Below is an excerpt of a lecture by Yogi Bhajan, shared on August 17, 1995.
The problem is not your success or your failure. Problem is law of equality. You don’t obey that. Humans have always refused that law, which is that any progression or progress must have equal depression and rejection. This law cannot change. It is there. Most successful people, that is, most great people on this Earth who have achieved success in the end have gone on to fail in certain other aspects of life. So, life balances itself that way. And some people are very rich and very effective and absolutely great, but on the other hand, you’ll find them totally nuts. It’s not that you are not aware of it. Even in your life, you progress on one side very effectively and lose on other side equally effectively. There is nothing, nothing on this planet, which is not in balance.
So the question is not who you are, the question is whatever your Karma is, you are gay, you are a lesbian, you are straight, you are hetero, ‘hectro,’ ‘pectro,’ whatever; you are mentally this, you are emotionally this, you are sexually this, I don’t know who you are. That makes no difference to me. Only those who have gone beyond their mind will not be affected by the pair of opposites. As long as you are within the realm of mind, action and reaction will affect you, doesn’t matter which religion you belong to or which personality you belong to. You have actually, technically speaking, lots of gimmicks, progressions and processes in which you approach yourself, to tie yourself, to standardize yourself, to save yourself, but you cannot do that. And you cannot effectively understand this information either.
This is the most upsetting of all to us. How can I—I?
As long as you have the question, “How can I?” you will have the question “How can not Thou? How can not Thou?” Where is your Thou if you have an ‘I’? And between your two eyes if there is no Third Eye, how can you? This is a very progressive process of life which you cannot reach, and ultimately, there shall be emptiness, there shall be regret, there shall be an unaccomplished life. Because there is nothing more precious and pious and pure than the praana, which you have; and the use of praana is not that you become a professionally successful neurosurgeon, or you become a professionally great attorney, or you become a professionally great government official, or you do some great research— that’s not life. Or you become very successful and popular, that’s not life either.
The purpose of life is, do you understand the ‘you’ within you? Did somebody tell you that you are you and you alone? Did somebody tell you that ‘In the beginning is you, in the middle is you and in the end is you.’ Did someone tell you that your emotions, your feelings, your understanding and your desires are not you? Did you ever understand that what you need to do and what you want to do are two different things? I mean, do you understand your own enemy? You need to do something different, you desire to do something different, you have to do something different, so these are fundamental questions that come our way and everybody interprets it to their advantage. The worst, most guilty of this interpretation are the judgmental religious policies. So there are Catholics, there are Protestants, there are this and that, there are Buddhists, and even Buddhists have different factions; in every religion you find factions because man doesn’t want to be judged. You don’t want to be judged. You don’t want to be told. So when a bunch of people don’t like something, they form their own group. Since time immemorial to this present time, humanity has progressed itself that way.
I was reading an article on the gay situation. It said they have made a definite discovery about the difference in the brain, in the neuron itself. Okay. Tomorrow you are going to find out something else. But what is a gay? What’s a lesbian? It’s all a sexual thing. Are you going to brand a human on a sexual basis? Then tomorrow you are going to brand everybody on the basis of the nose: wide nose, thin nose, skinny nose, top nose, round nose. Up to what extent can you divide humanity? And on what basis? What are your bases?
As long as your bases are karma—actions, desires, common needs—you are not discussing humanity. You are not in touch with humanity. You are too low, small, limited, empty, and judgmental a sect, section of people. You cannot understand that vastness of Infinity, purity, piety, excellence, growth, grace. You do not understand the joy of virtue. You do not understand spiritual venture. You understand only you, yourself. That may be desirable to many of you and there are many teachers for this, or preachers, whatever you want to call them, but that’s not the relationship between a student and a teacher. That’s a most unfortunate thing.
When a student and a teacher meet, it creates a spark, like when a chisel and a stone meet. That’s the meeting. Relationship between a student and teacher is not a truthful relationship if he says, “Oh, you are beautiful.” How many times does a chisel hit the stone and say, “mmm-mmm-mmm”—kisses it? Have you seen that? No. It goes “tik” and cuts a chip from here, chip there, chip there, till finally it comes into the shape of something. It is the shaping of the human. It’s not the human. Did you know that when they cut things in the industrial world, they use a diamond head because it is the hardest?
