SAT NAM The golden rays of light were beginning to fade in the hills. The sun was setting in the little village of Kot Harkarn, Tehsil Wazirabad, in the district of Gujaranwala in a now vanished part of India on August 26th, 1929. A first son was being born into a family that had prayed for a male heir for over a quarter of a century. Within a few days of his birth the boy was taken into the mountains to the cave of Vaishnoo Devee where prayers of gratitude were offered to the Divine Mother for the blessing of his birth. The boy was born into a landlord's family whose holdings included the entire village. Each year on his birthday he was weighed and as many kilos as he weighed that many gold coins, silver coins and cooper coins, along with seven times the kilos of wheat were distributed to the poor and needy of the village.
He was named Harbhajan Singh and over the next 74 years August 26th was to become a very special day for many people in many lands.
The young boy had many teachers, but his main teacher was Sant Hazara Singh, a renowned yogi, mystic, and Mahan Tantric. Sant Hazara was a strict teacher and the young Harbhajan Singh absorbed the teachings like a vessel being filled. As he was taught the power of his awareness blazed like fire. Whatever he learned he could comprehend through a mere indication. At age sixteen Harbhajan Singh was acknowledged as Master of Kundalini yoga by his teacher.
In 1947 Sant Hazara told Harbhajan Singh that he was about to enter a period of living hell and the student was told he would never see his teacher again. Partition came. The great Indian subcontinent was divided and the village of his birth became part of Pakistan. A bloody migration began and thousands were killed as Harbhajan Singh and his family fled to Delhi in India.
The once rich family re-established themselves and Harbhajan Singh went on to graduate from college and began an eighteen year career as a government official. Around 1960 he was assigned to the holy city of Amritsar and there his relationship with Guru Ram Das, who was to be his guiding teacher, began to unfold and expand. Then one night in the Golden Temple that Guru Ram Das built everything profoundly changed.
"I was the very lowly of the low, and knew nothing, and the Unknown was trying to find somebody who totally knew nothing. When the Unknown almost could not find anybody who didn't know, His eye fell on me. At that time my name was Harbhajan Singh. It turned me upside down and made me Yogi Bhajan."
In the fall of 1968 Yogi Bhajan went to Toronto and in December on to Los Angeles. On January 5th, 1969 he gave his first public lecture in the United States. And so began one of the most astonishing cycle of teachings ever witnessed by humanity. For the next 35 years through thousands of lectures and virtually round the clock teachings Yogi Bhajan laid out the blueprint for a new age on the planet earth and the technology to accomplish this galactical shift in consciousness.
He was very clear on his mission from the start. "I am not the future, but I carry the seed of the future...I was fortunate you gave me the chance to speak to you. And I hope somewhere along the line you will understand because the future is yours. I am in the very, very remote past...We are meant to live pure and to achieve what we stand for. If you cannot tolerate a discipline which is hard, you can leave. We know our values, our aims and our objects. We want to give humanity a group of people who are people of love, dignity and divinity unto Infinity."
He trained us as teachers, not students. You are the future, he told us. I am the dying past. I must vanish. You must view the future that is on the horizon. It is destined that there should be millions of righteous beings to form and re-form humanity to higher consciousness. We were taught to acknowledge the truthfulness of our own beauty and divinity, to pick up the tone and activity of this dance of righteousness and magnify it within our own mental self and express it with kindness, humor, and compassion.
To those of us who lived with him and traveled with him on this remarkable journey of consciousness, he is always with us. He found us in our darkness, heard our unformed prayers, knew the longing we knew not how to express, saw for us a future we could not yet dream of, showered us with gifts of unknown things, and within the ocean of teachings gave us the one essential teaching: Love is God, and Love dwells within. Awaken to this Love and share this Love with others.
Yogi Bhajan is in Espanola, New Mexico now. He is old, frail, and ill. A great golden light is preparing to leave. And as we move toward the 75th anniversary of his birth the measure of the man is now in the light that illuminates the planet, the light that comes from the hearts of all those who have been touched by the teachings of this extraordinary being.