Sat Nam. On March 20, 1971, the Spring Equinox, Yogi Bhajan returned to the city of poets, San Francisco. That morning, he addressed the annual State Convention of American Physical Therapists. In the afternoon, he proceeded to the Equinox Celebration at the Sonoma State College, where he performed a wedding.
A student of Yogiji's had been organizing peace marches and serving as manager of the rock group, The Grateful Dead. Named “Baba Bert” by Yogi Bhajan, that student had put together an inspired event featuring Yogi Bhajan with The Grateful Dead, and the Sufi Choir and dancers of the late Sufi Sam at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom.
Yogiji stayed a few days in nearby San Rafael at the Hargobind Sadan ashram at 16 Culloden Park Drive. The place used to be whimsically known as “Banana Ananda”. There, he gave a number of classes and viewed a documentary on drug abuse and its solution through Kundalini Yoga which had been filmed at the ashram. Yogi Bhajan also visited his friend Swami Satchidananda's Integral Yoga Institute ashram nearby, and went to the zoo and aquarium by way of recreation.
Soon, Yogiji was back again to Los Angeles where he resumed teaching the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) credit course in Kundalini Yoga he was giving at Guru Ram Das Ashram. Even in Yogiji's absence, classes in the Los Angeles area had been growing and now numbered forty-three a week.
Classes were cropping up on more and more California colleges and universities. Teachers trained by Yogi Bhajan were teaching at California State College in Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley State College in Reseda, and at the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara; this in addition to Yogiji's accredited class at UCLA, Michael Fowlis's new credit course at Pitzer College in Claremont, and similar courses at the University of Oregon in Eugene and Phoenix's University of Arizona.
It was fitting that on the weekend of April 3, Yogi Bhajan with Gerry and Toni Pond, Krishna and Premka should participate at the “Earth Rebirth” event at the University of California at Davis. Yogiji spoke and his students created divine harmonies, chanting “Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru” with several thousand in attendance at the outdoor celebration.
Back in Los Angeles, Yogi Bhajan resumed teaching at his beloved Guru Ram Das Ashram, the beautifully renovated former garage on Melrose Avenue. There was always a guitar and someone who could play in those days, and classes always began with chanting. Since the India trip, the chant was usually in praise of Guru Ram Das. New melodies were being created, week by week.
“Guru Guru Wha Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru...”
“Inhale. When we chant this mantra, 'Guru Guru Wha Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru' I'd like to explain to you what you are chanting and how powerful it is, and what this vibration can do for you, so that you can be very clear in yourself.
“Those who chant Sargun Mantra, they can immediately reach for nirgun. Sargun has to be accomplished before you can reach for nirgun. When we say 'Guru Guru Wha Guru', this part of his nirgun part, it is a part of infinity. But when we say 'Guru Ram Das Guru', it is a relationship which is a finite relationship. It is a relationship between you and Guru Ashtang, we call it 'ishTistaan'.
“There are very few places which can be called ishTistaan you will be surprised to know. You have to look over the whole world to find such a place which should qualify these conditions. And the first condition is it should be the cleanest place which should welcome people of all faiths, castes, creeds, religions, colours, and make no distinctions. And there should be a place to feed people and take care of them. It will be a place where the house wears the name of God and the Lord is praised twenty-four hours continuously without break.
“Twenty-four hours without break the vibration must be created at that place and that place only relate to higher consciousness and nothing else. And when you relate to Guru Ram Das, you relate to Harimander, Amritsar, and that place does meet these qualifications.
“The people who have visited that place with us this time, they know it positively that twenty-four hours the hymns to the Gods are sung there. It is the cleanest temple they have visited and is open to everybody at all times. And there is a free kitchen where you can be fed very respectfully under all circumstances, and beautiful buildings where westerns can live according to their needs and easterners can live according to their needs. So this place does qualify as a place of ishTistaan, and hundreds of thousands of people come, they meditate, chant, and they sing hymns to God.
“This place has a big, long history behind it from time immemorial, the time of Rama, the time of Lord Buddha, and to the time of Guru Nanak. They understand through the history and the record that these people came there to meditate and take water from that little pond, which is now a 'tank of nectar' they call it. 'Amritsar' means actually the tank of nectar.
“On this trip, we had a girl with us who had eczema for which she tried every medicine, and when she went to Amritsar, she said, 'Yogiji, am I going to get cured here?'
“'Yes,' I said. And she is right here in United States. She came back clean, perfect face. And I said to her, 'Could you just try some medicine?'