That’s why industrial diamond is very important. A piece of carbon, crystallized well, is the hardest.
But the modern world today is not subjective to itself. Today we do not acknowledge that I am aware, I am known within my knowledge, my spirit, my soul, my mind and myself. I have all the virtues and I am daily losing those virtues, rather than just being those virtues. Today, if somebody meditates in the early morning ambrosial hours, gets up…. Somebody was telling me the other day, “For the last 40 days,” she said, now this is quote, unquote, “I have gotten up early every morning, I have taken a cold shower and I have meditated, and I have read banis2 for the last 40 days.”
I cracked up. And she said, “Isn’t it great?”
I said, “For the last forty thousand lifetimes, you have meditated; for the last forty thousand lives, you have [cultivated] virtues for yourself; and for the last forty thousand lifetimes, you have been an egomaniac. You are stupid. You are the most acknowledged idiot in the realm of consciousness. You are a dead rat!”
“Why are you so angry?”
I said, “I am angry because for God’s sake look at yourself. Look—these 40 days have made you so happy because your soul has become habitual in all these thousands of years; but unfortunately, you are always, even now, after only forty days, you are going to go off, right? Am I right?”
She said, “I was just asking you. Is that not enough?”
I said, “I already know. What are you asking me for? That’s your problem. God giveth soul to chance and experience—a human experience. The human experience cannot be foggy, it has to be clear like crystal; it has to be disciplined like death; it has to be life like Infinity. And there is nothing less than that. I know you. You can’t handle it, you can’t hold it. You have never done it. You are not going to do it.”
“You are my teacher. Tell me.”
I said, “I am not anybody’s teacher. What should I tell you? I am telling you to your face that this is what you have been doing all along. You have never gone out of your way to be of service, so you cannot understand that soul is Infinity, character is Infinity, commitment is Infinity, divinity is Infinity, dignity is Infinity. Everything is Infinity. Grace is Infinity, the power to sacrifice is Infinity, happiness is Infinity. Those are the seven steps for happiness, nobody can change that. I can’t. Nobody can. Why waste human life? Can you get it? Can you buy it? You can buy services. Human services you can buy. Human life you can’t buy. In all these 1,995 years you have not understood the difference between human service and human life. You have not understood the difference between humanity and individual existence. You have never understood your total reality, your applied consciousness and your own understanding. How can you not understand yourself and then want to understand everybody else?”
Do you know, I’ve said it many times, I saw that pamphlet in which there were a lot of workshops. And I counted, I just went through it, 275 therapies for human consciousness to grow. And I looked at that brochure and said, “All these people do not know what consciousness is and these are the teachers of consciousness.”
I go to Santa Fe, I talk to some people, they are angelic people and their language when they speak to me, in the end I say, “Which book, which page are you talking about?” There is nothing real. They satisfy with words. I used to deal with this group, these Descendent Masters or Ascendant Masters, something like that; and there is Mount Shasta, I once took the trouble of going there. I didn’t see anything but stones I don’t know from where they come in and they see it, but you know, you will see tens and thousands of people there, looking at those Descendent, whatever those masters are. It’s tragic.
‘I am Christian, I follow Christ.’ Christ followed his own consciousness. Christ didn’t follow anything else. You damn fellows don’t follow him at all. Why, who, where did he say, “Follow me?” Where did Guru Nanak say, “Follow me?” Where did Buddha say, “Follow me?” All they said is, “Your life is given by God to you, and this is the way to live. This is the way to believe.” Christianity is a religion of love. How many crusades have you done? Muslim is supposed to be humble. How many have they killed?
Think about it. Think about it, when two nations fight and they are fighting now, everybody knows. What are they fighting for? They are fighting for land. They are not fighting for any principle. And similarly, in you, you are fighting for land. You are fighting for territory. Who decides the territory in you? Your ego. Who decides your comfort?
