram, just north of San Francisco, with Baba Bert and Cliff Lamereaux. Yogiji gave a talk on the age of Aquarius which someone thoughtfully recorded for posterity.
“Tonight we are going to discuss the subject, Man and the Age of Aquarius, and our responsibility in today’s generation. My unconditional apologies if I hit you hard, but that is the way. Sometimes the truth is very bitter. I’ll try to make it as soft as possible, but sometimes words cannot substitute the expression.
“In our life and style, we all know and we all have seen, that we have to take proper care of certain very minor things in life, such as planting a little plant of rose, a rose plant. We have to take care of the land, manure, proper seed and seedling, putting the ‘I’ into it, and still growth will take time. Finally, what we get with all this effort, four or three flowers at a proper season for just a few days.
“Today, let us have a check-up, how much we are known or to be known as educated parents. These are all very serious questions. Compare it with the one rose plant or marigold plant you plant in the house. Just think how serious you are. You want to get the best seed, you want to find the proper soil, you want to take care of it, planting around it a perfection, what you do not do?
“But when you plant a new generation of humanity, what do you in comparison to that? That is what I have to understand. Child is conceived, no vibration; child grows, no vibration; child comes out in life, no vibration. Nobody takes care of that child. The scriptures say: Gurdev Mata, Gurdev Pita, Gurdev Swami Parmeshara.“The first teacher is mother, second is father, third is relatives, fourth is environments, and fifth is the parmesharam, or the man of God. So the spiritual teacher is the fifth teacher who comes into life and if the ground is not prepared, circumstances are not right; already four teachers have failed. Do you understand that man has a ‘magic’ in him to turn everything right in one moment?
Honestly, truthfully, think: how many mothers are there today who might have prayed that they will have a Saint, a Giver or a Great Man born out of their self? How many of you are even prepared to give this world, which is suffering, which is burning in ego and lust, a Saviour? How many fathers are prepared to pray to create in them, throughout their prayer, that seed which must sprout tomorrow to save the humanity? Yet, you say you are part of the Age of Aquarius that is going to be the age of peace, and truth and happiness. Behind, under my shell, I laugh. I assess what you say and talk, and I assess how much you are ready and prepared to live up to it.
“It is unfortunate, I have one more year, just to be patient and wait. Then I’ll come after you; I’ll come before you with the blunt truth. It will shake you all. Today I cannot do that. I have to nurse you so that you may be in a position not to misunderstand me completely and run away from me. Just imagine, what we are giving this world that we are going to be proud of; how much can we save the future tomorrow? This is a direct question today to every human being. “Our ladies are competing with the men, neither have they grown beard, nor shall they ever grow. They shall remain to be controlled by moon. Their instinct to be mother will be ever living with them. But if you tell them, they feel bad, they don’t want to listen to it. They feel somebody is putting them down.
“No. Somebody’s not putting you down. You start working as a woman’s liberation front. From whom are you getting liberated? From your sons? From your husbands? If today, woman decided that she will give birth to a saint, in twenty-five years, she will have a generation. They will act as good sons, whatever she says. You will have your whole Congress and Senate at your command, but you have to work it today. You have to give this world a child of God. Instead, what do you give it? Attorneys and doctors, or you give with the vibration “my son should have lots of money, should be very rich.” In return, you are going to get the same from Mother Nature – misery, sickness and a lot of hassle. Every mother wants her son to be an attorney; whole of humanity will have cases in courts. Ten times the vibration must return to you; ten times. Mother is the giver of what we call creation, Adi Shakti. Whatever in a country woman will think, it will fall on the whole generation of that country, ten times heavier. This is the law of the Shakti. (See FirstTeachersAreWomen.com.)
“You chant the Mantra of Adi Shakti, Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wha Guru. It is not a man’s mantra. It has no image before it, it has infinity before it. The one Creator who has created this world whose name is truth, great, what a wisdom is He! That is what you chant. You love infinity, you will go to infinity. This world is a transitory period. This is a passing phase. You have come here to go. How many of us are ready to go? It is a truth, we have to go. How many of us are prepared to go? That is what we have to think. Those who want only to come, not to go, they shall stay in this world. That is the law of consciousness which neither you can change nor I can change. Man has to prepare. Man has to lay the new foundations of a new world which we are imagining to be a world in a new truth and light, the Age of Aquarius.
“Where is the devotion? Where is the sacrifice? Where is the love? Love is the experience of selflessness within one self. That is love. We do lusting. We call it 'love'. Love never dies. Love is God. How can you love somebody and you hate him the next day? How can you change from truth? How can you back out from righteousness? If we will not learn to love, disaster is waiting for humanity. And it will fall heavy on each one of us. I know you don’t want that disaster, I don’t want it either. It is painful to see the whole humanity suffering in mass. It is not our desire.
“But what we have done to save that? Where is that mother who created Jesus, who created Buddha, who created Guru Nanak, who created Ram and Krishna, who created Mohammed? If you cannot find that mother, the world cannot be saved. A Saviour has to be born; must be born out of a woman and a woman must be graceful. She must realize her grace, she must act as a grace of God. She must stop those naked dances. She must not dance on the tune of the devil. Only then, the saviour will come. Otherwise, there is no way. With dirty vibrations, with lustful acts, living in the first and second chakra, you cannot give this world a Saviour. It is the call of the times, I am simply interpreting it to you. The time is now to start the higher consciousness. Now is the time. Tomorrow it may be too late.
“I would like to know one man who can come forward and say, “Yogi, I don’t mind if my sister is topless or bottomless in a bar, or my mother is topless or bottomless in a bar.” With that faith in humanity, do those who go and see somebody’s sister and mother topless or bottomless, do they deserve to be called human beings? Is it not a naked dance of our lower nature as humans? And still we want everything should be cool. Everything should happen as we want it to happen.