“And she said, 'No, it's gone now, not going to come back again. No problem.'
“This place has four doors and one central door to go through. Very clean, very bright, very sunny, perfect. Even the most prejudiced and biased mind there will find peace. You see people from different countries, different races, different religions, different faiths, there all the time. That is the ishTistaan which was founded by Guru Ram Das, the fourth Guru Nanak, the man of peace, real peace, man of grace and man of humility.
“Somebody told him, 'Why you have such a nice white, long beard?'
“He told them, 'To wash the dust off your feet.' That kind of humility, practical humility. People used to come to see his grace and have audience in the morning, and at night, he used to go change clothes and go with hot water to wash their feet and comfort them, unrecognized, incognito. They used to walk long distances to come and see, and at night they would come and see, and they would rest and he would do it to them.
“Master does not need a throne to attract people. He doesn't need public relations. His soul is the light which attracts people from distances.
“The quality of a great master you should rather understand is the negative people will negate him, the positive people will love him because he is a balance of darkness and light within himself. A man who is not negated and slandered is not a perfect master. Don't misunderstand that, because he has a magnetic field to attract the negative and the positive alike. The negative will get attracted to him and they will do their negative things. The positive will do their positive things. And there will be a very positive balance around him. That is why people with weaker faith will run away, people with faster faith will stick. And it is an automatic test of the personality.
“So through this mantra, we connect our consciousness with the finite ishTistaan and infinite. And about the sound current 'Wha Guru' I want to be very definite with you. You have to understand it beyond any prejudice, but just for the real knowledge of truth which is Wha Guru. Wha Guru is a sound current which consists of two different words - 'Wha' and 'Guru'. Guru is nothing but divine wisdom, spoke truth. It comes from the root Sanskrit 'gre', 'speak it'. And it relates to the truth of higher consciousness. One who speaks it, becomes Guru, because these are the words of scripture. “Gur, Guru, Sat Guru, Siri Guru, Wha Guru. Gur means technical know-how. Guru gives the technical know-how. Sat Guru is one who is ever truthfully willing to give it. Siri Guru is one who is above all the time, space – truth. And Wha Guru means God himself.
“If I say, 'Mr. Omar, you are a beautiful, wonderful man. You look very bright and very pretty and very nice and I love you and I hope to see you very soon. Seeing you is a very bright situation for me!' Now you count how much long adjectives I have used. And I say 'Wha! Mr. Omar is beautiful because of everything.' One sound is the par excellent expression of communion between the man and his consciousness, and when he says 'Wha Guru' he is in the highest excellence.
“If once you say this sound from the very inner of your heart, 'Wha Guru' to that infinity, you have done a japaa a hundred thousand times with a perfect actions. Therefore it is sound and sound only which is the creative power of the supreme consciousness which you normally call as 'God'. There was a word with God and word created the world. It doesn't mean anything different.
“We always used to speak that language and then we used to understand that language in those times. Now we call it a 'sound current'. And now these days, we call it 'mantra'. It should not make any difference to you. Everything is not a mantra and everything is a mantra. Mantra is a sound current which relates to its object. To what level of consciousness you want to relate, the mantra decides it. But at what level of consciousness you are, that decides the power of mantra.
“In all of this, you always chant a mantra which is Ashtang: it has eight sound vibrations in it. You count up: Gobinday, Mukanday, Udhaaray, Apaaray, Hari-ang, Kari-ang, Nirnaamay, Akaamay – eight. Ek Ong Kaar Sat Naam Siree Whahe Guru – eight. God and me, me and God are one – eight. Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Raam Daas Guru – eight.
“You will never find me chanting any mantra without Ashtang. Why? Because there are twenty-six vertebrae. The total comes to eight. Twenty-six bones in the foot on which you stand, the lotus feet of the master. The structure of every lotus foot is twenty-six bones. Total comes to eight. Your very conception: the sperm takes eight circles around the ovum and then you conceive. It doesn't take nine, doesn't take seven. Numerologically, eight means God and his creation. And eight does represent infinity.
“We the finite have to join the infinite and that circle and this circle has to get united – through what? Through something like eight. The greatest scripture of this time, Siri Guru Granth Sahib, is written in eight ragas. All the mantras in it, the total comes to eight. It is not a thought of you and me alone. It is a part of the time which man has to understand without prejudice, not that I like it or dislike it.
“What the truth is? First concentrate to find out what the truth is, then find the truth and be one with the truth. And if you have found the truth and you practice it, then you have become truth and you need nothing. If you have found the truth and you do not practice it, then you are in a duality. This duality is between your higher consciousness which is truth and your lower consciousness which is a maya within you.
