Kundalini Yoga is Nonsecular part 4

by Gurumeet Kaur Khalsa, Monday, January 11, 2010, 17:25 (4652 days ago)
edited by Gursant Singh, Monday, June 13, 2011, 09:27

Following is part 4 of 4 of an e-mail exchange between Guru Sant and Gurumeet. (www.createinnerpeace.com).

January 7, 2010
Sat Nam, Guru Sant Singh Ji,
Thank you for sending your e-mail. I could not figure out what Siri Mukta was talking about in his e-mail, and I was very curious.

I remember reading Dr. Trilochan Singh’s book many years ago. I recall that he was of the view that yoga is a waste of time. On the other side of this debate, of course, to which I am often subjected, are our thousands and thousands of nonSikh Kundalini Yoga teachers, who love doing Kundalini Yoga but they are devout Christians or Jews or Buddhists, or Atheists, etc. and want nothing to do with Sikhism, objecting to the various requirements that they consider Sikhism, such as wearing a head cover when teaching. Yet, because of Yogi Bhajan’s teachings, they all sit gladly intoning Wahe Guru, and often even rise in the early morning to recite JapJi, because it is part of the practices of Kundalini Yoga.

I always understood Dr. Trilochan Singh’s point of view, and it made sense that he and other Sikhs would object to Yogi Bhajan’s style and audacity to teach Kundalini Yoga.

What they did not take into account is the fact that in the West, we simply had no idea of how to sit, how be still, or how to begin to meditate on Gurbani. Hundreds of years of sitting around on chairs had ruined our mental and physical disposition for having any hope of experiencing true Sikh Mysticism. In India, people naturally do a lot of yoga, simply sitting in Langar or going to the bathroom in crow pose or folding their hands in prayer pose to say hello. In the West, we would not have been able to appreciate Sikhism without some basic yoga. Of course if you ask Bibiji, she will give you hundreds of references to Kundalini Yoga in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib that validate what we practice and teach in Kundalini Yoga. The reason she pulled these references was because of another side of this debate which came up in Khalsa Council. Evidently there are some who were saying that Sikhs MUST practice Kundalini Yoga. She strongly objected, saying that the Guru’s path is clearly laid out in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib and there is nothing to add and nothing to take away. But then she went on to cite the references to Kundalini Yoga contained in the Guru’s verses.

So, we have these three positions:

1. Dr. Trilochan Singh – Sikhism No Yoga
2. Yoga Teachers – Yoga No Sikhism
3. Some in Khalsa Council – Sikhism Requires Yoga;

I do not understand why people feel the need to legislate each other. It is true that, as Dr. Trilochan Singh says, Yogi Bhajan could have come here as Harbhajan Singh and taught only about Sikhism. Of course, there would be no where near the number of people who have been awakened to the Guru’s teachings had he done that. Perhaps he taught Kundalini Yoga because he knew people needed some physical healing before they could possibly sit sill in Gurdwara to listen to Gurbani; perhaps he taught because he knew people would be drawn to yoga, whereas many others (like me) were so completely fed up with religion that we would never have come to a class on Sikhism, but we rallied to come to Kundalini Yoga; perhaps he taught Kundalini Yoga because he decided it was time for one a humble siddhi yogi to obey Nanak’s admonishment to the siddhi yogis that they come down out of the caves and teach people, help them to heal. For 500 years the yogis steadfastly refused, saying the common people could not receive the ancient secret teachings, until Yogi Bhajan came and taught the ancient technology openly to everyone. I am sure that you know that Yogi Bhajan not only took flak from Sikhs for teaching yoga, but he also took major flak from the yogis for teaching yoga openly to all, even to women, heaven forbid.

While my personal relationship with Yogi Bhajan was always pretty tumultuous, I appreciated the fact that he said don’t love me, love my teachings. The fact is, I loved the teachings and I am a pretty hard core Kundalini Yogi and have been teaching it to others, as well, for nearly 40 years. As Dr. Trilochan Singh says, it does help people in many ways and I have seen and experienced that first hand. When I look at you, Guru Sant Singh, you appear to be an excellent yogi quite naturally, and I hope I do not offend you by saying so, perhaps some people, such as yourself, are just born with that natural, divine grace. I know for sure that I am a yogi who was not born so, but I have worked hard to achieve becoming a mediocre practitioner, and very thankful, so that I can now sit still in Gurdwara and experience the anand.

I wish you well, Guru Sant, and consider you always, a part of our Sangat.


Gurumeet Kaur Khalsa

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“Amid the legal infighting following Yogi Bhajan’s death, critics are offering another portrait of the Sikh leader.”

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