Discussion about the Onership of Ancient Knowledge, in the Kundalini Yoga Yahoo Group. What Yogi Bhajan said and how he taught. This group was very active for many years, with teachers of 30 years comeing in and answering all kinds of questions. In 2014, it is barely in use. Almost no one is on it anymore. I captured this discussion because I found it interesting.
Ownership of ancient knowledge???
May 4, 2010 2:49 pm
As I'm finishing my KY Teacher Training I have been having a lot of doubts and confusion going on in my head. I'm really hoping that someone can clarify a few things for me, as I feel tortured by by own mind and I can't seem to be able to get back into flow of things.
1. What is exactly covered by the trademark of "KY as taught by Yogi Bhajan"? Is it kryias or routine or postures? As far as I understand this is an ancient science and has been around for thousands of years. How can someone put a trademark on something that has been around for a long time?
2. As yoga teachers we are not supposed to modify any kriyas, because those were put together thousand years ago and work together as a recipe, and at the same time I see there is one kryia in one of my books that states "sing "America the beautiful" while you do this". I'm sure America the beautiful wasn't even around at the time when kriyas were put together. And of course the "Long Time sun" song. So it means that YB modified the kriyas, which means that he is contradicting his own teachings. It is really been bothering me lately. Can someone please enlighten me as to why and how it is possible...
3. What I really want to know is: Where does the ancient science ends and YB begins? Which part of KY is ancient science and which part is YB?
I have many more questions, but if I only can get answers to these I would feel much better. Please forgive me if this have been asked before and if it has, please give me a link, as I have been searching all the archives and I can't find anything.
Thank you very much!
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
I think Yogi Bhajan acted in the best tradition of entrepreneurship, by repackaging the ancient lessons in the best way for this Aquarian transition in which we find ourselves. And there's nothing wrong with repackaging - that's what entrepreneurs do. As for trademarking and insisting on adhering to YB's presentation, that makes sense for most of us and for the general public. If new entrepreneurs want to repackage for an even newer audience, that would seem great to me, and for those that benefit from the newer approach. And if these new geniuses want to trademark their new approach, let them benefit from that method, and deal with the consequences of that path.
So, it's important to respect tradition and all its time-proven advantages, and to support creativity in new approaches to the old ways.
Just my opinion.
Re:Ownership of ancient knowledge???
As a non Sikh practitioner and teacher for the past 25 years I will see if I can shed some light on your questions and your take on the matter...
Yogi Bhajan DID add things like America the beautiful it seems to make it more palatable to America and he I believe created or shared these sequences based on his knowledge and intuition because he told it was a science AND an art. In 1999 Guru Dev suggested that I was not so fully integrated from doing JUST kundalini yoga so since 1999 I have studied quite avidly many other forms, which led to opportunities to TEACH other forms..
so this journey, as I continue to teach Kundalini with full devotion to Yogi B, has helped alot..to see perspectives/overlaps and differences etc.
I believe there are no absolutes but that each type of yoga honors its lineage by teaching as THAT teacher asked us too..and that those of us teaching are humans with our own things to work out etc...
I too have had students take the teacher training and come out with doubts as to the Sikh emphasis and other things..but this is the technology and these mantras and sequences work as they do..either you believe that or Kundalini does not work for you..if it does work for you just do what does work for you!
and as far as trademarking, tho 3HO did not approve my DVDs, which are specific sets as taught by Yogi Bhajan, they have allowed me to sell them and I do via most Kundalini folks except A-healing, who I still buy things from.
The longer you live the more you see that we are human, as Yogi Bhajan said, so my suggestion is to let your practice and teaching, if you desire to teach-which has got its challenges in itself-guide you.
SO people are still going to tell you absolutes and judge you but the main thing is..is your intention pure? are you honoring the teachings as best you understand them? are you elevating and inspiring, not coming from a place of spiritual ego? are you still seeking and learning and growing?
I was going to answer this to you only as I think it may be a touchy subject but Yogi B told us to have courage and caliber so I thought I would put out my experience from my truth on this..even if others tell you differently.
The pure teachings are amazing..and those who live it most purely project it, Sikh or nonSikh etc..yoga is about integration and that is what Yogi B did as he did things like add Long Time Sun, an intuitively beautiful choice, and keep Indian traditions in the practice while giving it a tone we can relate to.
I truly hope this helps
Serve, honor, obey, excel...Yogi B
and from me
Sat Nam and many blessings,
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
Sat Nam, Santjeet Kaur -
I understand your questions, and I have a fairly lengthy response to offer.
"Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan" is a synthesis, synthesized by one whom you might describe as a "Grand Master" of this art and ancient science for these times and the Aquarian future. Why would he do that? Why is necessary? Because all authentic human sciences are evolutionary and must evolve as humanity and human needs evolve. That's pretty simple.
Ptolemaic astronomy described predicted the positions of planets in their apparent motion as "epicycles" quite accurately. The only problem was that sometime after the Greeks, then Copernicus, Galileo others "discovered" ("realized"?) that our little corner of the galaxy is "solar centric" not "earth centric." Hence, an upgrade for all our systems of astronomy was in perfect order and necessity. Similarly, Raja Yoga is an essential aspect of Kundalini Yoga AND Sikh Dharma teachings, AND Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are definitely the most thorough "published" expressions of this timeless art. HOWEVER, Patanjali states that the proper Name of PURUSHA ("G.O.D.") is OM, and that repeated chanting of this Name (with proper awareness) will lead to Enlightenment.