“This is a big question today. Years are passing by. It is the cusp of the Age of Aquarius. We have 30 more years. If we will not change by the virtue we have, time will change us. When Draupadi was ordered in full assembly to become naked, she prayed to Lord Krishna and the infinite clothes started coming from the air. Duryodhan failed in his design to make her naked. The Pandavas took her back.
“Somebody asked Lord Krishna what this meant. He said, 'The whole civilization on the soil of India will ever be wiped out.'
“He said, 'How, Lord? You are living here.'
“He said, 'I cant' help it. It is beyond me. The ruler of the state wanted to make naked the woman of another man just to humiliate him. Mother Nature will not tolerate this insult.'
“What happened? There was a fight of Mahabharata. The total humanity got wiped out completely. There was none left to tell the tale.What happened to that civilization? You will try to read the Bhagavad Gita. You call it 'Divine Song'. This is what happens when woman gets degenerated because when the soil gets degenerated… Ah, don’t think about ecology of your surroundings. Think about the ecology of man. Think what man has done wrong, where. The foundation, the soil on which the man is born, grown, that has been polluted. That is where you have to work hard, right where you are now. The circumstances are so poor, unprepared, it is totally insecure. How can you expect from sand that you will have an apple tree growing? We are in a very important time. We are on a crossroad. Either we have to live in the truthful sacrifice of love, or we have to continue our number of lust.
“The more lustfully we live, the more weak we will become. The more we’ll be going by the fear complex, the more low shall we be. And when that time comes, it will be difficult to save the generation. But if, today, we all decide that we will give this world a better manhood, a better unit in most pure vibrations, it will not take even twenty-five years that we will have on this planet gods and goddesses, living in the form of man. It is a reality. Our generation is one generation which has to compensate for what wrong we have done in the past. We have to keep it. We have to pay that debt. We have to work it for the future. If we all prepare for that, the Age of Aquarius will come in as softly as we should expect. Otherwise, let us not even talk about it.
“You all hear prophecies. Prophecies may come true, may not come true. Every estimate is there. I am talking to you. You are all men of God. You are beautiful. You are here to seek God. It is your innermost desire, to know God. Before you can know God, you should know who you are. And you must remember, in our life, already two, three, four, even five teachers have failed. Therefore, you have to become sometimes your own teacher. You have to arouse in you the righteousness. You have to live in the light of your own soul even if there is nobody around you to guide you, because you are also the same beautiful part of that Creator who has created this whole universe.
“People who do not learn to live in grace, they shall never have grace around them. It is a law of nature which you cannot change or amend because it is beyond you. A man who does not know how to live in gratitude if his own eye is hurt, he starts yelling and screaming and crying. I think he is totally unaware there are hundreds and thousands of people on this earth that do not even have two eyes. We do not know even how to start our day with thanks. How unthankful we are! Mostly for anything which comes to us, we have an ego: 'we created it, it is ours'. Then when we lose yell and cry, 'I lost it!'
“Do you know four things you do not know how to make happen? When to be born, where to be born, and why to be born; where to die, when to die and why to die; when you are going to gain, where you will gain, and how much; where you will lose, when you will lose, and how much. These four things are beyond man, but we have been developed in a very complete fear complex. From where did this fear complex come in our mind? Fear complex comes to us when we have nothing higher to relate to than us. And that is the greatest weakness of the man.
“What is a religion? Religion means origin. If man knows his origin, he’s a religious man. If a man is religious, he shall not hate, he shall be an open man. He will love everybody. He will serve everybody because he is religious. He is a man of God and God belongs to everybody, so he belongs to everybody. He will serve everybody because he is religious. He is a man of God and God belongs to everybody, so he belongs to everybody. He will be one with everyone because he has found the One. That is the quality of the man of God. Judge on this touch-stone, how many men of God are available today? How many religious men are available today? Just imagine, you all know. That one who has not yoked himself, has not yoked himself. It is his destination, and it he has not attained the soul of satisfaction and contentment, then he does not know A B C of Yoga. If postures are Yoga, the people who are in circuses are the best yogis. They can turn themselves round and around like a snake. If physical strength is the only yoga, then the elephant must be God on earth.
“Yoga is when man meditates on the breath as a gift of the higher power into him and through this divine link, he links himself with infinity being a finite being. And when his behavior becomes confirmed, he becomes a yogi, not only in technique, but he gets the soul of a yogi. Then this whole nature serves that man. Then his vibrations are delightful. That is the truth, my dear, which each one has to reach. Meditation with closing eyes and the closing of thoughts and substitution of the negative thoughts with a positive thought, is just a practice. It is a practice of meditation. It is a practice of meditation. It is not a meditation. It is practice of meditation. Meditation is when in the whole life you are one pointed, central on one thing, and no other thought disturbs you, that means you have achieved the state of meditation. Up to that time you are practicing. Praanayam is when each breath comes in you, you feel the praana that comes. When each breath goes out of you, you know that the yam has gone. That is awareness.
“Yoga has been defined now, nobody can fool anybody. It is a conscious control through the consciousness when one relates to the supreme consciousness. It is that ego which crosses the barrier of the super ego and merges with the supreme ego. It is that yoke. It is that yoke where every religious origin starts to that end, the destiny. That is what it is.
