A young couple lived six doors down from Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles when Yogi Bhajan arrived on the scene in 1969. They were antique dealers and jewelry makers with a love of art deco. They faithfully attended Yogi Bhajan’s yoga classes twice a week and Dharam Damama Kaur prepared the stage for his evening classes. After arranging his sheepskin and pillows, she would set up his tray with a water glass, a damp washcloth for his forehead, and a vase with colorful Gerber daisies.
One day they received a phone call from one of his staff, who said the Siri Singh Sahib wanted them to request their spiritual names. And so they did. A few days later she called to say that the Siri Singh Sahib said no one else would ever have their names: Dharam Damama Singh and Dharam Damama Kaur. Dharam Damama – the booming sound of the big bang of creation.
The Damamas, (as they were called by some), regularly brought gifts to class for the Siri Singh Sahib: swords and knives they found while scouting antiques, and custom gifts they designed just for him: silver rings with many pearls and gemstones; silverware embellished with his initials, a monogrammed water glass, etc. For every gift they received a thank you letter; letters they lovingly saved in a special notebook.
One day Yogi Bhajan visited their apartment down the street from the ashram, sat down, and drew the symbols for a ‘Bracelet of Blessings.’ Dharam Damama Singh handcrafted the bracelets in silver and made them available to the sangat, along with Adi Shakti pins studded with gemstones. The photo attached shows the Siri Singh Sahib visiting the Dharam Damamas home to see the prototype of the Bracelet of Blessings (his original drawing can be seen in the framed sketch on the wall behind him).
One day the Siri Singh Sahib was in his limo and drove past Dharam Damama Singh on Preuss Road. The limo’s windows were tinted so Dharam Damama Singh couldn’t tell whether or not the Siri Singh Sahib was in the car. Out of habit he dropped what he was holding, quickly folded his hands at his heart center, and bowed.
Recounting the story in class on November 1, 1988, the Siri Singh Sahib told us,
“You know what I did? I inside the car bowed to him. I bowed to him. Actually, if I would not have been in a hurry, I would have stopped the car, come back, got out, touched his feet and blessed that land on which he was standing. I saw it myself. I can understand it. For you he is a lunatic, for you he is a stupid, for you he may be nothing. He doesn’t need God; he is God. Devotion is a sense of elevated consciousness, and that is God.”
~Nam Kaur Khalsa, CA, USA
I met Dharam Damama Singh and Kaur for the first time in 1980 when my family first moved to Los Angeles from Washington, DC ( I was 8 years old). They were funny, loving, generous, creative, and so much more. I spent many afternoons after school at their house. They told me that there was an open invitation to come to visit at any time. I was always offered something to eat or drink when I arrived. Sometimes when they were both busy, I would just sit and do my schoolwork. As Nam Kaur mentioned they were antique collectors. Their home was inviting and cozy and crammed full of old and interesting things to look at and play with (nothing was off-limits). There was always some new item to see that had been picked up at a flea market. I would be invited to create artwork (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc). I drew my first self-portrait at their house (I was 15 years old). Dharam Damama Singh set up a mirror in front of each of us (he and I) and he explained that I should focus on my face as a whole and draw quickly and not think about the end product but just have fun with it. I remember it like it was yesterday and still have the drawing. I enjoyed watching Dharam Damama Singh create jewelry in their garage. He would explain the process from start to finish. It was fascinating. Sometimes when I came over we would just sit and watch TV with popcorn. They had the sweetest big white dogs. It is funny but my memory is that the dogs smelled funny. I got up the courage to ask Dharam Damama Kaur about it once. She said that they were given garlic in their food to keep the fleas away. I don’t remember if it worked or not. I have happy memories of my time spent with the Dharam Damamas. I miss them.
~Amrit Kaur Khalsa, VA, USA
They were welcoming to everyone with love and kindness. To me they represented my vision and hearts desire for 3HO. I met Dharam Damama Kaur’s mother once and noticed what an elevated and spiritual person she was. When talking to Dharam Damama Kaur about it she validated it. Her mother had such a sublime and kind energy. We were lucky to have known them and I thank them for their warmth and open hearts.
~Guru Dev Kaur Khalsa
Sewa Kaur and I want to respectfully add our affection to what has been shared about this deeply intuitive, kind and loving couple. Over the many years since we first met them, we weren’t able to spend many hours with the Damamas, but we treasure every moment. We shared not only a deep love of KY, Guru, Dharma and Yogi Ji, but were further unified by our affection for antiques and the creative process.
They were great ambassadors for our community. More than once, while visiting antique malls as far away from LA as Oklahoma, antique dealers would recognize our bana and reach out. In each case they shared a deep, loving appreciation for the Damamas. The vibration of human kindness that flowed so naturally from them, continues to warm our hearts. I imagine that they both have been heartily welcomed with the loving, joyful laughter and Light of our dear Teacher.