Guru Nanak famously pointed out (and so did Yogi Bhajan), that since OM is Absolutely Formless, and we are in the finite realm of relativity and Form, you cannot, ever, ever "Get There From Here." In other words, as Patanjali "explained" Raja Yoga, it really CANNOT work. On the other hand, Guru Nanak NEVER used OM as a sacred sound in Gurbani. Neither do we, as kundalini yogis ("as taught by Yogi Bhajan"). We replace the Brahmin term OM with EK ONG KAR, wherein OM is grammatically transmuted (by the same rules of Sanskrit grammar) into ONG, AND in this expression of Infinity and Formlessness, "FORM AND FORMLESSNESS ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY SEPARATE, THEY ARE INSEPARABLE."
In this manner, the evolutionary narration and synthesis of Raja Yoga according to Guru Nanak, makes the "teaching" of Raja Yoga actually viable and useful for the very first time. The earlier (Brahmin, Vedic) teachings did not do justice to the actual practices of Sages, Rishis, Yogis for thousands of years. With Guru Nanak's "insight" Humanity, Language, and Teaching thus made a quantum evolutionary resolution of an ancient, previously unsolvable problem. "OUR" practices of Kundalini Yoga are consistent with Guru Nanak, and in this way different from many, many others schools and teachings of kundalini yoga now available in the world.
At the same time, IF Yogi Bhajan had not defied the Brahmin rules of secrecy about Kundalini Yoga, not one of us would have any knowledge of it (HE broke the seals and silence of a previously elitist, brahmin based "system of social and spiritual advantage" held for the dominant benefit of a "few" to the exclusion of ALL of us. That is one of the most profound steps forward that happened in all of the 20th century, right up there with Einstein, the discovery of DNA, quantum physics, etc. Without mastery of Kundalini (as the primordial "core" of all awareness and basis of all knowing) ALL OTHER SCIENCES WOULD BE SUSPECT, BECAUSE Kundalini is the basis of all human experience and knowledge.
So, this is what we mean specifically when we say "Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan." Any "Yogi Bhogey" can make any synthesis they want, and that would be called "kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhogey." That would be a different school, not THIS school.
Many questions on this website are somewhat "naive" from the frame of teaching that many of us received sitting at the feet of Yogi Bhajan, paying close attention, and practicing deeply for more than 40 years now. The one criticism I feel compelled to make about the Kundalini Yoga Institute (KRI) is that many, if not most of its newly trained teachers are not being fed the whole sandwich. I suppose this is because of an assumption (presumption) that most people in our society may not be ready for "the real nitty gritty" or subtle nuances of many of the teachings that Yogi Bhajan taught. I honor all the work that KRI has done, and it seems like a very good "high school education." But it's not a "master's degree" or a doctorate that KRI is offering.
I personally sat in all the same classes of Yogi Bhajan as did Gurucharan Singh (lead teacher of KRI), and so did many others of us (Guru Singh, MSS Krishna Kaur, Guruneil Singh, and many others) just to name a few of us who have dedicated our lives to practice and mastery of these teachings. Yogiji used to cite that Shakyamuni Buddha taught 84,000 different teachings of Enlightenment to satisfy the incredible variety of 84,000 types of humanity. Perhaps the KRI school needs to open its focus significantly in order not to become myopic to a narrow scholastic bent or approach of mind. This is difficult because KRI is the source of many teachers and also the Certifier of what the teaching standard is. I'm not sure that KRI would actually certify the real Yogi Bhajan today (in the way Yogi Bhajan actually taught all of us), in the same way that the Christian church establishment might reject Jesus as a defective possible church "member." Doctrinal dogma and over simplification is a real problem here.
Many of us have realized stages of mastery while working in restaurant kitchens, or construction work, or filthy factories, or dangerous security jobs. Whereas now the standard KRI audience seems to be conceptualized as "urban, upscale, sophisticated, college educated, and currently or formerly corporately employeed." By the evidence of questions on this site alone, somehow we're currently producing a school of yogis that often seem to have more wit than grit. In another area, KRI is often not offering the teachings of relationship and sexuality in the breadth and depth that Yogiji taught us originally. I know this personally because I was personally coached in a very challenging marriage for almost 19 years, and living a marriage is much different than talking about it, in the way I'm hearing about it today in our various publications.
Teachings are being sanitized and made palatable for school children and the affluent middle class. These are both very worthy audiences but combined they make up only a very limited segment of the total humanity. The teachings have to be spoken to the audiences we're in front of, and there are many important audiences that are not being reached by our current rather narrow focus, in my opinion. So, personally, I tend to reach to audiences and focus on aspects of the teaching of Yogi Bhajan (that I experienced directly from) that others are not currently addressing. Otherwise who will preserve these other aspects of the teachings?
So my complaint about the current state of teaching Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is that whoever YOU learned from apparently is not adequately available to you for asking this very question in order to receive a really competent answer. So that you can be satisfied in the way in which you learn and grow personally. I might not be that helpful to you, but someone else might be. But as a teacher I also know that there are many people that I DO reach in the way in which I personally have come to teach.