“There are five stages for a yogi. Karm Pad, Sarm Pad, Shakti Pad, Sahej Pad, and Sat Pad. First he must have the desire to come under the protection of a teacher who should teach him the truth. It is a very difficult state. Mostly 80% people fall in that. Whenever they achieve something, their ego becomes like an elephant, they become fat, and they do not see anything. Their mobility is lost, they feel: 'Ah, I got it! Ah, I got it!' But he’s not going to get anything more. He’s through and that is the end of that. That is Shakti Pad. But when one crosses this Pad, then he comes into Sahej Pad, then he flows with the cosmic flow and then the whole cosmos serves that man because that man is part of the cosmos. Mother Universe caters to that man, he lives in humility, he’s inexhaustible. You cannot insult that man, you cannot put him down because he’s merged with the whole universe. He sees the negator as his beauty. And then comes the Sat Pad when he becomes confirmed by the truth. Then everything looks to him as truth. That is the goal of everyone. It requires a lot of guts, a lot of nerves. And we have to get those nerves and guts from the very childhood. Who can give us those nerves? Who can give us those guts? Mother. Who gives you good food? Mother Earth. Who gives you good environment? Mother Earth. Similarly, in the little sense, mother and home has to produce those environments, has to create those nerves so that child of tomorrow may become man of God consciousness.
“When you do not get God immediately after going to a teacher, don’t feel sad and don’t get mad. There is a lot of garbage in us. We are by-products of a messed up circumstance. There is nothing wrong with children, they are just blaming the kids because they don’t want to blame themselves.
“I have never seen a watermelon growing on an apple tree, and until somebody will show me that way, I will never bother to listen to this going on talk: 'Kids are getting astray.' Kids are of the fruit of that tree. There is something wrong with the tree, that is why the fruit is going bad. It is the responsibility of the tree to grow fruit worth the world so that it can be useful. That is where we have gone astray. The giver of life, the mother, was not prepared for that responsibility. I am making you aware. It is a sad story. I am making you aware so that you may not feel upset when quick results do not come to you of Sadhana. Instead of that, mothers tells you lies. Makes circumstances what you do not have faith in her at all. Then comes farther, the second guru, who should give you imagination of higher inspirations. He has no time at all. Then comes relatives. They do not have any message for you. Then comes the environments, the concrete and plastic. You, dear ones, are the by-products of the outcomes of these four big follies. And spiritual teachers are also very rare. Don’t you understand now how hard is the time for the man to grow? Don’t you honestly realize how difficult it is for a man to grow to his higher consciousness? That is why you have now to all become teachers. You have to come out of the shell of your negativity and cowardice. You have turned your inside out. You have to forget the past. You have taken a vow and then you should relate to nothing but God Consciousness and thus you start and get into the world to help those brothers and sisters who are seeking what to do. This way, through the cusp period of the Age of Piscean and Aquarian, we can serve the future.
“If you feel it is the responsibility of Swami Satchidananda, Yogi Bhajan, and Bla Bla Bla, they are two human beings. How much can they run around? Well, what do you think they are? How many months you see I have got? You have to grow. You all know what God is. You all know what soul is. You all know what truth is. Come out and speak now. Come now and lead, that is the need of the time. And if you will not serve the need of the time, it will smash you. That is what we have to fulfill. We have to sacrifice, we have to stop lusting and start loving, we have to bring to this world of tomorrow, we have to become example parents. Mother has to become a most powerful soul so that the seed of tomorrow’s God-man may grow. Who knows in whose womb the God has to come? Everyone has a chance, but prepare yourself with heart and soul for that, so that the saviour may come through you. Take credit. That woman can stand liberated and God will bow to that woman who will make tomorrow’s off-spring a Saviour, a Saint, a Giver. Who will make, inspire her husband to be a truthful man of God? That is the need of the time, and that is a serious point of ecology for the mankind itself. You can survive in a smog, but this kind of smog will generally wipe out the generation after generation. Therefore, let us do this sadhana. I am a feeble man. I cannot reach the whole world in one minute. I am here this evening to share this truth with you. With my capacity, I have taught everywhere I get a chance. So I wanted to share with you this evening these facts. Time is calling on us, and we have no where to go. Let us all promise to become pure. Let us stop this physical lusting. Let us relate to the infinity from where we have come. Let us try to go with grace to infinity where we have to go.
“San Francisco is known to be a very spiritual area in the United States of America. When our first student teacher came here, I said, 'Son, you have everything?'
“He said, 'I know Sat Nam.'
“I said, 'If you know Sat Nam, nothing else you need to know. Go!'
“Student teachers are still sticking around, creating the vibrations of Sat Nam for you. But now is the time, you must all gather around and you all become Sat Nam. You all become God. You all become God. You all become higher consciousness. You all become truth. So that we can be prepared for the calamities and the time, if it strikes. Let every mother become a holy mother. Let every sister become a great sister. Let every wife become a righteous wife and let every man become a man of understanding and compassion and truth. Only then, the God consciousness can be prevailing through all of us. Then only we’ll be healthy, happy and holy. Then dreams will come true.
“Don’t say: 'The east has a civilization. The west has a civilization.' What different civilization do you have come from the east? Where’s New York from San Francisco? It is east of us. You have your own east and own west. Think about you, think about the real you. Bring that real out and smash this up-front ego. This convenience of the moment in which you are living. It should not make you convenient for the rest of the time. The way to hammer is through the valley of that. You all know it. I know it. We have to prepare for that time if we honestly need and want the proper incoming of the Age of Aquarius. Sexuality and sensuality will not give God consciousness. You have to become high permanently, completely and totally. You have to become egoless so that you may have the chance to merge in the Supreme Ego.
