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Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji
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An Adventure in Consciousness

I have just completed a national tour today. On my tour I found that people do not have a basic understanding about yoga. Some people think yoga is a religion. Some people think it is for vitality and health. Some people think it is to promote their personality. In reality, this is all a misunderstanding. The word yoga, as we in the West understand it has come down from the biblical word, yoke. If you go to the original word in Sanskrit, it is jugit. The definition of a yogi is a person who has totally leaned on the supreme consciousness, which is God. Yoga is the union of the individual’s unit consciousness with the infinite consciousness. That is all it means.

Classically, your potential self is infinite, whether you know it or you don’t know it. The fact remains that every human mind belongs to infinity and to creativity. But in practical action, it is limited. So a technical know-how is required through which a man can expand his mental faculties in order to bring about the equilibrium to control his physical structure and experience his infinite self. That’s all yoga means in very simple terms.

In this life of ours, yoga is greatly needed. Today the human being does not understand why he is a human being or what it means to be a human being. Talking about his infinity and knowing and experiencing infinity is a big deal. Remember that wisdom does not hold you. Wisdom only becomes knowledge when you experience it. Only the experience of that knowledge, gyan, can hold and support you. Just because you know or believe something to be true does not mean that you can act on it. But if you know truth and act on that path, and if you find bliss, success and fulfillment in yourself, then no power on earth can make you do wrong. Once you have seen the joy of that truth and have enjoyed that beauty you are okay. Some people misunderstand this. They say knowing the truth is alright. They say wisdom is good, but knowledge is not good. Wisdom becomes knowledge when it becomes your personal experience. And anything which can hold and support you is knowledge. A guru can give you wisdom but he cannot give you knowledge. And this is where we normally mess ourselves up. We think that so and so is a wise man. Learning from him, serving him, feeling good about him will make everything alright. But no, it never works that way. He can give you the technical know-how but the knowledge is yours. His is the wisdom. So he has an essential part to play in this, but you are an equally essential part.

The first factor as a human being is to understand your vehicle, the physical or gross body. You have a very complicated inner machinery. It is not just the flesh and bone you can see. It’s a very systematic system. It has glands, blood circulations, a breathing apparatus, heart-beat pulsation, a brain, and a total nervous system. All those systems combined over a structure of flesh and bone constitutes your physical system. It is a functional system. Whatever is a functional system needs cleaning, needs care, needs tuning. It also needs careful assessment of its capacity of activity, its potential to be extended, and its possibilities of longevity. All that has to be taken care of to start with.

If somebody wants to mess himself up all he has to do is overeat. After ten or fifteen days he’ll be in the hospital. There’s no problem. In New York I met a case. I said, “Why are you on welfare?” He said, “I can’t hold myself together.” It surprised me. His problem was that he overate. He would get sick and go to the hospital. After he got out they would ask him to take precautions and not do it again. But he would immediately overeat, get sick, and go back in. It was a total cycle.

The physical body is the basic temple in which you can deposit the treasure of happiness of life. You have to understand it. When you are young you can play mischief with the physical body. But in old age the body has you paying for the playing. You can never get out of it. So the body has to be scheduled. You have to calculate on a sliding scale. Suppose I must live a hundred years. Now, I have to plan for that. How should I carry this model 1929 or whatever model it is? From that year you want to live a hundred years. Now, if you buy a car in 1970 for a single driver, you can expect that with regular service, oil changes, etc. that it will get a certain mileage. But if you do not schedule it practically, after two years you will have to change the car. You are very happy to change a car because it gives you status in society, and a new car is good to drive all the time. But it doesn’t work that way with the human body. You are not so fearless that after five or ten years you can say, “Alright, I can change the human body, I can get into another.” You have not developed your individual consciousness to universal consciousness so that you can do it. There are people, there have been human beings, who have done it. It’s not an unusual feature. But mostly people do not know how to do that. Therefore it is essential to make the best of what you have.

In this course, we will study the human body in the light of yoga therapy to make it understandable to you and show you how you can make the best use of it. You must be able to keep it on the level of consciousness you choose so that it can serve you better and better without a lot of trouble. That’s the maximum you can do.

A second factor in our human life is our mind. If the horizon of thought and understanding, tolerance and patience is limited, and if the mind is not so beautifully functional that it can see the unseen, and understand the consequences of actions, it is practically impossible to live a happy life. Because if you do not have a road map, you do not know where you are going. Then what are you doing? Just driving? That’s what we do in life. I don’t want to pull your leg tonight. I want you to feel very happy and good, but I have to give you a basic human assessment and overview.