There is a problem here, not in the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, but in the way his teachings are currently being taught as a more limited model for (apparently) greater comsumer acceptability, whereas the real and actual practices of Kundalini Yogis who are actually mastering the art, are not necessarily very "CONSUMER FRIENDLY" and may require much more work and a much different attitude than most "consumers" are willing to extend. John Dillinger said he robbed banks becaue "That's where the money is." I suppose one reason we like to offer the teachings to consumer audiences is out of compassion, that the consumer lifestyle is probably becoming a stereotypic dead end, but also probably because consumers have more money that allows yoga teachers to support themselves. But if the standards of consumerism limit the scope of what and how we teach, then OTHER channels and venues of teaching are deeply needed in order to deliver "the whole enchilada" (in a composite, collective way) of what Yogi Bhajan really taught.
These statements are somewhat of an open challenge and manifesto directed at KRI to expand itself into more openness and rigor in dealing with the needs of its students for crossing the "terrible world ocean in our times." Less of a presumption that the KRI way is the singular gold standard of the correct way and the only correct way. There must be more realism, in regard to what real practitioner actually received and practiced in the guidance of Yogi Bhajan's mastery. And it appears to me that naivete about that is creeping in. So I am concerned - not that Yogi Bhajan was not a master exponent of Kundalini Yoga (as you suggest) but rather that you have not been provided with the proper framework and tools for asking a better question. That is not your fault, it's a shortcoming in the direct way you were taught, and of those who taught you, and did not provide for you a personal channel in which you could dialogue and learn.
On this website there are very often many questions like "What KRIYA or MANTRA should I use to fix this or that SYMPTOM of my life that I don't like?" I read this kind if question all the time, which to me seems very similar to the allopathic/pharmaceutical symptom chasing medical model - "what pill should I take so that the doctor can fix me?" Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is a very different kind of model for causality, wherein "if one manages the causes properly, and one does not cause "Negative Causes" then the results will all be positive" and eventually negative effects will never arise again. But we naively assume (in a very consumer-like way) that there must be some secret kundalini "button" that we can find and learn to press in order to get what the ego wants. And if it doesn't happen, it must be because the system doesn't work.
I sincerely wish that you could have more realistic and insightful opportunities to ask questions like the ones you've raised, because an email based, blog-like forum like this is really not an adequate venue to provide the satisfaction you really need and obviously would like to receive. But this problem pervades all education when education gets reduced to simply knowing the right answers without having the skills of critical thinking, investigation and discovery of verifiable insights via personal experience and self-awareness, and responsibility for our own karmic conditions. I would suggest that if we possessed and used these skills of critical thinking, investigation, discovery, and a deeper sense of owning our own quotients of knowledge and ignorance, we could answer truly most of our own questions, or consult more effectively with those who could help our needs specifically. Yogiji once said that generally questions of "WHY?" tend to be childlike ("childish"?), and perhaps ultimately unanswerable. Whereas a competent adult will ask "WHAT? and "HOW TO?" and then get the job done.
I'm not scolding you or anyone for doing the very best that you can do with the teachings that you happened to have been provided, but I do have a certain sense of scolding or criticism for the teachers who are not teaching you better. We have a lot of work to do in order to synthesize the vastness of Yogi Bhajan's teachings in order to provide adequacy and satisfaction in your capacity to practice and live these teachings.
Perhaps this is more than enough for now. Others may see it differently - that's what makes real life so wonderful. I hope that you might find at least some benefit in what I've shared.
for many Blessings,
Krishna Singh's Bio this site
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
Yes, I was very much afraid that by asking this question I would get some of the "Kundalini Snobbism" attitude like "we are so much better because we are the Original Ones", and "my teacher is better than yours" and I will try to not let it get to me... And even though I don't exactly appreciate this kind of an attitude, I can see how some people like to view themselves better ("more enlightened", "aware", "better taught" etc) than others. We are all humans. And it's OK.
And for those who answered my questions thank you very much, I really appreciate your responses and your kind attitude and support. The reason we grow as human beings is because we are asking WHY and can lean on each other for support and understanding without fear of being judged. This is what I expect from a community of a spiritual human beings who bring light and love to our world overflowing with negativity.
But back to my questions, as I understand, most of what we are learning are the teachings from the ancient yogis, repackaged by YB. Which I don't have a problem with - I think there are many highly enlightened human beings who brought forward the ancient teachings and I think Yogi Bhajan was a highly enlightened human being who was able to adapt and modify ancient technology to somewhat fit our modern times.
But what is bothering me is that why YB thought that he was "aware enough" to modify the technology but none of his student would ever be able to reach that level??? Why did he assume that Yogi Bhajan can acheive Mastery of KY, and Yogi Bhogey, who sat at Yogi Bhajan's feet and have been practicing KY religiously and with full devotion for 50 years would never be able to? You would think after 50 years of practicing KY one would be able to master the technology to be able to change it to adapt and grow according to the modern times, no??? Or did YB practiced something different to achieve his mastery??? Or was his teacher better? Why is that OK for one highly enlightened human being to do something and not for another??? Why was he trying to make everyone believe that we would never achieve that level??? It feels like some sick form of spiritual cast system - you can never be as good as I am.
Please humor me...
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
Dear Elena, Sat Nam -
The answer is in your own question if you re-arrange the premises. Yogi Bhajan never intended to limit anyone's mastery in defining what "he" taught as "Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan." He assumed deep responsibility for what he taught in exactly the way he taught it. On the other hand, you are quite willing to teach "Kundalini Yoga as taught by Elena" if you want. If you feel a calling to do that. However those teachings that you might would align with "Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan" is something that can only be understood after the fact. His way of diligence is simply being clear about where you're coming from. And some day there might be thousands of websites about your teachings - no problem.