“It is a duty I have to call on you, like a forced man. I have to deliver you your message. You may ring it in your head or not. It is your problem. My job is over. I have served you with the honesty and strength which I have. As a human, everyone has their weaknesses. I have mine. You have yours. But let us all pull it together. Let us make it together. Let us save disaster. At least if I am a bad man, you should grow to be ten times better than me to save the coming of the world. If I am not a good teacher, try to become ten times better a teacher than me.
“Come out of your negativity and your protective shells. Time is reaching us fast and you are too slow even to listen to me. Dear Ones, it is equal responsibility now. Let us share equally. It is honesty which will matter now. Let us for a while become honest. It is the love now which is needed. Let us leave the lust and become totally in love for each other. Let us all feel and practice. Let us all become one with everyone, so that One, that Ek Ong Kar, may find you. If you cannot do that, then the laws of nature have no mercy. You have done wrong to humanity, and those souls will do you ten times more butchery and time shall prove it true. You will pay for your ancestors. The only chance you have is to change that time by changing your totality and if you can change your totality, then the time shall have to change. And that will be the most beautiful thing which we can create on this earth. That brotherhood of man and man, that brotherhood of grace of manhood, is what is needed from all of us.
“Don’t think because you are living in the Bay area, therefore you know everything. But, you are fortunate. You can practice everything. Let us change our practices. Let us turn into our own self. Let us produce the light of God within ourself. Let each one of us become the torch bearer of that truth. Let us from today onward cater to our children to make them as beings of God consciousness. Let each mother, each sister start acting in the right direction. Let each man start achieving his goal, stage by stage. Within years, we will have perfect harmony, peace and truth. We will all become one because we are all one. There is one soul in us. We are the outcome of one infinity. We have to merge in one infinity. Let somebody not be crucified to bring compassion in you to learn righteousness. Let you do it. Let you carry your own cross. Let you crucify your ego and negativity so that you become the light of God. You are a true son of that Great Father.
“Rise, oh rise people! Rise as people of God, so that you can spread His Light, so that humanity may not suffer under those clouds. And time is now and now is the time. Who knows, tomorrow shall come or not? Let us meditate. Let us give, with a straight spine to our God consciousness. Let you all chant after me, 'God and me, me and God, are one…'And they did.
“Inhale, and then chant breath by breath: 'God and me, me and God, are one…'
“Chant it totally mentally now. Meditate on your pineal gland and chant it. Meditate on your pineal gland so that it may grow...”
And they meditated on the pineal glands in the middle of their skulls.
“Inhale! Exhale! Relax.
And everyone sang together, “May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on, guide your way on, guide your way on... Saaaaaat Nam.”
And Yogi Bhajan finished the class, “May His Grace become your grace, may His Light become your light. May you be healthy, happy and holy. May through that awareness, through that power of that Adi Shakti, you have that purity and your totality through selflessness, through humility, through service, that you may find that contentment. May you become one with everyone, to find the only One, the Creator. May this day start in you a new life, may this be a turning point to your higher consciousness. May you relate to your soul and the whole world be a place for you to enjoy, live in peace, happiness and bliss! Sat Nam.” --
Precious Arrivals From India
Sat Nam. The reunion of Yogi Bhajan and his wife in California occasioned some changes all around. Like Shakti Parwha Kaur, Bibiji was of another generation than Yogiji's students. Moreover, she was of a different culture. In her neighbourhood in New Delhi, Bibiji had devoted servants to cook and clean and wash the clothes. In America, nobody knew the first thing about making a delicious curry, and for many of the young people washing their clothes was an afterthought, if it was a thought at all. And while in India, only widows wore white, here her husband was telling all his students to prefer white cotton attire. What was she going to do with her suitcases full of beautiful saris? Bibiji was not used to seeing women going bra-less and to say nothing of people going nudist at outdoor concerts. After a few days, Yogiji's wife was feeling America was a very strange culture indeed.
Bibiji Inderjit Kaur, who had expected to resume something like her familiar routine with her husband, was also dismayed by her living situation. No longer would she and her husband share a comfortable house as they had in India. Instead, her husband lived in the Ashram when he was in Los Angeles, and made the most comfortable arrangements he could for her elsewhere in the community.
Bibiji felt isolated in America. She missed her children and family and her trusted servants. She begged Yogiji to return to their life in India, but to no avail. Instead, he showed his wife that her destiny was to stay in America and to serve these strange people from the bottom of her heart. It was hard advice, but Bibiji the devoted wife and Sikh of the Guru at last agreed. She would arrange for the rest of the family to come as well.
Also arrived from India were many precious parcels sent from Amritsar containing Siri Guru Granth Sahib in English translation. The treasury of Guru Nanak, the Shabd Guru, had arrived to guide and inspire this new nation of Sikh Yogis in the west. Yogi Bhajan made arrangements for the volumes to be distributed to all the 3HO Ashrams.
"The nectar of the Guru's Word is very sweet.
Yogiji's Birthday Party: Number 42
Sat Nam. After a brief stay in Los Angeles, Yogi Bhajan continued south to San Diego, where he stayed to give a White Tantric Yoga course, several days of hard work and fun with the objective of making his students' auras bright like the blue sky.
When Yogiji returned to Los Angeles, there was a grand party to celebrate his birthday. Some said nearly a thousand people came. But who was counting?
There was music and food. Even the Los Angeles Times sent its food editor to do a piece on the organic feast. A television crew was there too.
"Peace Lagoon, let's get there soon
While the little Ashram was crammed to capacity with partyers, outside on a stage Yogiji and an astrologer named Gandhi performed a fire ceremony symbolizing the vanquishing of the ego. There was a play and children singing.
Yogiji himself was the focal point of the celebration. With boundless energy and joy, he could be seen dancing, leading a gong meditation, and handing out presents to the guests.
