Yogi Bhajan (1929 - 2004) arrived in West: 1969
Harbhajan Singh Puri renamed himself, Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji (Yogi Bhajan) and created his 3HO religion: Healthy, Happy and Holy. Despite the beards and turbans this cult has no relationship to the Sikh religion and only a tenuous one to Kundalini Yoga. It uses the name but is Bhajan's creation. Despite, or because of those turbans, 3HO became a large and successful religion and valuable multi-national conglomerate with a string of Golden Temple natural food restaurants, holistic health clinics, a publishing company, month-long summer yoga camps and Akal Security which has reportedly earned billions in contracts relating to U.S. security. You can achieve miracles if you have people prepared to work for nothing.
Yogi Bhajan has a mythical lineage and his guru and teacher was the otherwise unheard of Sant Hazara Singh. He supposedly gave him kundalini transmission in 1945 at 16. He told The Miami Herald that he had a helicopter lower him into the mouth of a cave in the Himalayas, where he kneeled for three days until the yogi master inside consented to teach him. In 1971 Yogi Bhajan also claimed to have received transmission from an otherwise unknown Tibetan Lama named Lilan Po, who confirmed him as the next and only Mahan Tantric (master of White Tantric Yoga), a bogus spiritual position in a bogus spiritual lineage. Bhajan claimed to be a well-known holy man back in India but he had been merely a civil servant, a customs inspector. Bhajan was a highly energetic and creative religious leader though his fabrications were rather ridiculous and laughable. Bhajan was active in making interfaith connections but in reality he claimed to the one and only:
Yogi Bhajan is unique among spiritual teachers because he is also the Mahan Tantric of this era. This means that he is the only living master of white tantric yoga in the world, since there can only be one on the planet at any given time. He is a world teacher, a very special instrument whom God has appointed and anointed to awaken the millions of sleeping souls on this planet - Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power, S. Khalsa, 1996
Yogi Bhajan's teachings are his own and supposedly a synthesis of Kundalini Yoga, Tantra, Sikhism and New Age practices. They are not based on Sikh teachings despite what his Western followers masquerading as Sikhs claim and his Yoga was in many cases just made up as he went. His audience and followers knew nothing about the Indian religion back in 1970 and so they accepted his most outrageous ideas.
"Kundalini yoga, as presented by 3HO, is a safe and comprehensive system of exercise, breath control, and meditation. The practice uses some hatha positions, but adds meditation, movement, and breath. It's a very active, almost calisthenic yoga." Kundalini yoga mainly works on the nervous and glandular systems, and its effects register more quickly than do those of hatha, adds Siri Ram, "because we don't hold the postures but move in them."
He even claimed he was the official religious and administrative leader of all Sikhs in the Western world. Sikhs avoid any association with Bhajan's group and Yogi Bhajanism is by not part of the five-century-old Sikh tradition whose homeland is in the Indian Punjab. Like many other gurus he liked being photographed with famous people.
Bhajan was accused many times of sexual abuse, rape, pedophilia and violence. Akal Security lost Federal Courts contracts after federal fraud investigations. Bhajan became obese and died of heart failure at 75 thereby disproving at least one of the claims he had made for his religous practices (remember 3HO: Healthy, Happy, Holy). A small group of his business administrators then sold off one of the most profitable of the food businesses ripping off over $20 million from the Sikh Dharma religious organizations and Yogi Bhajan's family. Not So Happy and not so Holy either.
Like other Yoga and Hindu inspired groups, Bhajan's enterprises sell beauty and health products.
White Tantric Yoga, is usually performed facing a partner (any gender combination) and in a long line of at least 100 couples who maintain eye contact and hold various mudras while chanting. These group activities may also be part of 3HO's success.
This is a spiritual experience which cuts right to the heart of psychological blocks, clearing the subconscious mind. The main benefit is to clear out these blocks, get free of anger, fear, and depression, and allow prosperity, success, and happiness to flow freely in our lives."
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