But his teachings were a unique synthesis, just like a recipe for, say, an angelfood cake. But you have to be precise to make an angelfood cake, don't slam the oven door while it's rising. All kinds of directions and precautions if one wants the ingredients you pay good money for to yield the result of an angelfood cake.
We could have "Lake Wobegon Yoga as taught by Garrison Keillor," where every yogi is above average and every wish will definitely come true. But I'm fairly certain the reality where I'm living is not "that" universe. I happen to be from Oregon, not Wobegon, so that yoga just would not appeal to me. :)
Instead of carping criticism of Yogi Bhajan for having defined clearly and responsibly the scope of what he was doing and teaching and for providing a vast body of teachings that are all coherent and true to that purpose, I would suggest honoring his definitions as a good and reliable place for us to return again and again, this is real greatness in teaching. And for learning in your own way for mastering whatever it is you are meant, intended and created to master. That was a beautiful and honorable service that "could" benefit you, if you're able to see it that way. It was definitely not "a sick form of spiritual cast system." That's a very wrong view of what actually happened. But as he once said, people do throw stones at the sun, and sometimes they return by hitting us on our own heads. But that's not the fault of the sun, or gravity, or the earth. That's just what happens.
Try re-arranging your own premises. He truly wanted you to be 10 times greater than he was. If you see that as a put down, that is not his creation. For better or worse, it is your own, as may you wish to express yourself.
Whether you feel I am humoring you well or badly, my suggestion is that you are also projecting issues that weren't contained in the original source experiences. We also learn by sorting and sifting the wheat from the chaff.
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
I believe that many of Yogi Bhajan's students have achieved mastery. Teachers in art keep their place. A master teacher once told me, (When I asked her why my Russian teacher was yelling at me and getting angry,) "That's to show that he's still the teacher." You will probably find other cultural differences that you don't agree with...I did. In one of the chakra books, I felt there was a lot of sexism, so I gave that book away. American women are treated very differently than women in the East. In many of those countries, "the man is king." Male dominance is accepted. In America, we have a lot of female dominance! We have a different consciousness. The kriyas have still really helped me heal, especially on an emotional level. Teachers, (even master teachers,) are human. I think he followed his intuition as far as the music, etc. That's what an experienced teacher will do as an artist. But, he was highly trained and disciplined first! This happens with a lot of syllabus work. People start to argue about it and interpret it differently. Then it becomes like religion. You can just do the kriyas and see how you like the results. They are very powerful and effective.
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
I love that you are asking these questions! I have thought the same thing before. I am not Sikh and practice my sadhana sometimes with a set or meditation, sometimes with a Hatha Yoga practice and sometimes with a walk for my dog. I practice what works in my life. If I am feeling out of balance emotionally, Kundalini Yoga works best for me at what ever time of day I can fit it in. I have felt judged sometimes by new Kundalini teachers at trainings because I don't always go to early sadhana, but never by the old timers. I told a Sikh friend that I was not a very devout kundalini yogi, because I don't get up every morning at 4am, take cold showers ect. He said to me " No you are devout. Any time you worship God is a good time." I appreciated the loving kindness of his words! If I am teaching a workshop I do honor the as taught by Yogi Bhajan recommendation. I do teach the teachings as passed down and I am eternally grateful for YB's gift to us. I just do what I can do with the most love and integrity I have to offer.
I have been teaching KY for 8 years and have gained much from the practice, as have the students I teach. I know it is powerful. During a two hour meditation in teacher training my kundalini shoot through the roof. It was an amazing experience that I value, but would not be want induce again. It's always been curious to me why this happened to me. A very intuitive friend told me she had a kundalini rising experience on her own in her 20s and she thinks that my kundalini was already rising before I went to my first training. I am also very heat sensitive and have ended up in the hospital with sodium loss or hyponatrimia at both of the trainings I attended in New Mexico, even though I don't drink excessive amounts of water. This has also happened in other places if it is very hot out, but is worse in dry heat. I can avoid the need for an iv.
She thinks I may have a dosha imbalance, and recommended an aryurvedic consult with a Dr. in india who is familiar with kundalini energy, but it would be quite costly. The allopathic Dr. I went to about it just told me to eat more salt in the summer time, because I have low blood pressure. This works and I just don't spend time outside for long when it is very hot. I have to be super careful in the summer when it's over around 83 degrees. The intuitive friend also said she thought the heat condition had to do with my kundalini energy ( I'm not so sure about this) I understand all things are related and it is possible that the condition started out with an energetic cause, but my intuition tells me there is a physical component that has not been discovered, even if it came second.
I am going to go to another Dr. who is an Md., but is also very open minded about looking into alternatives and is getting great reviews locally for sussing out difficult to diagnose conditions. I am just putting all of this out there to see if anyone has any "take" on it and I liked Elana's questions!
I think it is healthy to ask questions and have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion. If anyone wants to give me their two cents about the heat thing and or my friend's ideas about it, or anything else I would appreciate it.