Students of Yogiji had come from far and wide. All of the Ashrams represented were given volumes of Siri Guru Granth Sahib in translation. It was also a time of departure, as it was announced that Yogiji's wife, Bibiji would be returning to India the next Sunday. The Longtime Sun song was sung for her safe journey.
The celebration could have lasted until dawn, but in his wisdom, Yogi Bhajan sent everyone home at a little past midnight.
In the next issue of Beads of Truth, Yogiji profusely thanked his students:
My dear Shaktis and ShaktiMans:*
Sat Nam. You, the chosen children of the Age of Aquarius, and my soul's light --- Greetings!
Please accept my humble salutations on your birthday which you celebrated on the 26th of August, 1971, to practice your projection, your courage and your endeavour to be Sat Nam.
It was a complete demonstration of: “I love you and you love me and let us be Sat Nam.”
The magnificence and the glory of the celebration was a befitting tribute to you all, as you came from the four corners of the United States to be together. May Sat Nam bless you for this yatra (holy journey) you performed to have the flow of the union of the brotherhood of Truth, light and humility.
"He who has realized the True Lord is called True Guru:
EK ONG KAR SAT NAM SIRI WHA GURU
*Yogi Bhajan designated woman as Shakti and man as Shaktiman, Shakti being the source of divine inspiration and Shaktiman (pronounced “Shakteemaan”) being the devotee of that inspiration. --
A Time to Practice and a Time to Share
Sat Nam. The day after his birthday, Yogi Bhajan set out for the federal prison at Terminal Island, California. Students of his had already been coming and offering classes at the prisons for some time. They had also occasionally brought in whole vegetarian feasts for the inmates. Another student who had already been incarcerated four months out in Colorado, had written that he was giving classes to his fellow inmates.
Yogi Bhajan was clear in his approach that getting high practicing Kundalini Yoga, and then not sharing it where it was needed was a form of selfishness. Moreover, it was pure luck whether his students lived in or out of prison. Most of not all, had tried drugs and been liable for arrest and jail time.
When he spoke to the women at the federal prison, Yogiji expressed his understanding that some of them might actually be innocent, but could not prove their innocence, while others were guilty according to the laws of man. He told them this was a time to work on the self without any pressure from the outside world, a blessed time for constant sadhana. --
The Requirements of a Spiritual Teacher
Sat Nam. Yogi Bhajan had studied well and learned the art of a spiritual teacher. He had learned from examples, good and bad, what to do and not to do, and how to simply be a channel or, as he liked to say a “forklift” to lift up those less fortunate. The best route was to train his students to be spiritual teachers themselves.
This is the talk he gave on September 18, 1971:
“The soul is immortal. The soul does not know death. This body is made out of matter. Matter neither can be produced nor can be destroyed, matter does not know death. Mind is a part of the universal mind, mind does not know death.
“Human beings consist of mind, body and soul: physical, mental and spiritual. These three things make the human being and yet we are very much afraid of them.
We cannot love because of the fear of death. The fear of death is so powerful in some of the people that their life is miserable.
“The question is very simple. We have never considered to think about our origin, from where we have come. We have never trained our mind to think who we are and where we have to go.
“Unfortunately people are brought up under very weird circumstances. You are trained to be in the world to be rich. You are trained to be in the world to possess material things. The energy that is concentrated on possessing the material things, does not leave you any time to do anything with the material things.
“So, the question is to possess for what? I can spend three billion tomorrow and it will be a hassle to me - what I have to do is build very great buildings in all the cities there people can do their sadhanas. Some people have billions of dollars but they do not know what to do with it - they get stuck with it. They have it, they have it with the fear of losing it and the fear actually kills their nerves, they shrink, they feel bad, they feel negative. So this vicious circle takes away the entire nervous strength of a man to enjoy, be happy and relax.
“People do not know how to give. You ask a person to go to a movie, to eat dinner, he's willing to spend twenty dollars. You ask him to go to a spiritual cause, he'll ask, why do I have to spend another dollar, and he'll make a fuss. For twenty dollars to go to a movie and eat, and to oblige a friend, nobody minds. But we don't consider that we have to pay or feel responsible to anything such as soul.
“We do not realize that there is a soul in us. That is the biggest fault of a person. Samskaras are that account of those karmas you have earned jin the previous life, that is why you got the body. This physical body was granted to you according to those samskaras. Then with those karmas, you make the karma in this life; samskaras and karma get together and that guides your destiny.
“You folks might have some unfortunate misunderstanding about a spiritual path or the spiritual teacher, If there are very heavy samskars and the karmas to not overshadow them, (samskaras can be either positive or negative, both ways), then a blessed being falls in attachment to learn from a teacher who is a first rate teacher on the spiritual path.
“A first rate teacher is a teacher who is very hard, very intolerant of the mistakes of the students, and he gives a crushing blow on every step. This is first rate. A second rate teacher is who just pleases him. There are three types of teachers in the universe. The harder the teacher is, the better one can learn; the softer the teacher is, the less one can learn. Because all the time you are in a fight between the ego and the soul, the conscious and unconscious mind.
“The conscious mind tells you that you have to come to this world, you have made a journey, and this world has come to go, and maya is what it is, etc. Then when it comes time to practice, the sub-conscious mind says to forget it. "Try to get up at 3:30am? Yogiji is crazy, why do you listen to him? Oh forget it, it is a good day and warm blanket. Why do I have to come out?" You start intellectualizing the hukam (an instruction which is for your benefit), and then comes a duality: a love for your teacher, or a love for yourself.