I was going through Beverley Hills and there was a man just like me with a big, white beard and he had a big kind of turban-like hat on. He had all his baggage on his back, and he was walking. That’s it. And I was going in my limousine. I looked at myself and looked at him. Then I asked a question, “What is the difference?” Twenty-five years ago, I came also, and much worse off than him. Why has he not progressed? Because he did not, has not and will not, share himself with others. When a human does not share with others, human hurts. It’s not that I didn’t hurt. I told certain things and certain principles; I got totally trashed, not hurt. But I have to stand by my grounds. Truth is truth—I don’t care what anybody is.
You know, Kundalini Yoga, when I started teaching the whole Theosophical Society was very important in America and they had books and books out saying that this one science, Kundalini Yoga, cannot be taught, it is dangerous. Cannot be taught. Period. And they asked me, “Why you are teaching this?”
I said, “I don’t know anything else. What should I do? I mean, the fact is, I don’t know, I don’t want to be ridiculously rude to anybody, but that’s the only science I know. And that’s the only thing I know works.”
“No, no, no. Start with Hatha Yoga.”
I said, “That’s the biggest bull I have ever heard. Why should I start with Hatha Yoga?
Everybody has sex in this country, everybody is a sex, everybody’s penis is not Venus, everybody is running into each other like a fire hose.
I have seen it all, I landed in Hollywood. But I don’t think any relationship means a relationship.
Everybody is sexual.”
“Now what do you mean?”
I said, “What I mean? Nothing. First thing in Hatha Yoga is that you should be celibate.”
Where should I get the celibates here? I mean, material is not available, raw material is not available. There is nobody who is celibate. Why should I teach Hatha Yoga where it is a requirement to be celibate? Where did I have 22 years to give you one posture? And who is there to do it?
I said, “I am not going to be commercial. I know Kundalini Yoga—3 minutes you are up, out, done. And then you can go and sleep with girlfriend or friends and do whatever you want to do, it’s fine. You guys don’t eat onions. We start with onions. Don’t you understand?”
Garlic is a no-no, but they can eat fish, they can eat meat, and they can’t eat garlic! Is there a more ridiculous hypocrisy than that? Garlic—no. Fish—yes. Can you believe it? Do you know how terrible fish is? There is nothing more poisonous to the body than fish. It comes from water, it goes into the colon, and it needs water. It dries up the colon. This is the only food—fish—which dries up the colon’s water. It reverses the colon water. It’s amazing. You take the fish, you chop it, you fry it, you do anything to it, all right? Just see how thirsty you become when you eat it. It always needs water and when you cannot give it water, it reverses the colon—the only food that reverses the colon. I said, “You allow that to eat, that is tolerable, and garlic is not, onion is not. Ginger, which licks up the entire poison and disease out of the body, that’s not!” I said, “I can’t go with you guys. If it’s dangerous, eating bananas is dangerous. What is the difference?”
“You have to understand that everybody has to be initiated.” they said.
I say, “What for? If they are idiots, they can’t initiate themselves. Am I [going to be the] fool to initiate them? Why I should take the risk? Why should I even initiate anybody who is worth initiating? Let everybody initiate them Self, because I believe, ‘In the beginning is me, in the middle is me, in the end is me, for my own inner soul.’ That’s the only relationship between you and God: when you for your own soul experience within you your own Infinity. And don’t brand it for any reason.
Gringos cannot sit with Blacks; Blacks cannot sit with this and that and Brown and the other. You know, you have divided humanity on Gray, Brown, Black, White. Just on the color of the skin, at least, thank God, the color of the blood is the same. Then you divided everything on your desires, on your emotions, on your feelings, on your needs, on your geography, on your culture, on your nature, on your philosophies. You have never understood that there is one God, there is Ek, one God, and He created the creation, and every creature is the product of that one Creator. If you just understand that, you will grow.