Miri Piri Kaur
Sat Nam, Elena,
I don't think it was Krishna Singh's intention to be snobby. His response was actually a pretty objective assessment of the amount of time and authentic teaching is required to truly master something like Kundalini Yoga - as taught by Yogi Bhajan. I think you will find a lot of humility in his caveat that unless one is a "grand master," it is not recommended to change the teachings of a grand master. Those of us who were blessed to spend much time with Yogi Bhajan, and many years with the practice of Kundalini Yoga, may indeed have achieved some degree of mastery in some areas. But we also have the remembrance of how far beyond anything we could have imagined were the powers of insight, the high art " science of union lived with authenticity in every moment by Yogi Bhajan.
Imagine, if you will, that you could stare into the eyes of someone who knows the unknown, who can read the aura of anyone(s) and relate where they had been, where they are going - and how to prevent where they are going if it is very karmic. Imagine someone who travels through subtle body in the Amrit Vela to check in on thousands of souls - who, in the depths of compassion, occasionally chooses you to call at a moment of challenge to offer the right "door" or encouragement. (And you can't even imagine how he knows what you are thinking since he is thousands of miles away). Imagine a Self of such selflessness that he ceaselessly travels and teaches, continually channeling not only yogic teachings and wisdom - but the kind of advice that makes everyone in his presence feel that he knows their own soul and mind as if it were his own - a teacher and father who has become the beat of your own heart because the degree of spiritual "intimacy" is so profound. Frankly, I don't know any student of Yogi Bhajan's with that degree of mastery or selflessness.
And I like to use Yogi Bhajan's own examples/stories as an indication of how we should proceed. When Yogi Bhajan's teacher told him (at the age of 16, I believe), that he was now a master himself - that there was nothing left that he could teach him...Yogi Bhajan's response was, "You will always be my teacher." He bowed to the very "institution" of teacher. Rather than tout the role of a teacher as a glamorous thing, he compared it to being the "mule" that everyone wants to ride to their own destiny.
Personally, I would recommend watching as many videos of Yogi Bhajan's teaching youtubes as you can. Decide for yourself from what heights he
is accessing and sharing information and caring. Then answer for
yourself, "Who is in a position to 'edit' Yogi Bhajan?"
There are questions that come from the intellect - that can only
be answered from the intuition.
Enter that space within yourself for the answer,
Harbhajan Kaur's Bio this site
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
Dear Everyone, Sat Nam!
Whether we know it consciously or not, we probably all live in this question, which is answered over time as we practice and teach the technology.
The teachings offered to us by Yogi Bhajan are a million faceted diamond. Different facets get the attention of different people. I will share some of the facets that shine into my consciousness.
1. I observed that Yogiji held the space of love while he was teaching. Simply being in his presence was transformational. For me this is one of the most important 'as taught by Yogi Bhajan' principles. I work daily on cultivating this quality as a teacher. And this is a most important focus in my teacher training courses.
2. I also observed that Yogiji did the various kriyas, meditations, etc. to get an effect, to create a shift in the energy and to produce an expansion or awakening of consciousness. Since he was a master at monitoring and participating in creating shifts in our energy, he saw when to complete an exercise. He gave us times to guide us in the process of creating transformation. But the principle of monitoring shifting energies still holds. For example, when I do a meditation, I don't automatically stop when the timer goes off. If I haven't yet gotten to the feeling that wish to attain I continue until I 'feel it.'
3. We can only cultivate our personal experience and find answers to our questions by actually practicing the technology. I remember one of many classes where we had to move our arms up and down in front of our body. It was exhausting and everyone wanted to quit. He told us "Do it now or next lifetime. I can't do it for you. You have to do the work yourself."
There were so many things that Yogi Bhajan taught that seemed like great ideas. After decades of daily practice, the understanding of what he was saying continues to awaken and deepen in my consciousness. Yogiji offered thousands of students personal touchstones to live by. I will share one of mine. The first question I ever asked Yogiji was "How do you experience God?" He gruffly replied, "Relax and feel it. That is what I did." I am still working on that one. And honestly, there was a period of time that I forgot the question and the answer. But it reappeared to continue to teach me.
Live in this question (and in whatever question you wish to ask,) and enjoy discovering the answers. Remember to deeply listen.
Guru Rattana's Bio on this site
Dear Guru Rattana,
What you say here, by my experience is True, True, True!
I particularly enjoy Yogi Bahajan"s quote of how to experience God--"Relax and feel It!"
Lots of Love,
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
It seems that the question is a bit in the direction of "why YB thought that he was "aware enough" to modify the technology."
Here is a website that has a synthesis of what Yogi Bhajan taught, from the core perspective of "One Star Spirituality"
of Advaita Kundalini-yoga. luthar.com/kundalini-yoga
and this page Sitemap of Pieter's Articles on Non-duality by Pieter .
You get this one thing and everything else will be added to you. You understand and experience this one Teaching and the understanding of all the volumes of Teachings Yogi Bhajan brought forth will emerge from you like spokes from the hub of a wheel.
If you read some of the articles and talks Yogi Bhajan gave, he states that in a short period one can have the Mastery, the experience of " Pradupati / Crystallization," wherein you've achieved the goal of yoga, which is the "Isolation of the Seer," the abiding in the Self, the " I Am That I Am" the pulsing of the " I as I" without a me, mine, this or that associated, the Substratum.
But it requires proper practice.