“All teachers are mystic, but they will never talk to you in that language. They know certain things, they talk about certain things. It has been seen that about ninety percent of the students do not know what their teacher says because words do not mean anything to you. Consciously, you are not very clear in picking up the vibrations, though some people nod their heads. These are some of the mysteries which surround people and their teachers.
“A pupil understands what a teacher is when he does not understand him with his ego. Then you can understand clearly. If I am talking in a room with this man, and somebody is listening from behind that wall, he does not hear clearly. If he will try to listen from there he may not clearly understand, because the wall does create a resistance to the sound current. So his ego, the wall of negative ego, when trying to intellectually understand what the teacher says, does create a confused state of mind in a normal practitioner.
“You must understand one thing, a teacher has no interest in you, except to make you spiritual, self-confident and fearless. That is the power he has and he will adopt every method to show you your weakness. If he cannot show you your weakness. If he cannot show you your weakness and your negativity, then why do you have a spiritual teacher?
“A teacher is a person who tells you where you are at. That negativity you do not like because it hurts your ego. So if you love your ego, don't walk on the path of spirituality. Then make money, eat steak, drink beer, have a lot of fun, have orgies, do something which everybody is doing, Why should you suffer? I'll say either be a crow and live with crows or be a swan and live with swans. Don't be a crow and live with swans, crows can't live with swans. It has a very weakening effect.
“You must basically understand this truth, I want to make it very clear to you: if you want God, God consciousness and spirituality, then learn to surrender. That surrender is not to a man, rather he's just a custodian to Truth. He doesn't care whether twenty people bow to him, or twenty-thousand people bow to him. What does it matter to him?
“Basically there is a problem, you have to learn to surrender to your higher consciousness. Without learning this first step, you may have all the knowledge in the world about mystics and spiritualism but you are not going to achieve any results whatsoever. That is why we have given a basic surrender order to those practitioners who want to study: they must get up in the morning, they must chant the Holy Nam so their soul may become clean and powerful and their ego may become less and less and less. Surrender is within the self.
“Suppose a student feels I am a teacher and he touches my feet all the time? It won't do anything. By touching my feet, bowing to me, all he can get is the treatment which I give, in my house, to Baba Singh. If my car has a little something wrong somewhere, if anything goes wrong in the house, Baba Singh is the one who has a stick on his head. If my shoes are not polished, if something is run-down at the ashram, if the printing is done wrong, Baba Singh is at fault. That guy is on the spearhead. And still he has to teach all the classes, do his masters degree, massage my feet, take care of the whole household and still do his sadhana perfectly and see that everything for tomorrow is right. And this is what we expect of him. That is the minimum requirement of that one man. After all, he is one among you, he has chosen the path. But I wish sometimes you should see when he takes the class and doesn't differentiate who teaches whom.
“I have never appreciated Baba Singh in all these two years he has stayed with me because there is no reason to appreciate him, If he is me, then why do I have to appreciate him? You mean I want to just do my self portrait? Why do I have to appreciate him? What for? Why do I have to appreciate myself? I am, I am. He has chosen to be I am. You people who are at a little distance from me, you gave never studied me from that angle or with that angle. You feel Yogiji is a very kind, sweet fellow and that is all you know about me. For you, time has to improve you, your sincerity, your selflessness.
“To teach other people and raise their consciousness, that will improve you, that will teach you. That's the karmas you are paying. You are doing it also, you are experiencing hardship too, but you are doing the same type of karma in a different way. By selflessly helping people, raising their consciousness, praising the Lord, spreading the Truth, you are also paying that type of karma. But in that karma there is one difficulty that I want to make very clear. Whereas in the case of Baba Singh, the next minute he's caught and he is skinned out for it. That is sometimes not available to you. When you do wrong, your consciousness revolts.
“Every morning you do meditation, and messages are regularly sent to you people where your head is at, whether you tune in or not. You always know where your wrong is, and you are told where your wrong is, but you are the greatest fools on this planet, you start intellectualizing it.
“You must understand basically that a teacher should always feel that his Guru and his God is with him, that he need not hide anything. When the impulse come to him, and when the message comes to him, his consciousness tells him that he has done something that is not soul, that is ego, he should reprimand himself. They call it 'self-diagnosis.'“A person must diagnose himself, or he should get up in the morning, do meditation on what he had done yesterday and analyze all his karma, how much ego was involved, how much sacrifice was involved, and improve the next day. In the case of duality, strong conflict, write in down in a letter: this is the situation of my mind, this is how I feel, can you please guide me on this? The moment you will write, the next morning, you will have the answer in your meditation and all the answers from the letter will come.
“A practitioner who does not practice self-analysis, cannot improve because what happens is the ego takes a different shape, the ego mixes with intellect and starts giving a powerful reasoning: 'Oh, I taught a class yesterday. Everybody was stoned.' That teaching is finished, all the good teachings of that karma is wiped out because ego took everything.
“If he sits down and asks God to flow through him during the class, then the class will get the effect. The rightful man should go in gratitude: 'Thank you my heavenly Father, thank you my guide, thank you my Guru, thank you my mantra, thank you my sadhana, thank you my prana, thank you my consciousness... you made me an instrument to do this. If you make me again, I'll do better. Please don't leave me. Please flow through me. Bless me.'
“The highest sadhana is when somebody does anything wrong, pray twice for them. This is the highest sadhana. This will unfold to you all the mysteries of the world, and the world to come.
“Live in gratitude. Those who live as the flow is, in gratitude, who can praise them even? So that is the attitude you need to have.
“We need a teacher at this time. The time is in a very great conflict. But you must understand, we are not hungry for you. You aren't doing any person a favour. You are doing yourself a favour. You are paying off your own karmas. You are pleasing the God and his consciousness. Individually, it is just a help to you. That help is also essential because that little spark does enlighten in you the fire and the kundalini light of God consciousness.