Your human life depends upon two things: your hypothalamus, which is on the upper palate and your upper front, called the frontal lobe. This controls your personality; this is medically known. This [the frontal lobe] controls your personality and this hypothalamus controls your habits. Automatic habits. Automatic habits surpass all intellect, all thought. Now let me tell you scientifically where the problem is. We have one hundred thousand thoughts per wink of the eye. Somewhere, thalamus has the problem. Hypothalamus and thalamus, when they act in coordination, they have the power over thought formation. And the frontal lobe has a personality direction once the . . . you know, try to understand: doesn’t matter who tells you what, you are going to do what you are going to do. That means your frontal lobe is not developed. It’s not yours. There are only two areas in the body that are not developed; they are there to be developed. This whole yoga is about it! You don’t understand. Entire spirituality is about it! Entire spirituality is the pair of the opposite should not affect you. When somebody praises you, you should not get pumped up and when somebody insults you, you do not squeeze in. You remain you. That is human.
So I promise you, today is my last class with you, and then Saturday I have to teach that seminar, ‘Uplifting the Mental Graduation,’ that’s my topic; and there will be many other professionals there. If you all come, it’ll be a good class, that’s the only possible class I can attend or share with you. Then I have to go back home Sunday and get ready to go on this yatra3 to India. In 525 years, once they have called on us and we are all obligated to go. Those who believe, those who don’t believe, those who love me, those who hate me, those who are my friends, those who are my enemies, I have nothing to do with it. It is just answering the call. And if you do not know what the Golden Temple4 is, well, it is a Golden Temple, that’s it. It has no other name. And it’s the only temple that is a Golden Temple. I don’t have any definition other than that. Some people ask me, “Why do you love this temple?”
I say, “I am very selfish, I love gold. It’s a golden temple. What should I do? Love graveyards?”
It’s good. It’s golden, it’s a miracle, it’s prosperous. Still 10,000 people are fed every day, everybody is welcome. It’s marvelous. So why not like something which is good and great? It’s my definition, not anybody’s. Not anybody’s. And that’s what I say. Five thousand years ago until today, everybody who has gone there with prayer and taken a sip and dip in that water tank, his things have been answered.
Why go and do the research when it’s already established. This is what we are doing. We are taking yoga students, we are taking the Sikhs, we are taking those who have faith, atheists, everybody. Come. I have to go. And you have to go, too.
I will tell you the reason you can’t go: first, you don’t have time; second, you don’t have the money; and third, it’s a waste of time, it’s a hardship, it’s very difficult.
When I was young, I was sitting one day with my teacher, he asked me, “What’s the purpose of life?” You know, we asked questions like this in class. We were so many, he said, “What is the purpose of life?”
Somebody said, “To elevate,” somebody said, “To exalt,” somebody said, “To this, that,” it went on and on. Finally, he got tired. He said, “Can anybody tell me what is the purpose of life?” And I smiled and he said, “Well, you, you mischievous smiler. Why don’t you answer?”
I said, “Well, haven’t they all answered you? Is that not enough?” He said, “No”.
I said, “Purpose of life is very simple: when there is nothing impossible in life, because when the soul and consciousness is understood, the impossible is eliminated out of the life—that’s the purpose of life.”
He said, “When did you learn that?”
I said, “Three days ago you were lecturing, that’s what you said. I remember. I just remembered it.” I don’t know what he said to me. But I said, “You said life is only possible and impossible; but once the Atma and Paramatma merge together, impossible doesn’t exist. You know, it’s your words. I am repeating it.”
He said, “That’s true.”
I said, “That’s it.”
As long as anything is impossible in your life, you do not have a consciousness of Infinity. Because how can anything be limited? How can love be limited? How can God be limited? How can life be limited? And impossible means limited. You don’t understand what I am saying, I know. Okay. We will not stretch it o more because you will go home confused. For you, everything is limited. If it’s not, then you make it limited. You put everything in boxes. You brand everything. But that’s what we want to get rid of, all right?
We are doing Ravi Mudra today, Sun Mudra. Sun Mudra is the ring finger. We did the exercise yesterday left and right, correct? With the breath, okay. Today, we’ll do it with a Snake Breath. Snake Breath means Cobra Breath. Cobra Breath means that when you go up like this, then you inhale and when you come down, you exhale; you exhale really good. That will create a vacuum, which will move the hypothalamus and the frontal lobe into the rotary system. That breath will also take the first and second ring in that stem of the brain, which controls the entire geography of your being. You will have a very different experience. You understand what I am saying? But the question is doing it right. All right? Sun Mudra is this finger, and you sit like this. [See complete kriya at the end of the lecture.]
