Sunder Singh Khalsa brought the first Yoga Festival to SE Asia, which has become an annual event in Thailand, and has helped the emergence of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in Thailand, China, Cambodia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and Sri Lanka. He also oversees Teacher Training programs in these countries.
He serves as the KRI Coordinator for Teacher Training in Asia and also served on the KRI Board of Directors and the Teacher Training Executive Council. The Kundalini Research Institute honored Sunder Singh Khalsa for his devoted service to the emergence of the Teachings of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan in Asia, in 2009.
Sunder Singh Khalsa was born in Taiwan. He was told by two teachers that he had traveled the path of Dharma before. The first was Yogi Bhajan who told him that he was a saint in his past life, or as Yogi Bhajan put it, "You know what your problem is? You weren't just a saint, you were a big saint and everything you ever did wrong you have to pay off, for this is your last lifetime." His given name is Tzu Ping, which in Chinese means "compassionate peace". He touches the hearts of all those he meets on this journey of life. The second teacher was Taoist Master Ni, who told Sunder that he was a Taoist and although in this life his form is different, he carries the essence of the Taoist teachings with him. In 1971, he was living in the Tucson ashram and in the winter of that year he was sent out to start an ashram in upstate New York.
Prior to my journey to New York, I had an experience during my meditation that impacted me deeply. The experience was a vision or darshan of Sri Baba Siri Chand Ji. I came out of that vision knowing I had agreed to something, what it was, at that time I had no idea. All I remembered was what Babaji said at the end of the vision, "It will be difficult, but you will come through it." Then he touched me on my forehead and everything dissolved into a white light.
Almost immediately afterwards, in both my meditation and my life, I experienced a major shift, as if all the pain and hurt of the world was going through me. This dark night of the soul went on for a few months, until it was too much for me to bear. I decided then to leave this Dharma.
Because I was a young man of 21, I foolishly thought if I left and found a different yogic path everything would magically revert back to how it was, and I could just stay in my meditative bliss. So one night I packed all my belongings and was prepared to leave the next morning without telling anyone.
At two in the morning I was awakened by the most beautiful music. I remember opening my eyes and just listening to this celestial sound. In the center of the sound was the mantra, "Har Har Ram Das Guru Hai," being repeated over and over. Needless to say, I decided to stay and used this mantra.
Snatam Kaur "Har Har Ram Das Guru Hai"
More than 15 years later, I was with Yogi Bhajan and told him my experience with the mantra minus the part about almost leaving. He looked deep into me, closed his eyes, and meditated. Finally he told me that Guru Ram Das Ji has given me a personal mantra and I should use it.
Only in the last few years have I started telling this story because I feel it is time to share the grace of Guru Ram Das. Even though this mantra came to me, I feel it is for all of us. It is in that spirit I am sharing this, "Har Har Ram Das Guru Hai".
In the many years of teaching, I have only suggested the use of this mantra to one person. It was a Gurusikh in Singapore. He was the manager of a Sikh Center at that time and because of politics left his job. In the following months he could not find a job because of his long beard. He was told to either trim his beard or roll it up, neither of which were an option for him.
Finally he emailed me and said, "I am at the end, I have no money, creditors are knocking on my door, I have a wife and two small children, I will do whatever you tell me." I gave him this mantra among other suggestions and in five days of his using it, his life turned around. Today he is a prosperous businessman. The point of this story for me is that in the darkest night, the grace of Guru Ram Das manifested with this mantra.