“You are always that when you relate to it in direct proportion. It is all there. The karmas and samskaras are better. Samskaras lead you to the virtuousness. Karmas perfect you in that virtuousness. If you understand this mystic law of God consciousness, you can make yourself to be a great teacher in this life.
“Otherwise, you must remember that ego one day or another day will be powerful enough to take you away in spite of all your desires, you wishes, your fantasies, your situations. It is a flow: so shall you sow, so shall you reap; as you do, so shall you get. Empty-handed you come, empty-handed you go. If you don't pay reverence to your teacher, your students will not show reverence to you. If you insult and beat up all those who are old today, tomorrow when you become old, you will be beaten up.
“The world is a law of existence. It is a tit for tat. Don't misunderstand that the wrong you do, even if a man does not take notice of it, God is not ignorant to record it.
“What happened in this world? All these men were put on a cross, or in gas chambers, put to death, by the ignorant people of the time, then their civilization got wiped from the planet. This is the power of the curse which follows doing wrong. There is a saying in the scripture:
'You may not do good to any man who praised the Lord all the time, but don't dare do any wrong to him because when the wrong is done, the hand of God reaches there faster than for any other reason because they are protected also.' Their master will not like it.
“You can protect a dog because you are the master of the dog. Do you think that a man who is the master of the dog will not be protected by his master? That is the situation, symptoms and signs.
“Our purpose in this life is to live in higher consciousness and to teach others to live in higher consciousness. But the best test to that consciousness is humility, selflessness and sweetness. But when you teach, teach with honesty, truthfulness, and straightforwardness. As a teacher, never compromise. As a man, always compromise. The teacher who compromises, is an idiot because the teacher does not teach for himself, but for the higher consciousness. And higher consciousness will never compromise with lower consciousness. That is a straight law and that has be considered as a law, that has to be observed as a law.
“Therefore, please don't misunderstand, if you do not find me hard enough, do find another teacher, work out your karma. Life has been given you to do it anyway. But if you want to study with me, three things you must do:
“It is time to go. I always leave physically, never spiritually. If you want to test it sometimes, you can do it. My greatest reward goes to those who have improved themselves, who have come here for this Yoga and going from here keep the Mantra in their heart. Try to improve yourself better and better so that when we again meet we will be in a position to do better than this.” --
The Life of A Teacher
Sat Nam. When Harbhajan Singh, now Yogiji, now Siri Singh Sahibji, now Mahan Tantric as well, visited San Francisco, he always made a point of visiting a learned swami who had a teaching center there. One evening, the two of them arranged to meet with another teacher, named Ajaari Dr. Pemchekov Warwick.
Ajaari was from Russia. He had studied meditation in Japan, and had established an ashram in San Francisco. The central part of his discipline was fire walking. In the middle of the top floor of the large, Victorian building where Ajaari made his ashram, was a large, open fireplace specially designed for this purpose.All Ajaari's disciples shaved their heads, and wore distinctive pants and tunics. He was known as a strict disciplinarian. Ajaari was also known to be possessed of a fiery personality.
The Sikh yogi, the Hindu swami, the Russian ascetic, and a number of their students were together at Ajaari's ashram, when the host engaged his brahman friend in a lively discussion. Ajaari felt strongly that the swami was doing his students a disservice by not initiating them.
The swami's approach to teaching his students had been cool and detached from the details of their actual daily lives. This had always been his style. After all, he was a brahman, and he was unmoved by the Russian ascetic's criticisms. Still, Ajaari persisted.
In this way, the discussion continued for some time. As it went on, the atmosphere in the room more became heated. Ajaari finally gave his brahman guest an ultimatum, "You can't consider yourself to be a spiritual teacher because you're not initiating your students!"
The swami protested to Ajaari, "But I can't initiate my students! If I do that, I'll have to go through heaven and hell with them!"
Yogiji, who had silently been taking in the entire debate, broke in, "Yeah! That's it! When you're a teacher, that's what you haveto do."
Yogiji went on to describe how he taught, how he saw that his students had spiritual names, and how he suffered their pains and enjoyed their delights and successes along with them. "That's just what it is!" --
The Humblest of the Humble
Sat Nam. Yogi Bhajan continued to carry his banner, his Guru's banner against all odds. Outspoken and fearless, yet gentle and unassuming was the Master. Some might sing his praises and whisper that Yogiji was an incarnated disciple of Jesus – and they did. Or they might spout that he was the devil incarnate and deface his class posters with “666”. It made no difference to him really.
"One day, the day shall come when all the glory will be thine.
That was Yogi Bhajan's song, and he returned to it, again and again.
Sometimes diplomacy was the order of the day. Yogiji remembered well the lesson he had learned from Mr. Weber at the civil service academy so many years ago. Things needed to look good not just now, but five hundred years into an indeterminate future.
Lawton Singh was Yogi Bhajan's devoted student in Atlanta. With his new wife Rose – Yogiji had plucked her from the Ahimsa Ashram and married them at the Summer Solstice in Colorado – he was teaching classes and representing Yogiji's teachings from their yoga centre, which he had thankfully designated “Harbhajan Singh Puri Ashram”.
Yogiji knew. He appreciated his student's humility and devotion, but it did not suit him to have an Ashram in his name. Better to glorify his Guru, he thought.
The Master dictated a sweet and tactful request to be mailed to his loving student, guitarist, poet and song-writer in Georgia:
September 21, 1971
My dear Lawton Singh, Sat Nam.
Greetings from Los Angeles and my prayers are with you. May God bless you with higher consciousness and may he bless me with humility, selflessness, love and sacrifice.