With proper understanding of how to practice and then adhering to that practice within a short period of time body's nadis begin to radiate (this is a practical experience that emerges with proper practice), and as the amperes of voltage increase - like a light bulb, where the voltage is increased and the light-bulb goes from being dull, then a speck of light on the filament, then light filling the bulb, then filling and lighting the area around it - with practice, the sense of identity begins to shift from the clinging and gripping focus of " I am the body, its emotions, its thoughts, its relations to an external world" to " I am a field of self radiant consciousness." Your whole body radiates and with your eyes open or closed, you experience the radiance through the body and within a field around you (the Radiant Body).
As this field becomes brighter and more pervasive and penetrative, it begins to outshine the body and thought emotion images of the mind, and a sense of goodness, virtue and purity pervade through the light, a sense of being engulfed by grace, where the idea of separateness begins to lose meaning. Then suddenly something new happens. With the mind becoming pure and clear, it suddenly reflects the source of the light, and you become aware of yourself as single all pervasive being. The Experience of " I am Consciousness Itself." Uncaused, unconditioned, timeless, space-like Being. And yet, you go around all your previous activities, only now with a force of creation pouring through you, a you that has dissolved into pervasiveness of an " I as I" which no longer sees differences, has a clarity and depth to judge, but has relinquished judgment.
As a result, you awaken to who Yogi Bhajan is. Now you have started the Path, the Way, and as these experiences deepen, there arises a force of Knowledge, an intuitive clarity regarding Yogi Bhajan and what he taught. It's a bit like starting up a mountain path, and at every fork in the road, or obstacle, there appears Yogi Bhajan with the Teachings, which direct you further.
When you read through the articles in the website, and you practice the basics (using KRI sets), you begin to understand the uniqueness of the Path of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, and also why proper practice adhering to the Teachings creates a sort of " harmonic resonance," where the convergence of different aspects of the Teachings brings you quite immediately to the experience he said is at hand, simultaneously imminent and immanent.
This is an experience that once you have it, the abiding in and as your True Self, as single pervasive Being, it can't be lost. A sudden Grounding from which and within which Knowledge, intuition and understanding continue to deepen. Part of that Knowledge (Gyan-akal) is the understanding of the harmonic resonance that is inherent in the way that the Teachings (as taught by Yogi Bhajan) are practiced, versus a incongruity and fuzziness of experience when proper practice isn't adhered to.
Maybe it's better said, "Kundalini Yoga, as brought forth by Yogi Bhajan" as he never claimed to be the author or inventor of the Teachings. He just said here are the Teachings, practice in this way and you will have this harmonic resonance, this electric radiance, and abide as Sat Nam, the True Man, True Woman.
Maybe it might be better that rather than question if the teachings can be taught some other way, etc., to first practice them as taught, learn and understand the proper practice and adhere to that, i.e., " Keep Up" and see what happens. In fact when you read what Yogi Bhajan is saying, he's just saying that: to Try it, get into it, do it, and see what happens, before going off to say that maybe practice can be put together differently. Then once you have this Pradupati, this Crystallization, this abiding in your single all pervasive Self essence, as the substratum, the Tao / Way Itself, then you can consider if there should be some different approach, Way, etc.
You'l be surprised. With practice comes That experience, and it is suddenly there. But you need to practice in a way that you not only practice, but you try to figure out consider and understand what the practice is. Yogi Bhajan never said to just practice blindly, but to practice with a sense of Consideration, which is also how he said he practiced. To know and understand what the Teachings are, how and why they work, with you as the ginnie pig or the experiment. It's a Science of the Soul. To get at what this sense of single all pervasive Being is. You read the scripture of the different religions to try to figure it out. The yoga practice, postures, breathing, movement, shabad resonance, cause the body and mind to radiate, and with that radiance combined with inquisitiveness into who and what you are, comes hearing and remembrance, like coming out of a fog or an amnesia. Suddenly, you are awake!
But this awareness, this Singularity is like a graviton drawing the mind inward, as though an inexorable force of inquiry and abidance has taken hold, while at the same time, a sun of radiance pours through the atoms of body and tonality of the mind. Before you were experiencing a sort of " my radiance" a sense of identity that you are not just the body and mind, but a field of radiant intuitive consciousness. Then suddenly, as Yogi Bhajan describes, " Impact!" and that field of consciousness is realized to have its source and sense as an identity, in vastness: uncaused, unconditioned, beginningless vastness. Your identity as a candle, suddenly becomes the Sun. And there you are. Here we are.
What does Guru Nanak say? "It's a Treasure which none can imagine." Naturally, we have an affinity and drawing towards it, because we are each an eminence of the Truth, like a bubble on the ocean. But the form of the bubble cannot imagine the ocean, and then it is the ocean, and That's that, like the song of Guru Sing and Seal: "I am that I am, and that's that."
The greatness of these Teachings, however casually, yet inexorable and relentlessly, they were taught in YMCA's and people's homes, parks, mountain settings, can only be realized by starting to practice and figure them out and use the expanding and pervading and penetrating radiance of prana / apana - active and passive, as a way to penetrate into the meaning and experience of remembrance just there in the scriptures of the various religions. Then suddenly, it hits you like a flash and you say "I got It" - and that's it. It can't and won't leave you. You know who and what you are.If you have the situation to have practiced various yogas, hatha yoga, raja yoga, this and that yoga, and then you come upon the Kundalini Yoga that Yogi Bhajan, as a result of his own experience could reveal, and you practice, you'll just say " WOW!" What a real science, a real technology of the body mind and soul. Not something vague, mysterious, secret, " mystical" etc. Very straight forward. Practical. You do this and THAT happens. That's what Yogi Bhajan was saying so many times.
