Siri Singh Sahib, Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji...
brought the sacred science of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation to the West from India in 1968. He was born Harbhajan Singh Puri on August 26, 1929, in the part of India that became Pakistan in 1948. His father was both a medical doctor and a healer. Well respected in the village and known for her piety, Yogi Bhajan’s mother treated all of the young men in the village as if they were her own sons.
Led by his higher self, as a young man Harbhajan Singh visited every holy person in his village that he could find. He studied the spiritual teachings, scriptures, and technologies of all the religions of the world. He learned Kundalini Yoga with Master Sant Hazara Singh and he became a Master himself at the age of sixteen.
A star athelete in high school, Yogi Bhajan won top prizes in track events, served as captain of the soccer team, and played field hockey. While other athletes ran and did the usual physical training exercises, Harbhajan Singh did yoga, resulting in strength and stamina that made him a consistent winner.
India was partitioned in 1947, making it a time of great upheaval as hundreds of thousands of people resettled and many familieswere torn apart. At the age of 18, Harbhajan Singh took charge and led his family and over 7000 people from the surrounding areas to safety.
Harbhajan Singh attended Punjab University. He continued the athletic achievements begun in high school. He served in the Indian Army. After military service he worked for the Indian Government, until 1968 when he resigned to answer the call of his destiny and travel across the world to the West to serve as a Master Teacher of Kundalini Yoga and meditation.
Some in his circle warned him not to make the move. In their readings, astrologers saw suffering and hardship for Harbhajan Singh if he left India in September of 1968. Still, he followed the guidance of his higher self and he flew to Canada to take a job teaching yoga at the University of Toronto. The predictions proved correct; hardship soon ensued. His luggage was lost en route. He arrived with nothing but his Air India carry-on bag. The man who had hired him was killed in an auto accident just a few days before Harbhajan’s arrival. He had no job and no money, except for $35 the Canadian Government gave him. He accepted everything as God’s will. He got a job as a clerk in a bookstore. He ate day-old donuts softened in water, and wrapped newspapers around his thin shoes to keep out the extreme cold that is Canadian weather. He was hired as a nerve therapist at a yoga center.
Harbajhan was invited to visit Los Angeles for a weekend. He ended up staying. He met young people who wanted to experience God, and who oftentimes did so by using drugs to alter their consciousness. He gave his first public lecture in the United States on January 5, 1969, at the East West Cultural Center where he stated his firm conviction that it is the birthright of every human being to be “Healthy, Happy, and Holy.” Despite the centuries old taboo against teaching Kundalini Yoga publicly, Harbhajan Singh knew that it was the most effective technology he could share with the young people he met to heal their bodies and minds, and give them an authentic experience. The drug high was replaced by the more beneficial spiritual high—without without side effects. He told them he hadn’t come to gather students; he had come to train teachers.
In his Kundalini Yoga classes Yogi Bhajan—for that was what he was affectionately called—told inspiring stories talked about the virtues and values that would bring happiness. He made people laugh. He never criticized anyone. Though he told his students, “Don’t love me, love my teachings,” he touched the hearts of every seeker. A master of communication, his words resonated with those who heard them and were received. Whenever he spoke, each person felt he was talking directly to him or her.
Harbhajan Singh planted seeds that would grow into institutions and events that have blossomed worldwide, attracting thousands of people who embraced the 3HO—the Happy, Healthy, Holy—way of life. To provide a structure for the teachings, the 3HO Foundation was legally incorporated in California on July 29, 1969. Yogiji also founded KRI, the Kundalini Research Institute in 1971.
Yogiji went to Gurdwara every Sunday. A Gurdwara is a place of worship. Many of his students went with him. He was a devout Sikh, yet he never tried to convert anyone to follow the Sikh Path.
Yogi Bhajan encouraged his students to complete their educations and start careers. However, many of them could not get jobs because of their long hair and turbans, so he suggested they start their own businesses. Nanak's Conscious Cookery was the first business they started. Akal Security, Golden Temple, Khalsa International Industries and Trades (KIIT) soon followed with all the products now seen in stores worldwide—like Peace Cereals, Sunshine Oils, and Yogi Tea.
There is only one Mahan Tantric, Master of White Tantric Yoga®, at any given time. Yogi Bhajan became the only living Mahan Tantric when the former Mahan Tantric transitioned. Yogi Bhajan personally led this group meditation experience in cities all over the world until 1987 when he was able to transfer the workshops to videotape. He selected representatives to facilitate these courses, while his subtle body continues to direct them.
As a pioneer in Interreligious dialogue and an outstanding advocate of World Peace, Yogi Bhajan established the first interfaith International Peace Prayer Day in 1985. Thousands journey to the mountains of New Mexico every summer to take part.
The legacy of Yogi Bhajan continues. His teachings resonate especially in these times, as humanity goes through the process of evolution.
[Excerpted from Yogi Bhajan’s 75th Birthday Tribute presented on August 28, 2004, in Espanola, New Mexico, five weeks before his passing.]
The meditations in this book are a gift from Yogi Bhajan to all who wish to learn them. It is a gift of inspiration designed to serve the highest good of humankind. Though Yogi Bhajan was born into a family that practiced the Sikh religion, you do not have to be a Sikh to practice Kundalini Yoga. References to God are made in the general sense. When reference to God is made in a meditation, whatever name you give to God can be a substitute. After all, there is only one Source of all things.
Yogi Bhajan said of meditation, “We meditate because we want a clear mind. A clear mind can give you intuition and intuition can let you know the cause and effects.”
In his book, The Mind, he said, “We have the fastest and the most wonderful power—our own mind. It can take us to God. It can take us to ourselves. It can take us deep into our self or far out into the universe. When clean and open the mind can do anything that we want."