What is the aim of your life? “Oh, everything is alright.” What is alright? Nothing! Ask anybody. Everybody has twenty complaints about himself. Why? Where does the time go? Early in the morning, you go to the office and earn money. Saturday you have to pay your bills and buy the groceries. If there’s a long weekend you have to take care of your taxes. Three hundred and sixty-five days go like this. Only leap year adds an extra day and that only comes after four years. We are that involved in life that we don’t know any better. And when we do not know any better, how’s the better going to come? We have passed our years with such speed that we do not know how we are maintained, except with God’s blessing.

This functional structure of a human machine is so beautifully made by the Maker that it can recover from normal jerks and problems. It is a real and very rare mental shock that can damage your mental energy. When there is constant pressure and no relaxation, when there is no outlet or when there is constant boredom in life or a constant cavity in the capacity of mental life, it results in a shattered mind and the lost of happiness. Then you must get to a psychiatrist or a counselor or some yogi or do something. You have to depend on someone. Then every wise man will have to put a string in your nose and carry you through. But I don’t believe in that. I believe every man represents God.

There are three basic letters in the word, “God.”: G-O-D. These letters stand for the generating principle, the organizing principle, and the destroying principle. What we have done is taken the first letter from each of those three words and combined them together to make the word “God.” God is not a guy standing on a seventh sky at the head of time watching you. It is the generating principle. It is infinity in relationship to the total creativity. Through its changing, everything happens. We have been brainwashed, but that has to be clearly understood.

We always say, “When I pray, God will come.” What is prayer? Have you ever understood what a prayer is? You create a vibratory effect, it goes into the infinite creativity around your psyche, and the answer comes and is expressed in the energy of a job done. Then you say, “Well, prayer works.” It is only your mind which has the power to concentrate and to work with that beauty.

Remember you have three aspects. You have the lower self, the gross or physical self; you have the central self, which is known as the existing self; and you have the higher self, which is a powerful, sophisticated and delicate self. So you can work on any level and you can go up and down, but you have to train yourself through your own experience. You can get knowledge from A, B, and C. It doesn’t matter. If you can get wisdom from anybody, it is always a beautiful bounty. It is a special treat if you find some person who can stand by you and let you get through that experience. You are a God-conscious individual because you have the power of mental infinity.

I am talking into two languages now. In one word I am saying it scientifically, in the other I am relating in a mystic language. This way you can understand both. When you say, “I am a God-conscious person,” it only means that you realize your mental capacity and ability. There is nothing more than that because everything you have is your mind. If somebody is beautiful or ugly to you, it is your mental evaluation. Somebody seems rich to you even though he doesn’t give you a penny. He is rich to you because of your mental appraisal. You may imagine somebody is poor, even though the guy may have a million dollars sitting right under his seat. You call him poor because of your own mind. Actually, everything is your mental outlook. The problem with your mind is that as you think, so you are. How can man develop his mental faculty to perceive everything correctly? I would like to train you that way so that you may have a happy life around you.

The third factor as a human being is the soul, the spirit. As no lamp can burn without methylated spirit in it, no life can exist without a relationship of spirit in it. Spirit has many meanings, tones and facets. If there is a central thread in it, all it is, is the general flow of the cosmic energy. In Catholicism we call it God; in yoga we call it cosmic energy. The meanings are exactly the same.

You have to understand your physical relationship with that infinite energy and how you can tune in for your own purposes, so that you can have a healthy, happy, holy, wholesome life, a fulfilled life, a beautiful life in which you can perceive in yourself the contentment of existence. You should be so contented that if you had to quit this planet you would just say, “Thank you.” You have got to give thanks. And if the bad times are coming, just say, “Wonderful.” Good days are coming say, “Fine.”

After all, what is life? It is a wave. The light must follow the night as night must follow the day. Sunshine must follow the clouds, clouds must follow the sunshine. But you feel you are really something special. You want sunshine all the time. If man is in the sun all the time the nose gets burned and the eyes can’t see. No one can live in this world with sunshine all the time. Is there anyone willing to do that? No. This up and down is the beauty. Having happiness all the time is a very boring thing. You can’t live that way. You have to have a little pull sometimes and just feel where you are and where you should be. That’s why we call this life a vibration. What is a vibration, actually? Vibration is that which vibrates. And what is it? A path of vibration. Up and down! A wave. As a wave moves, so life moves. What do we want out of it? What do we desire? We desire a mind which is neutral, which understands the wave. You all know about surfing? When there are heavy tides people go surfing. They enjoy it. Other people go crazy. A mind which is developed, artistic, and self-controlled rides on those waves in life and enjoys it.

If a person with such a mind experiences a bad time, he can sit down and say, “Oh God! Wonderful! What do you want? A bad time? So, what’s it to me? I don’t care?” He communicates, he talks, he feels the fun. He’s not upset. He knows after this night there will be a good warm day. He’s going to have a lot of fun. So he preserves his energy. He keeps himself together. When the time comes that he can expand and enjoy, he comes out with all his energy to enjoy it all the way. That quality of mind has to be developed. It has to be trained; it has to be made and felt. The faculty and the capacity of the mind have to be geared into those grooves of action. If that is not possible, nothing is possible. This process is another important part of yoga.