We are going to play a tape and we’ll be asking you today to close your eyes exactly and sit like you are perfect. First of all, fake it that you are perfect. You are not; I know, you know and we know. But in spite of that, faking it is all right. Fake it that you are perfect and when it says, ‘Sat Nam,’ then you go all the way up and breathe in. And when the tape says, ‘Wahe Guru,’ it will say it twice. It gives you a very rhythmic time, this mantra is rhythmic, then you come down and your breath will come out like . . . that hiss of the snake will come while breathing out. You create on every strike, a little vacuum, a little vacuum that will change your entire gray matter and neurological balance. It will bring you to the freshness that you never have experienced. Is that understood as a science? It’s not that you have to do it only with me today, you might not perfectly do it, you may try to do it at home. But you have to do it.
One lady was telling me one day a year ago, “I have menopause. What should I take?”
“Take anything you want. I am not going to give you anything against medical advice. I already told somebody “eat beet” and I ended up with a lawsuit, which went on for years and years.”
Beet, we call it the “beet case.” Finally, we beat it up, but God, it was a very lengthy case.
Attorney after attorney, my insurance agent, he said, “What’s this beet case?
I say, “Well, this is it. Somebody is suing me. You have to deal with it.”
So I have gone through it. Once I told people to take some pancakes and I got a notice from this bureau of, whatever it is, that I am practicing medicine without a license. I couldn’t believe it. I had to send my attorney there to talk to them and all they wanted was the pancakes. Where they can get them? So, we got them prepared and delivered them, that was the case. That’s all it was; but somebody had the guts to ask us “How can this flu be healed and why?” I said in the class “bah, bah, bah.” And it was just pancakes. No big deal.
All right, you have been very kind to me in the past 25 years, that’s what I am trying to remember. I have gone through it. All right? Close your eyes please and just understand the beauty is in that hiss. Nothing else. [Sat Nam, Wahe Guru is played.]
You are very good, go ahead….through the nose…Use the power…Inhale, inhale deep, inhale deep. Deep! Squeeze the body from spine to top, exhale. Inhale deep, let every fiber be by your own nerve control, squeeze. Pratyahar, Shuniya. Bring it to minimum, zero. Exhale. Once again, to cover all two mistakes if there are any. Breathe, breathe, breathe and now, go ahead. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, relax.
One we do with the breath. With that, we hit the pituitary and frontal lobe. I am just trying to explain to you the science of it. Second, when we begin chanting, with the tip of the tongue, we stimulate the upper palate and thus stimulate the hypothalamus. Simple.
Third part and fourth part of this, when I come next time, we’ll complete it. What I am trying to do is put two kriyas in one day and that should be sufficient. So we did it yesterday and we did it today. And when next time I come, we’ll do the third. Third is very rough; half of you will do it, half won’t. But the question is to teach, to share with you. We’ll share. And until such time, at home, it takes 11 minutes. What you did first and 11 minutes the second and the other set we did yesterday was also based on that. The tape is very rhythmic, the time is very perfect, sound is very good, word is very perfect. Tongue touches the meridians properly; all is scientifically well done.
It’s up to you. I can’t do your kriyas and you didn’t do mine; so, there is nothing to say. But somewhere along the line, as long s life is based on karma, there will be pain. There will be equal insanity with equal progress. But once you do dharma, then karma will not affect; then the hand of God will work.
When the Unseen hand of God will start working for you, your hand will only be meant for prayer. Up to that time, it’s begging. It is not prayer. “Help me Lord, save me Lord.” That’s ridiculous.
You remember that story of a candle? You know it? There was a church, and the priest was very poor and the town was very big. The priest thought, “What should I tell these people? I mean, they are not doing anything. They don’t come on Sunday; they don’t come for prayer; they don’t come to anything.” He got very upset. So later there was a town gathering and they asked the priest to come and speak. And he said, “I don’t want to say anything here, I want to speak to you in the house of the Lord. If you come this Sunday, I’ll tell you the greatest secret of wisdom. Don’t come thereafter, but please come once.”
