Blog: Yoga Path
by munificent

Quantum Yoga

Yogi Bhajan, life and times of Kundalini yoga

Date:   7/28/2005 8:54:34 AM   ( 17 y ) ... viewed 1252 times

Kundalini is considered the most comprehensive of yogas, combining meditation, prayer, physical practices and breathing exercises. “Kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved.” This poetic metaphor alludes to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us, and enables us to merge with – or “yoke” – the universal Self. Fusing individual and universal consciousness creates a divine union, called “yoga.” The Upanishads, Hindu’s sacred scriptures that date back to the fifth century B.C., describe Kundalini, although the oral tradition reaches back even further into history. For thousands of years, this sacred science and technology was veiled in secrecy, passed along verbally from master to chosen disciple.

Yogi Bhajan broke with this long-held tradition of silence. A master of Kundalini by the age of 16 – itself a rare feat – he held his first class at a Los Angeles high school gym on January 5, 1969. Then a 39-year-old recent émigré from India, he had left behind a lucrative governmental career with the vision of bringing Yoga to the West. No matter that not a single person was present that evening; he proceeded to teach to the empty hall.


In the turbulent, drug culture of the 60s, Bhajan first reached out to the youth. He recognized their experimentation with drugs and “altered states of consciousness” expressed a deeper desire to experience a holistic, liberating sense of awareness. Soon realizing that pharmaceuticals provided, at best, a cheap imitation to the peaceful, inner euphoria they could get naturally from Kundalini, and at worst, had debilitating physical and mental side effects, young people began flocking to his classes, arriving by the busloads. Soon 3HO teaching centers began springing up across the United States and then throughout the world.

He sparked a movement whose many tendrils have wound their way into our culture. Through 3HO, Yogi Bhajan blazed a trail. Today, after more than 30 years of determined effort on the part of this organization and others, yoga and meditation have gained widespread acceptance in the West. Witness the frequent feature articles that grace the covers of such publications as Time, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal. This popular attention speaks not only to the proven benefits of yoga and meditation, but to the increasing public interest in spirituality and a healthy diet.


Born Harbhajan Singh in what is now Pakistan to a family of healers and community leaders, Yogi Bhajan studied comparative religion and Vedic philosophy in his undergraduate years, going onto receive his Masters in Economics with honors from Punjab University. Years later, he earned his Ph.D. in communications psychology from the University of Humanistic Studies in San Francisco.

Over the past 32 years, he has emerged as a religious, community and business leader with a distinguished reputation as a man of peace, world-vision, wisdom, and compassion. He has authored and published more than 30 books on topics ranging from spirituality and consciousness to communication and psychology. He has founded several foods companies that manufacture and distribute natural products based on these teachings. He has fostered economic development in every community in which he participates, annually conducts business seminars, and has authored several books that provide guidance to both the aspiring entrepreneur and seasoned business executive alike. As the Siri Singh Sahib, or the Sikh leader in the Western Hemisphere, he has met with Pope John Paul II to discuss inter-religious dialogue and worked side-by-side with the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop of Canterbury to foster world peace.




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