Actually Kundalini yoga means awareness. Awareness is a finite relationship with infinity. That’s what it means. This dormant energy is in you. This awareness is sleeping in you and you only experience your capacity to a limit. But when it can be extended to infinity you remain you, anyway. But in that state there is nothing lacking. This is what is called the basic human structure, the framework through which we have to function. Do you like it? Are you willing to agree to all this? I’m going to focus on this structure and its work. I do not know whether you will agree with me and I don’t want you to agree with me. Remember one thing: don’t agree with me anywhere. If you have any point of disagreement, come out with it. I love argument, but I want another man to provoke it. I don’t want to put a question in the mind of the people.

We all want to have good health. Many people feel we get sick because we do not know better. My personal feeling is very different. I don’t believe that anybody wants to be unhealthy. But I also don’t believe we do not go unhealthy. We do. We go and get sick sometimes.

There are two types of sicknesses: intentional and unintentional. Intentional sickness is when we know we are going to get sick but we still do it. I get into intentional sickness very often and I know that. Do you think that a man of my awareness is an idiot since for 18 days I did not get any sleep? I am not aware I’m going to get myself into trouble? From the day I put myself on the plane and started on tour until I returned today I didn’t get the change to sleep even though I tried. The schedule was automatic, the demand was heavy: from one meeting to another meeting, discussion after discussion, etc. We opened up our drug program with a press conference in Washington. After that everybody became curious. The news spread. Then people would not let us sleep. The subconscious mind did not allow us sleep. The subconscious mind did not allow us not to do sadhana. We also let anybody who wanted to talk to me have a chance. If somebody wants to know something we must share with him. You sometimes ask why I just don’t share. But I can’t do that. I thought we would have five days of rest in Canada. To my surprise they had a full schedule and I said, “Alright. WE will not go by any schedule. Anybody can come in.” That was the only way to safeguard that all the services would be completed. I was aware that I was getting sick intentionally. The body can only go to a certain extent. You can ride a horse, and you can go on beating it. But it can only go a certain number of miles before it will start dropping. These are intentional sicknesses.

There are also unintentional sicknesses. For that I have a lot of compassion. We do not know how to eat, we do not know how to digest, we do not know how to live, we do not know how to take care of this body and we do not worry about whether our glands are functional or whether or nervous system is alright. We do not know to check if our cleaning is perfect or our rest and activity are balanced. That is unawareness. And that makes us sick. And that is where the main pain lies. This is especially true in this society today.

This morning I was talking on television. I told them that I had to catch a flight and I had to go. They said, “Well, you cannot leave that way. We definitely have to talk to you. Not all the people could come to that church to see you because the church had a limited space; it couldn’t hold more than five hundred people. The people have forced us to have you come and answer certain questions on the television.” I think T.V. is the best way to get into the living room without breaking into the house. Television is quite a procedure. You get into that box and you talk about anything you like.

When I went on that program they were having a discussion with a trained specialist, an expert, who does not believe in marriage. He feels marriage is going to be wiped out of the western countries. It is the most unrequired thing of the past. I asked him, “Then why are you talking about it?” He said, “I don’t think it’s essential.” I said, “Well, your mother must have married your father. That’s why you are discussing it with me today. Your existence is out of that action which should come out of the matrimonial relationship.” And he said to me, “I want to ask a question.” I said, “Well, go ahead. You are very anti-marriage, and I am very much for it. You are an outcome and a by-product of a marriage. Therefore, you cannot speak too heavily against it.” We had twenty minutes of laughing and happiness. I enjoyed it and he enjoyed it.

Later on when the interview was over he said, “I am a great fool. I have made a total idiot of myself before all of Canada. (This was a coast-to-coast program.) What have I done to myself? I thought you were a simple yogi and that I would take you left and right.” I said, “I am very simple. That’s why I asked you very simple questions. You thought that by ask me two or three of the intellectual type questions you could just blow me up. But that is not true. You have to raise your mind to the capacity of my mind, and you will overcome it. If you don’t have that mind, you are limited. You are just intellectually trying to argue left and right. But what is left and right about truth?”

To approach yoga in its totality, you have to know what living is. You have to know what a relationship is, what values this life can give you. If you know what you want then you can find it. Without any knowledge, are you just going to close your eyes and start walking? Where will you go? “I am going to the beach.” You don’t know. You may end up in the mountains. You have to keep yourself on target. Your compass must tell you at what altitude, latitude and longitude you are going. It is a totally planned life because the “o” of the word, “God,” G-O-D, means organization.