So that Sunday almost everybody came to the church, the church was overloaded and full. And he said, “You know, there is no such secret anymore, but I have to say, I was very hesitant to say that. You
don’t come and light the candle. So, it’s the hand of the devil which is playing and it’s a level of the devil which is creating all this and there is a darkness in every life and it’s very sad. It’s very sad. But if you could have come and just lit a candle, you could have lit your life, you could have done it. But I don’t want to say it, because none of you come to church and none of you believe in anything. Church is dark, like you. What to say? I am in pain and I am very worried about you, that’s why I have said it. I didn’t say it there because I didn’t want to say it there. I thought you should come to your own church, because this is what you have built. And I don’t want to tell you that. You can’t light a candle. You can’t light a candle.”
Everybody looked at each other and they said, “What are we doing?” I mean to say, “It’s not something we are born to do.” So one person got up, he picked up a candle and it was written “Donation one penny,” whatever the rate was, so he put the penny in, took the candle and lit it. The others saw that and did the same. Third did, fourth did. The whole town lit the candle and the church looked good, all lit and the wax had the essence in it, some herbs in it and that created a beautiful flavor and people were very happy. When they went home, they were just feeling very happy. “Thank God, we lit the candle.” Every day the candles were lit, it was never stopped, and church donations became fat and fatter. So one day he invited the entire town for the feast. He said, “Rich will feed the poor and poor will feed the rich.”
Nobody understood. They said, “What is he talking about? ‘Poor will feed the rich and rich will feed the poor.’ This doesn’t sound right. Let’s go see what it is.”
And he said, “Folks, God has provided all what God could provide and you will eat. It’s in the will of God.”
So there was a great feast he prepared and the whole town got fed. So naturally, people have some feeling. When they left, somebody left a pound, somebody left two, somebody left five, somebody left more, so then he got more money. The more money he got, the more money he spent, more money he gave, more money he got and it continued. It becomes a common lot—same thing.
You do not consciously breathe, that’s a dead candle. When you consciously breathe, that’s a lit candle. That brings you virtue, when you consciously breathe. When you unconsciously breathe, that is an unlit candle. That’s darkness, that’s a waste of the praana. The most precious thing, which you can’t get— one praana—after this is gone; but once you consciously breathe, that is the use of praana. That is the light, that is the candle you have lit over the altar of God. That should be. I hope you understand these things.
Get out of your rut and routine and route and come to an understanding with your Creator. I don’t think you as a creature understand that you have to come to terms with your Creator. Your ego has blinded you to the point that you do not even know who you are. As you do fashion and you cater and you care for all these worldly things, if you would have cared that much or one-tenth of that much for your Creator who created you, you will not have to hassle. You would not be harassed. Just remember when the hand, the unseen hand of the God works, only then, the hand in prayer goes from the heart.
Otherwise, when you pray in pain, you are caught in all that. That’s asking for something. You are born to give something. You are human, you are light, but you are not, your head is not lit, so you don’t make sense. Your head is into many variances, very much duality. You have not found a sense of unisonness.
So hopefully by the time I come and see you all next, you will practice this as a matter of routine, as a matter of self-discipline, as a matter of self-involvement into self-enlightenment. I hope that.
Meanwhile, happy birthday to all those who are born in August. Is that what you are doing en bloc? All right, sing.
[Students sing, ‘Happy birthday’]
So and so, there are so many of them. All August Virgos, and many more, right?
May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you, and the pure light within you, guide your way on. Let your soul find the trust, let your trust find the unisonness of faith, let your faith find the love, let your love find the Infinity, let your Infinity gift you totality, reality, prosperity, beauty, bounty and bliss. Let your life become light. Let life and light merge forever in oneness of the Lord Creator for
every creature on this earth. Sat Nam.
1 – Available as a DVD in the series, Foundations, Volume Three.
2 – The daily Sikh prayers (pronounced baanees).
3 – A spiritual journey.
4 – The Harimander Sahib in Amritsar, Northern India, built by Guru Ram Das, the Fourth Sikh Guru. The spiritual center of Sikhs all over the world.