The First Turban

The First Turban is a chapter from Yogi Bhajan's Biography. Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa was commissioned by Yogi Bhajan to write it. He has been sending out emails titled Messenger from the Guru's House which is what Yogi Bhajan wanted it to be called. And when this one came up, I asked if I could publish it, because the teacher that first wrapped a turban around his head, teaches in the Seattle WA area, where I live. I wanted the story, and Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa graciously let me have it. The Yogi Bhajan Story.

The First Turban

Jerry Pond lived in Jules's antique shop. A tall, charming and likable guitarist and song-writer, he had shared concert billings with the Grateful Dead in San Francisco in 1966. When the FBI opened a file on him in their aggressive campaign to intimidate, jail, even kill leaders of the youthful movement for peace and social renewal, he left America and studied in the Mexican wilderness with a shaman. That shaman had sent him to find and study with a "Great One".

Now, having searched, Jerry felt he had indeed found and was learning from such a one. However, it was not easy. One day, the Master asked Jerry where he worked. His student proudly answered that he didn't work. Hippies knew that work was for slaves. Jerry didn't work; he was a musician.

Yogi Bhajan was not so pleased with his student's hippie logic. "That's very well, sonny, but you need to learn to work too. If you want to understand the teachings, you'll have to understand the students. Yogi Bhajan laughed and turned to Jules. "Hire this music man on the spot," he said, and the next day Jerry the musician began dutifully sanding and painting Jules's precious antiques.

It was dusty, dirty work – and Jerry's dark mop of unruly hair seemed to collect all that dust and dirt in his hair. It was tough: the ego of the pop musician tied up in his uncut long hair pitted against the rigors of his new work. Finally, Jerry intuitively managed to wrap a scarf around his head enough times to capture all his curls into one well-mannered clump. That helped a lot.

One day, as Jerry was rapt in his work, a voice boomed from behind him, "What is that?" Jerry turned at once and replied, "It's my turban, sir!" "Why you're doing that?" probed his teacher. "To be like you," said a voice, "I want to have what you have." Even Jerry was surprised at what he was saying.

"Wow!" said Yogi Bhajan with a big smile, "For you to cap an ego like that, it's really something. Let's see what it brings."

And, who was the first of Yogi Bhajan's students to wear the turban?

Guru Singh, who else?