In appreciation of your love and sincerity to me, I have not suggested anything on your naming the ashram, but I feel you will be kind enough and it will please me a lot if you will name your ashram as Guru Ram Das Ashram, Atlanta. I hope you will not deny me this request for which I will be grateful.
From then on, the cozy Ashram at 1066 Colquitt Street North East in the capital of the great state of Georgia was lovingly named for Guru Ram Das. --
Sat Nam. A student once came to Yogi Bhajan and told the Master, “I want to know God. Give me an experience.” The next day, he was going to go and he wanted the experience that day.
Yogiji replied, “Well, I can give you an experience if you are willing.”
The man replied, “I am willing to try anything. If you want money, I can give it.”
“Forget it! Those things are just for the Earth. Let's talk of the Heavens.”
He said, “What?”
“For one day, see God in everything as unkindness, as ugliness, as treachery, as debauchery, as ill-will, and total insecurity – and be the opposite to it.”
The man said, “How come?”
Yogiji replied, “When you have a coin and you see one side, you have to see the other. What you think of God is all positive, so think of God as all negative and then be positive. It will test out whether you have found God or not.”
The fellow went away and after a couple of hours returned again. He said, “God, it is very difficult. I have been brainwashed.”
“Who told you?”
“I know I am brainwashed.”
“With what? With soap? What is the use for your brain? How did they wash it? Did they take the skull out?”
He said, “No, no. I don't mean that.”
“I will love to be brainwashed is someone will wash my brain, I'll be great.”
Yogiji knew that indeed sometimes you have to brainwash yourself by yourself. He himself had been doing it for years. Sometimes you have to use self-discipline, self-hypnosis, self-knowledge, self-kindness, self-grace and self-understanding, and all to understand just one thing: It doesn't matter who you are. It does matter what you deliver. That is God. --
The Hopeless Woman
Sat Nam. A woman came to counsel with Yogiji. She came with a friend. In the course of their conversation, Yogi Bhajan came to know this woman had been divorced seven times.
“What is the problem,” he asked.
“I want to be married again. I want to know whether it is going to work this time or not.”
“Why do you ask me? Seven times it hasn't worked. The eighth time, it won't work. What does it matter to you? You are so good in not working it out. I think you should run classes in how to marry and have it not work out.”
There was a silence as the woman took in what Yogiji had said.
He continued, “All seven men were idiots?”
She replied, “Is there something wrong with me?”
“No. You are rotten. There is nothing wrong with you. Wrong can be corrected. Rotten can't.”
“God, how can you say that to me?”
“I am going to say two or three more things. This is just one thing I am talking. You are rotten, neurotic, and you are the greatest idiot. These three things have accumulated in you.”
“You mean I have no hope?”
“No. Hope is ashamed of you. You are nowhere.”
“Why do you this?”
“I say it dear. Your mother was a human being?”
“No, no, she had an education. My mother was a university graduate.”
“Yeah, yeah, she was a graduate, but she never learned a thing about how to be a mother. She never learned how to be a mother. She never practiced being a mother. She never was your mother, and now that gap is making your life a living hell.”
“What should I do?”
“Do you have any granny? The great mama? Go. Stay with her for six months. Don't do anything.”
“What will happen then?”
Then, when you marry someone, you will never divorce him.”
And so it was. In time, the woman remarried and with her husband had three children. Their married life was very happy. --
A Gift of God and Guru
Sat Nam. Meanwhile, winter was coming to New Mexico. In Santa Fe, the Maharaj Ashram which was the regional headquarters designated by Yogiji, consisted of a lot of inspiration housed in tents on the outskirts of town, on Aqua Fria Street. Each morning, they did their morning sadhana in the adjacent field around a campfire.
Life was good. Life was simple. And it was getting cold, or so thought Dawson and Karen, who were responsible for the community. And one day they packed up and left, leaving the rest of the community with no place to live.
A member of the group called Wha Guru Singh called Yogiji on everyone's behalf to see what they should do. Their teacher said they must stay together. They should drive north, he said and find a place where the sun was shining on a house. That was to be their new home. Yogi Bhajan assured them God and Guru would guide their destiny. Since no one in the community had a car, he arranged for his friend Robert Bossier to drive them.
Robert had rescued everyone when the Solstice yogis had been evicted from the reservation in June of the previous year. It was he who had arranged a place on the side of the highway where everyone could continue their sadhana celebration. And he was happy to help out again.
With enthusiasm, they set out to locate their new ashram. The sky was overcast, where usually it would be clear at that time of year. On they went, in full faith that if Yogiji had said it, it would come true.
They had been driving half an hour without any visible break in the clouds, when they started up the gentle hill on the way to the adjacent town of Espanola. All at once, a beam of light shone down from the heavens, and the group followed that column of brightness off the main road and along Route 106. And there was a house, the only place the sun was shining that day.
It was a simple farmhouse owned by an old couple. It was about as old as they were, but solidly build. The walls were thick adobe. There was a good roof, electricity and running water, and a shed and barn located on six acres of land.
The couple were surprised that anyone should want to buy their home, but when they saw that saw their guests were serious, they immediately agreed and set a price of $24,000. Yogiji was contacted again. He borrowed $10,000 from a student which he later paid back with his own money. The remainder he was able to borrow from the Valley National Bank.
It was perfect. A large dirt-floored room that had been used for storing apples was carpeted over and thus became the sadhana room. There was room for a women's dorm and a men's dorm, with a cozy kitchen for community meals and Yogi Tea in the middle. It was lovingly named Guru Ram Das Ashram. --
The Old Lion Had A Great Darbar
The old lion had a great darbar.
The robots are coming!
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