Just an aside. Many of these sets and Kriyas are said to bring about certain experiences. And if you practiced the set with Yogi Bhajan there, the experience he would tell you about would happen. But some practice and they don't get the experience, and so they say that the mentioned experience was just a kind of hype. But if you practice properly all these experiences happen.
So before thinking of working out some other way to teach Kundalini Yoga, as laid out by Yogi Bhajan, just try what he was teaching, figure it out, and see what happens. There's a harmonic resonance. Suddenly, the seeming diversity all comes together. Your own expanding and deepening radiance causes a disengagement of identity to emotionally charged thoughts and images. Then, suddenly, inertia disappears altogether.
We live an existence in which we always feel a sense of clinging and attachment, of grasping and holding to thoughts sensations, etc. Even the emergence of one's awareness of one's self as a field of radiant consciousness is an identity we hold. But suddenly something we could only conjecture about happens, a remembrance, and with THAT the inertia, the holding, clinging, attachment, is gone.
Ek Ongkar, Sat Nam. That's THAT.
Hope this helps.
Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
Sat Nam Pieter and All,
Thank You for your reply!! What an exquisite way to describe the experience of the practice!!!! Sometimes words for a the spiritual, experiential, and yet scientific and practical expansion of consciousness brought on by the teachings can be a challenge. Your description of the process that takes place was beautifully done. I like the point about staying with the teachings, because I do see there are many ways to experience the, I am that I am in the all, and staying with one recipe long enough to "get it " has great value. There is no other practice that I have been involved in that has the same effect. I still enjoy practicing other yogas, but I always keep up Kundalini as "bought forth" ( I like that) by Yogi Bhajan, because it's just WOW!!
With Love, Miri Piri Patty
May 8, 2010
Subject: Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
I do agree with one post - why hasn't your teacher training helped you with these questions?
Somewhere on my path, I stopped needing so many explanations about Yogi Bhajan and everyone else. I have also stopped needing prescriptive meditations (although they can be fun to do anyway). I just do a kriya and Aquarian Sadhana everyday if I can, and there are no more questions and all my problems are eventually solved. My answers don't come from books trademarked by anyone, they come from the time I spend in meditation from my own being and Higher Self.
Maybe it is time to stop asking everyone else and listen to yourself. The
answers are right there but you have to trust that you are capable of having
such perfect knowledge and awareness.
Sundari Satnam Kaur
Subject: Re: Ownership of ancient knowledge???
The whole purpose of the practice of radiance inherent in Kundalini Yoga practice is to bring one's frequency and voltage into attunement with the ever free unconditioned source of all power, even the substratum and source of the radiance we develop through practice.
Thus, there is an ultimate power, which is to get linked to the source of Being, Consciousness and Power Itself (Shakti/Love/Creation). For that you need to also read scripture and try to figure it out.
What most people don't seem to realize is that Yogi Bhajan, while teaching Kundalini Yoga, was speaking about and referring God and stories about God, the Saviors and Saints constantly.
Scripture, whether Christian, Buddhist, Hindu (Vedanta), Sufi, Sikh, all has in it, between the stories of the lives of the Saviors and Saints and their non-dual teachings, an inherent Truth that the Self of each one's self "hears." Kundalini Yoga is a very quick way to enable practitioners to "hear" the Truth, and it happens spontaneously.
You can get books of Ramana Maharshi, various Vedanta Texts, Tulsidas' Ramayana, the Bagavad Gita, the Ashthavagara Gita, the Ribhu Gita, the Avadut Gita, and there are many Buddhist texts, such as the Diamond Sutra, the Heart Sutra and so many others of Buddha, as well as texts of the Zen Patriarchs, such as Faith Mind of the Third Zen Patriarch. There are also so many Christian Texts, with references to the Bible, such as Confessions of St. Augustine, the Tresis of St. Thomas Acquinas, the books of Meister Echheart, as aids, together with non-dual texts of other Religions, to get into the meaning and Teachings of Christ, which are really all a radical form of sudden enlightenment.
A number of Tibetian books are helpful as well, such as Naropa, Marpa the Translator, Milarepa, the 100,000 Songs of Milarepa, Tibetian Secret Doctrines by Evans Wentz. I was reading all these books as inherently part of my Kundalini Yoga practice to try to figure it out. I was also reading the Jaap Sahib of Guru Gobind Singh, the Japji, the Anand Sahin, and considering the meaning of the many Shabads and the lives of the Sikh Gurus themselves.
The reading and consideration for yourself the meaning and implications of what is written in Scripture is implicit to every practice. Without the Scripture, it's like getting in a car and revving up the engine but not finally putting the car in gear. Something needs to trigger the flow of Consciousness inward back to Its source. Then the limited outward perspective and flow of attention suddenly becomes unlimited, so that even attention is abandoned. Attention is like using a flashlight to see this and that in a dark room, but when the windows are opened and the light of the sun is revealed, the focus of attention, in the flashlight is dispensed with. Let's just say that we use the flashlight to find the windows and open them. Then That's that. Yogi Bhajan always spoke about God in all his classes, because THAT was the trigger. Ultimately Kundalini Yoga needs to be taught in his way, where the "trigger" is included, so that practice is not just revving up one's engine and then nothing...
