Our Position Regarding Yogi Bhajan

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By Gurudev Singh

Confounder of KundaliniHoy

 

Motivated to live a spiritual life from a young age, I started my journey looking for a school or a teacher who would guide me to live a life based aligned with the spiritual qualities of the great teachers of history. At the time, I explored Buddhist practices and yoga, studied Western philosophy, and learned from various spiritual teachers.

One day I attended a Kundalini Yoga class in a Mexico City ashram. What I experienced in that first practice transformed me. I had never felt anything before that was so immediate and profound in my short spiritual quest.

A few months later I met Yogi Bhajan who lived in Los Angeles and visited Mexico often. He was a charismatic, knowledgeable, powerful teacher, and very demanding, especially with me. That was what I expected from a teacher so, from the age of 19, I considered him as my teacher.

Yogi Bhajan brought these teachings to the West and was a pioneer in many spheres. He taught that happiness is our right and that it is not dependent on our outside circumstances, because it is within us. Our task was to maintain the vitality, clarity, and discipline that allows us to find our higher self and to manifest the most beautiful human virtues in ourselves.

However, painfully, in early 2020 it was revealed that Yogi Bhajan was himself not living in integrity with these teachings. Many credible complaints were raised and testimonies of abuse against vulnerable people came to light.

These accusations were shocking and deeply painful for me, and to many of my sisters and brothers in our community. After hearing many first-hand testimonies, today I no longer consider these as mere accusations, they are revelations about behaviors that I would have never imagined that a teacher like Yogi Bhajan would be capable of doing, a man who shared such profound teachings, who uplifted so many women, who gave hope to the hopeless, who inspired so many to honor the highest human and spiritual values.

I am infinitely grateful for all the beauty, subtlety, and techniques I learned from him. At the same time, today it is clear to me that Yogi Bhajan did not live in integrity with what he taught.

What I learned from Yogi Bhajan transformed my life for the best. He showed me the path to the altar of infinity, and for this, I am infinitely grateful. Sadly, while he has left a great legacy of light, he has also left a great legacy of pain and it is impossible for me to reconcile these two sides of Yogi Bhajan.

I do not judge him, I simply hear and honor the voices of the victims and I am compelled to condemn any and all abuse that he or any other person perpetuates against anyone.

For these reasons, Yogi Bhajan today ceases to be a paragon for me.

It is natural that some of us might question the teachings that he left behind. After more than 4 decades of studying, practicing, and sharing them, however, I recognize that Yogi Bhajan had a genius for transmitting, synthesizing, and making accessible the ancient yogic and spiritual teachings of India.

I have witnessed the transformational and healing power that these teachings have had on me and, as a teacher myself, I have witnessed their power and effectiveness in hundreds and hundreds of practitioners.

I will always honor the light that he shared, and be grateful for it, but these teachings belong to all of us now, to each heart that has been touched by them.

Our task ahead is to honor them by living in integrity with them.

In KundaliniHoy.com we affirm categorically that:

    • We condemn any conduct from anyone that hurts or abuses anyone
    • We believe in the testimony of victims and honor their courage for giving testimony
    • We believe in and honor the values of compassion, kindness, respect, integrity, and love

We strive to:

    • Not hurting anyone with our actions or words
    • Share practices and teachings that we ourselves experience and live
    • Be in integrity between our actions and our words
    • Accept, embrace, and promote the diversity of opinions and points of view without judgment
    • Work to build inclusive communities, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or social status.

Thank you for being part of this beautiful community.

Gurudev Singh