“And sometimes you fluctuate between the centres of life. The constant life in total positivity is meditation. And when you go deeper and deeper in it, it becomes your deeper self. And out of that deeper self, that one part of that atom within you, glows the energy which creates life around you, and vaster and vaster the vibration of rays spread, and then hundreds of thousands of people start looking to you. But remember, they will only look to those who have been blessed with the grace of God.
“And also, hundreds of thousands will come to crucify that man to bring the balance between the light and darkness, regardless. Be conscious of this lost spring consciousness. Those who hear ill about anyone, they inject in them the misery and unhappiness. Those who keep the meanest dirt in themselves, those who carry it and pass it to others, they spread the dirt and become ritual in it. And so the vibrations of negativity and unhappiness – it is we who built it. It is not our destiny.
“You can surely and positively change your destiny if you can control this vibratory system of yours, your tongue and your mouth, or your communication or you communion with others, and let yourself be with one positive thought: I shall neither listen nor talk ill of anyone, come what may, and if you start it, by May generally you'll be a holy man, provided you have that practical determination and you make it.
“Practice makes a man perfect, and without practice, no perfection can be achieved. Having intellectual knowledge, having known the entire technical know-how - if you have not cleaned up your mind to have the soul of a yogi, stop being called or stop pretending to be a yogi! There is the power of the soul in you. It is the expansion of your own consciousness. It is the enlightened self within the being with is a yogi. Technical know-how is the process to be a yogi. It leads to a destination, but that is not the destination.
“We always live in our own 'I', that little 'I', that little ego. We don't feel there is one and that everybody has to live with that one. Ego is ignorance and it creates separation. And we'll always suffer under this separation. We are lonely and this loneliness is miserable. It brings unhappiness to us.
“Before coming to class, somebody just telephoned me. I just picked up the telephone. He was speaking from Redwood, near San Francisco. He said, 'Yogiji, I have a problem.'
“I said, 'What is your problem?'
“He said, 'I am alone.'
“I said, 'I am not. My Guru and my God are with me. We are always three people: walking, talking, sleeping, eating... so how can you be?'
“He said, 'I don't have a guru.'
"I said, 'You have your God or not? At least you and your God makes two. How can you be alone?'“He said, 'That is right! I didn't give a thought to it.'
“I said, 'Well, here now think of it, peace be with you, and you are with him.'
“He said, 'Is there anything I can feel other than God? I don't feel God.'
“I said, 'Your breath. Your breath is with you. Feel it. Breathe it consciously. It is something with you. Without it, you will be nothing. If your breath will not be with you, your money, your charm, your pink slips and your bank balance don't mean anything. So why are you worried? You are together so long as you are together with your breath. And your mind follows the breath, and through mind, you can join yourself with supreme mind, universal mind, in simple English we call it 'God'.'
“You know how ignorant we are? I will give you a very exact example of our ignorance. What year is it? 1971? In the year 1971, man presumes he is very wise and he knows everything. And somebody said to me, 'Man knows everything.'
“I said, 'This is only year one of the consciousness of man that man knows nothing.'
“He said, 'What are you saying?'
“I said, 'How many fingers have you got?'
“He said, 'Ten.'
“I said, 'What is the length of your fingers?'
“He said, 'I don't know.'
“I said, 'Go measure it.'
“He said, 'What, man?' And then he said, 'I'll do it.'
“But I said, 'You are not asking that one question.'
“He said, 'What is that?'
“I said, 'You are very unaware. You didn't ask me whether you are to include your thumb in that, because thumb is not a finger.'
“He said, 'Is it?'
“I said, 'Yes.' And I said, 'Do you know what these fingers represent to you? They represent the different star energies in your body. This little finger is Mercury. The ring finger is the Sun energy. This tall finger is the Saturn energy. And this one index finger is the Jupiter energy. And this is your ego, logical reason, ego.'
“He said, 'How is it the ego?'
“I said, 'When you become uptight with anything, become angry, start moving your thumbs. In two minutes, you will calm down. Work it out. You will be surprised. Just clap your hands like this and start moving your thumbs like this and you cannot be angry. Work it out. I can tell you a formula. I give you a Gur to practice. Gur means a formula. If you become very uptight and your feet start rattling, start moving your thumbs and you will be cool in one minute. You will forget what you were angry for. Practice it!'
