Premka’s book is shaking the international community and generates confusion, doubts, separation. Many of its members are writing to ask for guidance.
We in AAA share thoughts and actions and feel blessed to be on this path together. Like many other sincerely dedicated trainers, we are passionate about what we can achieve by sticking to the path and keep on polishing our filters and limitations.
The path is the connection we have created through the teachings that Yogi Bhajan shared with the world. Every member of the international community put daily dedication and efforts in a unique way and keep striving to be the best part of themselves. During a kriya, we feel life in our body and relaxation afterwards. The subtle connection to the divine is reinforced in meditation once we let go of the barriers of the mind.
This is all what we have become thanks to these teachings.
This community goes beyond every limited definition of the ego. If it grows, we grow; if we grow, it grows. It is made of sincere work and service of so many, and the obvious benefits of the practice keep us going and renew our dedication daily.
Yogi Bhajan’s Role
Yogi Bhajan’s destiny was to share these teachings. He told us that our job in the Age of Aquarius would be to understand our own self, our self-dignity, our self-esteem, our self-morality, our self-ethic, our self-spirit and rise above the imaginable.
Today we are being tested. Our light has to shine brighter than ever. This can only happen by losing the temporal connection and plugging into the universal form of the teachings.
The Chinese word for crisis is 危机 (WeiJi), 危 (Wei) for danger and 机 (Ji) for opportunity. It illustrates the duality manifested through the reactions of the sanghat, danger to create more duality and separation, or opportunity to bring more unity and integration.
If we learned something from these precious teachings, it is not to be against or for, but to raise beyond.
Yogi Bhajan delivered a wide panel of universal teachings. This great gift is beyond any individual behaviour. He was the vehicle, the downloading channel. He offered us a form but was not the owner of the teachings.
As teachers, we have nothing to teach. That would imply that we know. All what we can teach or share is the fruit of our personal experience of the teachings. Through our sadhana, self-study and observation, we are able to tune our inner instrument in order to listen and to find words on what it is, helping the students to recognize it within themselves.
Our reactions show how much we are still entangled at the personal level with Yogi Bhajan. Even if we have never met him, how much projection is still there? And why do we need such projection? How are we still dealing with our relationship to our own father and authority? Observing this offers the opportunity to evaluate how much the teachings are integrated within us. If I react, to what exactly do I react? Are we not one? Which part of myself did Yogi Bhajan touch through this behaviour? My own resistances to the teachings? My denied sexual impulses? My denied wish to be in power? My denied wish to control? My denied wish to be controlled so I can rely on someone else for the responsibility I do not dare to take? How many of us hide behind “Yogi Bhajan said…” without having a sensory experience of those words or even those kriyas and meditations?
Today is a great opportunity to digest that gap individually and collectively and see what the teachings radiate now – what do we want to make out of them? The sensitivity and consciousness have changed. We can only be who we are, nothing to pretend, no distance anymore between the teacher and the person. Such gap plays as a cover for our shadow, which then needs to find a way to express itself unconsciously! Do we want to repeat that? Apparently not since we are so shocked about what Yogi Bhajan did!
We might ask ourselves as well if our projection as teachers is aligned with who we are. How much of these teachings have sunk enough into our cells to project a frequency that can be received without duality? How do we use spirituality to cover up our short-comings, hidden agendas, fears, and even lack of preparation or integrated knowledge? How much do we face our shadow, individually and collectively?
There is no perfect teacher, why do we need to believe that!? If we do not accept that Yogi Bhajan was not “perfect” and that he still did receive the teachings, how can we receive them? Do we have to pretend that we are perfects as well? It is time to realize that the quality of a teacher does not depend on how many years he or she spent with Yogi Bhajan. It depends on the time spent on self-cleaning, self-training, self-awakening and on the Grace of the Guru!
Regarding what is Kundalini Yoga today, how come the reputation of Yogi Bhajan who died about 15 years ago can still shake the community and the reputation of Kundalini Yoga. As a sanghat, what have we done since Yogi Bhajan died? How do we step into actions that have such a positive impact on people and on the environment that would prove the validity of the teachings beyond Yogi Bhajan’s behaviour?! Let’s wake-up and act!
It is time for real shift in the way we deliver the teachings. Time to take the responsibility of being a teacher relying on our experience!! Time to integrate the teachings through our practice. Time to validate the teachings through our sensory system. Time to move away from Yogi Bhajan’s deification and explore together the richness of “his” teachings. Time to prove the validity of these teachings through our radiance and our actions, as individuals and as a community. It is a very exciting time.
Some use this crisis to justify their choices of selecting part of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. There is a bad part (usually the part related to Sikh Dharma) and a good part (the part which focuses on the self), a part that is acceptable (because it is about me) and a part which is less (because it is about God and the “me” does not exist there!).
Yogi Bhajan gave us a package that works if all ingredients are in. Kundalini Yoga is not a self-centered practice to become more this or that, it is non-dual path where I do not exist therefore I exist fully! It is a fine balance between Shakti and Bhakti in order to be able to listen, and to become this listening (shunia). The Shabd Guru is the highest yoga and we are blessed to have access to this technology.