The energy related problems sometimes mentioned from practicing are all because the radiance has to finally impact the source, which is Infinite. Then "Impact!" and your bright candle becomes the Sun, and all the pressures and energy cysts and other physical and mental pressures resulting from intense practice, just vanish. You are no longer the generator of the power, you awaken to realize that who and what you really are is Power Itself, and That Sun of shear Power is discovered to be the Light of your life, the Substratum of the manifestation of the body and mind, Creation Itself. At once, you relinquish attention to the flows of energy and abide as single, all pervasive uncaused, beginningless Being, Consciousness. You abide in a state of relinquishment, non-attachment. All these sorts of words will suddenly have meaning, a meaning you will feel in a way that happens instantly at the moment of "Impact" "hearing" "Awakening."
There's also a matter of proper practice, which includes recognition of the active and passive aspects of practice of each Kundalini yoga exercise, kriya and set, without which the intent of the practice is not fully realized nor the energy generated resolved within the system. And there's the need to be aware of and experience the prana AND the apana, where quite often, the apana aspect of the practice is forgotten, resulting in an inability of the body to absorb the prana. The result is that the higher centers, which are very delicate do not open and the energy forms cysts in the lower areas the torso that can result in a weakening of health, emotional imbalance, etc. So, proper practice of the basics is necessary.
The whole area of the spine, shoulders, neck, the brain stem and the brain needs to have this experience of dissolving expansion of radiance where you should feel a decontracting, a disengagement of pressure and tension and focus into pervasiveness. You might say it's like having on the one side 2 magnets that always snap into each other, versus 2 magnets that constantly repel. Then imagine a sense of inward repelling or disengagement of tension throughout the body, the shoulders, neck and head. Many people practice and try to focus the sense of energy in the head, but when you direct attention through the body down to the legs, knees and lower body, you will discover that the upper body, neck and brain begin to decontract, allowing a greater flow of pervasive radiance.
This is why Yogi Bhajan mentioned that the energy needed to be brought down, not up. Then you will feel yourself shining like a sun, where you radiate without a focal point, without attention having a source in the brain. You will feel the singular absorption into pervasiveness. What happens then is that the Sun in the Spiritual Heart begins to shine, and the sense of "I" relative to thoughts diminishes and you abide in the Spiritual Heart ("Ik Tar") (not the Anahata chakra), which you discover to be all pervasive. Suddenly, you pause into timelessness. The "I" pulsing and reverberating throughout space, as its source.
The chakras have in them aspects of Consciousness, such as love, compassion, but also eventually inwards reflection into the source of seeing and knowing. But all these are only triggered when you try to figure out what is being said in Scripture. Suddenly, while you are reading and trying to figure out and understand the scripture, they all turn on by themselves. A different kind of Radiance is felt penetrating through the body and mind, because you are so intent in trying to "hear" the meaning of the scripture. And, what's more important, is that they stay on without practice. Surely, one will naturally keep practicing, but the practice has other intents after awakening, but the awakening doesn't leave you, and you become inexorably drawn into the abiding sense of pulsing of the "I as I."
Baba Ram Dass once said, back in 1968, that you could be on a subway in NYC standing next to a fully enlightened Buddha and probably not know it. It's this pulsing of the "I", an inward reverberation that has no sound, but has the effect of dissolution of the mind and body into space-like all pervasiveness of a Singularity, behind which is the Infinite, Timeless Substratum. The Nameless Name. The thing is that It's always there, always here. Immanent / Imminent.
Who we each are is beyond the radiance, but the experience of Radiance dissolves the intensity of identity and attachment to emotionally charged thoughts, impressions, predispositions and tendencies. With the reading of these texts, there arises an inward sense of remembrance, of recollection. All the religions mention this as the beginning of realization. Hearing, Recollection, Abiding. These terms are used throughout the teachings of Christ, Buddhism, Hinduism (Vedanta) and Sikhism. This "hearing" is the moment of "Impact" that Yogi Bhajan mentioned, the beginning of the soul's Crystallization (Pradupati). All his teachings and the teachings of all the Religions is to get to THAT innate Self, which is who and what we are. Single all pervasive being, unconditioned, uncaused, timeless.
With Crystallization (Pradupati), one starts as an opaque diamond which through practice becomes clear. Nevertheless, right from the beginning, i.e., when yoga or union happens, an inexorable process sets in, where one knows and abides in the Truth.
But many practice Yoga and don't even know about the "purpose of Yoga" which
is stated clearly in the very beginning of the Yoga
Hope this is useful.
Regarding establishing one's self, as a Teacher, starting people off with what I wrote above may not be conducive to getting many people in the door. But later, as you have this experience, which is also brought about because, as a Teacher, you connect subtlety to the source of the teachings, i.e., the Creator, you will discover that you can speak about the experience and those in your classes, who have felt the Radiance, will also "hear" you, as in your words, they will recollect and also experience their True Self.
drew people to Yogi Bhajan was the Spiritual side, the Truth and possibility
to realize the Self, the Akal Purkh. Everything else was secondary to that
core teaching. A profound teaching of Yogi Bhajan is in his 1969 poem that
he wrote before he came from Canada to LA, which is in the Liv Singh
rendition of "Adorn with Honor." You should play it. "Inside outside,
everything is Whole" "Inside outside, everything is God." "Electric Radiance
enjoyed" "Akal Purkh illuminates me" "Oh Yogi in the Harimander... my union
with God took place."
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