“I was assisting in India at a mental hospital. I used to go and give them this exercise only. Keep on doing it all the time. Don't rest. Fifteen minutes. In days together, we found they started becoming people with understanding, talking. Now you say, 'America has had great research done. We have got a great many hospitals. Our every doctor is an M.D.” Ask him, 'What is it your thumb does?'
“He'll say, 'There is one bone with two joints and this muscle is called this and that muscle is called that.' That's all he knows about the thumb. He does not know at all that the thumb can just console you more than anything. It does console you when you are a baby. You suck it. Did you forget it? I know you forget it. That is the misunderstanding. We are unaware. We are totally a bunch of unaware people.
“A little child sucks his thumb and becomes consoled against food, against hunger, against insecurity. And we go to the doctor and he says, 'Yes, it has a nail. It is to protect the end of it. It has a joint. It has this bone. It has that. It has this flesh. It has that skin... and blah, blah, blah, and that is your thumb.' And if you get an injury, he's going to give you nursing and that is all he knows about it.
“But this thumb can change your entire personality, inside out and outside in, if only you know how to use it. It is a substitute for mother. It is a power and fear. It is a security and insecurity. It is a calmness against anger and all these powers flow through it. If your logical reason is weak, if you practice these thumb exercises, you can very rational and very logical. It can open your brain cells which are connecting your reasoning and logical powers.
“What should I tell you about a thumb? Put a thumb on a paper, and it becomes a thumb print. The thumb has lines which never change. Everything in the body changes, except these vibrations, these vibrations of the thumb. That is why they take your thumb prints very calmly and your finger prints. Every print can have little a b c and all that, but the thumb is not going to change. And the left thumb is so original that right from childhood, at two years, old age, it can have only expansion, but the lines shall be as they were on the birth. Do you know anything about that? Where you aware before today about the thumb? No.
“I have just taken one thumb of yours. Just understand how unaware we are. Here we are great. We are on the moon. And we go in the rocket every day. And we are making this, we are making that, not knowing this even and we want to save the entire world!
“Leaving this class, if anyone can give you this information I have given you on the thumb, I'll be their student! Any teacher in this universe today on this planet Earth, if they can give this much information on the thumb, I'll be his disciple.
“The growth of the nail on your thumb tells in proportion the power of life energy in you. The shape of the nail of the thumb will tell how effective you are in your life. And the colour of the nail of your thumb will tell what is the life frequency of the circulation of your blood. And the lines and the dots tell on the thumb nail your future events to come. Do you want anything more to know about your thumb? That much important is only the thumb and its nail to the man – and everybody claims himself to be a very aware person!
“Jupiter is a Guru – the index finger. When you point out somebody, you are one-pointed with it because it means the entire mind, the entire personality is behind it. Why? Because this is the Jupiter finger. The tallest of all is the Saturn finger. The greatest of all is your Sun finger on which your beloved puts a ring and you feel very happy about it. What happens to that ring? A ring on the Sun finger collects the Sun energy. It passes through the stone of that and converts the vibration of that energy, and passes it on to the body. That is why you should be very careful wearing a ring with a particular stone on the ring finger. It means a lot, a lot to the person and his destiny. And you call it a 'little finger'. It is Mercury. It controls your vibration. It controls your power to collect worldly wealth and do business – and you call it a little finger? It is not little. On this little finger, rests your entire happiness which is worldly. On this (Jupiter) finger rests your entire destiny which is spiritual.
“What a palmist does? He looks at your fingers, looks at the base of the finger, we call it the 'mount', and from those mounts, he says, 'This man is this. He's going to be this, this, this.' He tells about the child totally, predicts even his life, after seeing those mounts because he knows the mount is the base energy of that finger. And what the mount represents does represent what is to come out of this self, this life.
“I have not yet come to your palm. I am not talking about the hand at all. If every person for half an hour massages his hand very correctly and does not let any crystal grow on it, there is hardly any chance on this planet that he can be sick. Let us not talk of anything. Let us start with our basic fundamentals, because when you bless somebody, what do you do? 'God bless you!' Your hand goes in that direction like a dart. The hand projects something out of it. It is an antenna. It projects the entire power of your praanaa, and right is your Sun and hand and left is your Moon hand. When you see these holy people say, “God bless you!” they raise their hand. It is automatic with them. And if you really love somebody, you fold your hands. Your praanaa and apaanaa, eedaa and pingalaa will meet a central point of neutrality. You become neutral when you fold your hands – and God is neutral.