The pillars we can hold on to and how
1. The Reference
As we grew as teachers, we came to experience the intensity of those teachings, their preciousness but also the touchy game of projection that come with them. Teaching in places where a spiritual teacher was culturally accepted and revered (Asia) confronted us with the fact that some students wanted to kiss our feet after they had deep connexion with their souls.
What do you do in that scenario ?
This is such a natural and spontaneous act, a call of the heart to bow at the feet of God, you don’t want to suppress it as it is the very essence of the spiritual path but at the same time it puts the teacher in a position of power that carries the risk of reproducing some old Piscean patterns.
This is when it became obvious that we needed a clear reference for people. A place where they could bow safely without giving out their identity to another human being.
In our Dharma, we have this reference, it is the one Guru Gobind Singh gave – the SHABAD GURU. It gives alignment and clarity, particularly when embodied through Siri Guru Granth Sahib.
1. It makes clear where we as teachers are bowing. We bow to the golden line, the tradition but we also bow to the True Word and the capacity we all have as humans to be true to ourselves.
2. It gives students an opportunity to have a personal connection with Shabad Guru independently from their teacher. This is what makes them responsible and free.
3. The poetry in the SGGS come from humans being 100 % truthful to their experience and express it with grace and beauty. This is beyond time, space, and religion. It is a simple and universal human faculty that existed way before Yogi Bhajan or even Guru Nanak.
4. Therefore those teachings are not the teachings of Yogi Bhajan (and maybe we should stop calling them that way). He was just a messenger, like Guru Nanak was and like the Sufis were before him. He is just a little dot on the vast constellation of all the people who are part of this golden thread.
Yogi Bhajan himself was clear about that and the nature of his job:
“I have done one thing good to you. I have learnt from Siri Guru Granth as my Guru and I have tried to bring you to the Siri Guru Granth. My job finishes there. Thereafter your job is to carry on. It’s my job to go into the dirt, lift you up, as a forklift and put you on the truck. Then your job is to peacefully reach the destination.” – YB, March 13, 1985
This statement is important because it implies that trying to separate Kundalini yoga as he taught it from the Shabd Guru makes no sense.
There is this tendency nowadays to put aside what comes from Guru Nanak and the Sikhs labelling it as religious, but it is actually the essence of this path.
If we cut ourselves from the tradition of Shabad then we need to rely on the personal and temporal man that he was and all the limitations that come with it.
On the other hand if we connect to the source, his limitations can become an inspiration to be 10 times greater than him, as he himself so often said.
2. The Teacher/Student Relationship
The teacher-student relationship can be complex and very difficult to judge from outside. Premka’s story, true or not, does not affect our experience of the teachings which is richer everyday through our own practice.
We are not students of Yogi Ji. We are students of his students.
On this path the teacher is never a Guru or an incarnation of GOD, but only a big brother or sister on the way.
We learned as much from the mistakes of Karta Singh of France as from the inspiring mastery of Sat Nam Rasayan by Guru Dev Singh.
The teachings that Yogi Bhajan handed down and are now delivered from a master like Guru Dev give confidence that, no matter the shortcomings of a teacher, the essence of the teachings can be passed on from generation to generation.
Once we have drunk the water, who cares the colour of the pipe ?
We also realized along the way that people who have a personal interaction with us as teachers are not necessarily connected to the man Yogi Bhajan, especially the new generations. What inspires them most is the Sanghat, the practicality and transformative power of the teachings and their integration among us.
The simple examples of honest embodiment of the teachings are much more valuable than the words of a distant father figure.
“Fake it you will make it “ is not the motto anymore. In the new age, it is “Be You, let go and let God.“
3. Teach Together to Reduce Tendencies
An interesting way we found to cope with the intensity of the Aquarian Age is to embody the teacher collectively. Either together on stage or by giving honest feedback to each other.
It considerably reduces the tendencies in the space because we naturally cover each other’s blind spots.
It is also a precious opportunity to learn from each other. If we can embody the sanghat on the teacher’s bench, the students will be inspired to relate differently to each other.
Moreover, it shows the students that the teachings can pass whatever the mouth. It dissolves the possibility of power games and the full identification of the teachings to one single person.
We have a chance to embody these teachings in a more horizontal dynamic, where we can play a mirror to each other. Ask yourself if you have this mirror, and not only in your teacher but in your peers. No Sanghat, no Dharma!
4. Aquarian Age and Opening to the Sensitive Field
Some believe we have now to heal wounds and let go of the past that is causing so much deception because we believed in a reference that is falling apart.
This is not the reality but just one limited and unnecessarily painful way to look at it. On the contrary, destruction brings birth. It is time to explore new ways of delivering the teachings. All the more now it is time to plug into the source and avoid to enter personal scenarios. It is also time to create some horizontality and ask the students, involve them; they should ask questions, engage the magnetic field.
Merely delivering content is not appropriate anymore.
We hope you will be with us and that we together may continue to honour in our hearts the masters, the teachers, the saints, the Gurus, but also the very normal people of the past, thanks to whom we may all benefit from this precious path.