“You, dear ones, who have to have the knowledge of the Age to follow, the Age to come, we call it the 'Age of Aquarius'. We must understand beyond rituals what we know because Aquarius is 'I know and I believe', not 'I believe I know'. When you fold hands in prayer, you must know what you are doing. You are becoming at that moment a neutral energy, and neutral energy is God energy.
“It is Ong, not Om. Om is the absolute. Ong is the creativity of that absolute. There is a difference between 'g' and 'm'. There is no such Sanskrit word. You can't write 'Om Kaar'. There is no such thing. You have to write 'Ong Kaar'. Ong is the sound of creativity, which is the sound of the gong. Ong. There's energy in it. There's creativity in it, and Kaar is the universe.
“God is universe. Universe is God. That we have to understand. So every part of this supreme soul, aatmaa is parmaatmaa, parmaatmaa is aatmaa. Use any language. It doesn't matter. Talk in English. Talk in Sanskrit. Talk in French. It will come out the same thing. If I call a computer a great master computer and I call myself a unit computer, it is the same when I say aatmaa or parmaatmaa, only we look at it in this age time language.
“But look how aware the man is! He's fighting for the language. He's fighting for the political boundaries. He's fighting for the greed. So unaware is the man! One who does not know about his tongue, says he knows about the entire universe. This universe of ours is within us, and we cannot physically discover our universe, but the easiest way is to discover ourselves. If we can discover our Self within our self, there is nothing in this universe that will be unknown to us.
“But, you know, man wants a pill. Man will make everything, but he will never make a knowledge pill. Knowledge pill will never be available to the man because he has to learn the Gur, and he has to learn it from a Guru. And he has to become Guru to lead his destiny. To know the Gur and learn it from a Guru does not make any sense if you do not become Guru – because you have to be PhD, you have to do a doctorate. And when you do a doctorate, you write your own thesis.
“Who teaches you? Libraries? Are libraries your Guru? No disciple. You write your own thesis. You do your own research. All you have to do is submit it. And when you submit it, they will know it, they will assess it as good you will have it. And if not, when?
“There's a lot, a whole lot a man has to know. If he knows one thing – that he's part of that Ong, and that Ong is one, and he's the one to be one with the one – he has to know nothing. Otherwise, he has to know nothing everything. And if he knows he's the one of the one and he's the one to be one with the one, he has to practice it. And then he has to know nothing. Otherwise, he has to know everything. Time and again, time and again, he will go through this cycle.
“And this man has to decide within himself. And this is a very important moment of man's life when he decides. 'Man' includes woman in this statement of mine. He has to decide. Is he going to be what he ought to be within himself?
“After that, he can find ways and means that he'll be delivered. He'll be fulfilled. This fulfillment is known as 'nirvana', 'liberation', 'levitation'... You may call it anything. 'Higher consciousness', 'holy being'... They are all words that sound the same note. That means he's a man of higher consciousness and this consciousness has to be acquired by each man by unfolding himself.
“From a bud, one has to become a flower so that the smell, the fragrance can come out. And that is why one has to raise his kundalini for which we are very afraid because the books have been written on it. The bud may never become pregnant. The flower may wilt, but the bud had the fragrance. You can't deny that. And this unfoldment will come to those who fold their hands, become neutral, and learn the truth – because knowledge does not come to an egocentric. Knowledge is the rightful light of a humble being.
“Knowledge comes only to those who are humble. Truth only awakens in those hearts that are humble and sweet. The moment you become humble and sweet, you become conscious and you are consciously conscious that you are a great being. And great beings always have contact with great beings, so my soul, they have the contacts with the greatest of the great beings we call 'God'.
“And this is how we have to develop our personality, and that is why we chant 'Guru Guru Wha Guru, Guru Raam Daas Guru'. That is the purpose, that is the note behind it, and that is the tone behind it. And this light on which we meditate is the light within and the light without. We call it 'supreme consciousness' or 'God consciousness' or 'higher consciousness'.”
And for a time, everyone in the room resumed chanting to Guru Ram Das.
“Inhale deep, and relax with this breath to infinity and hear the sound of this mantra through your mental ears and this practice will make you perfect. When this mantra becomes yours, your finite world and your infinite heavens will become yours
“May his grace be your grace. May his light be your light. May you all be healthy, happy and holy. May your consciousness be united with that supreme consciousness through your sadhana, through your will, through your truth in it, which is the being in you which is seeking to be one with the One, that supreme being. Sat Nam.”
“May the longtime sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you guide your way on. May the longtime 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. Sat Nam.” --
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