We often misunderstand or deny our basic nature in our social habits and communication. First of all, we are people of faith. Suppose we find a happy man. We know he is a good man and that he talks truthfully. We believe him. If he says something, we can act on it, and we can get happiness. Then we share it. But we do not relate this way. Instead of receptivity, we say, “Well, why are you happy? Convince me before I listen. I don’t believe you.” We always live on our insecurity. We cannot hide it. We cannot discuss anything without first questioning his personality. “Who are you? What are you doing? How can you say that?” Why do we ask those questions? First of all, we do not know who we are.

Actually, we can go through life in two styles. We can act as if everybody were thieves until proven saints. Or we can act as if everybody were saints until proven thieves. Which style of life your mind has as a conception and an action depends on how strong a nervous system you have. People who live one style walk on every walk of life with an even attitude. If you ask them, “How are you doing?” They reply, “Oh, I am fine.” If there are certain dangers they might encounter they say, “Oh, I don’t care. No danger is going to bite me.” People who live in the other style are completely different. If you tell them, “The road is clear. It has been checked. It is beautiful,” they will say, “Oh, I don’t believe it. I can’t go. I can’t walk further.”

The basic insecurity in mental attitude and structure is often very elemental to a person’s consciousness. I counseled a particular case in Washington, D.C. We discussed everything. There was a little marriage dispute, something normal. We cleaned it out. But the man said, “I understand that she has understood the mistake and when she understands, she never acts wrongly. But still, I can’t believe her.” She said with anger and frustration, “The thing that bugs me the most is that he always says he can’t believe me!” When I went deeper into his personality I found that his not believing the woman came from his background of experienced knowledge that he got from the activity of his mother. It took me four hours to tell him. “Your mother was your mother, and this woman is your wife.” He said, “That is my problem. I can’t always believe it.” So I said, “What are you going to do? Don’t you understand that she is your wife, not your mother? Why do you want to punish this lady because of your mother?” Then he told me that he had spent thousands of dollars going from one expert to another and still didn’t now anything better. I said, “Alright. I’ll tell you another way. Go and buy beads.” So he bought the beads the next day. I said, “When you talk to this lady, catch your beads with a hand. Forget you are talking for a few seconds and remember that you are catching something.” He said, “What does that do?” I said, “It will remind you that you are talking to your wife, not your mother. Simple. Whenever you talk to this lady who is your wife, put a hand on the beads and remember that you are not talking to your mother. You are talking to a wife. You married her. She’s your life partner.” He said, “Well, a woman is a woman.” I said, “But with this woman you share a bed. With your mother you don’t. You were a little child when you did that. So please be mature.” I had to be practical and go very deep into his basic foundations of life in order to dig him out of his insecurity. Then he could start a new life by himself.

In every mental state of mind the subconscious plays a large role of which we are not aware. We all think we know “my past.” There is no such thing as “my past.” That past is only the experience you have in your subconscious mind and it does not let you move forward in your life. In Kundalini yoga, we fry this subconscious mind. We make a toast out of it and eat it. It is one of the best dishes we make. We have a technical know-how to approach this subconscious mind which sits behind our mind and does the mischief. That is what subconscious mind is. It sits in the back and can spoil the image of human life by repeating experiences which have already been tasted and are recorded in the subconscious mind. So the subconscious mind must be taken care of and trained to be an aid in life.

Another pattern that must be confronted in Kundalini yoga is our self-belittlement and the feeling that we are very limited. “Oh, I, a poor humble self, can’t do this. I am very miserable.” We can play this game. There are three ways of playing it. Sometimes we play it to get sympathy from people, sometimes we play it to get recognized, and sometimes we play it and we actually feel it. Everybody does it. It’s just a matter of degree. Someone does it one percent; another does it one hundred percent. It means your activity in realizing your mental capacity is just that limited. You have not realized that your mind has an infinite horizon. There’s actually no end to it.

Understand this today: There are no two people who are alike. Neither are they physically alike, nor are they mentally alike. They have only one likeness: The input of infinity can be equalized to the output of infinity. And that is the only thing in us which counts. We all can reach the state of infinity, of bliss, of nirvana. There are two hundred words for it. You can call it anything, it doesn’t matter. But that’s what it is.

Now I’ll touch on a controversial point. Whatever religion you follow, no matter what you call it, you follow something meant for you to know your origin which is infinity. That religion should get rid of your self-belittlement and limitation and life you to the full human capacity. Instead, what you usually end up knowing is prejudice, division of humanity, love and hatred on the basis of belonging to certain thoughts, or certain feelings, or certain practices. That has done more harm to humanity than the good the religions were intended to do. Today, we do not even understand the basic word “religion.” It comes from religio and means looking back at your origin. And what is your origin? Spirit! And what is your end? Spirit! So what are you fighting about? What is the discussion? If you are constant and under all given circumstances you relate to one thing – that you are a part of infinity and you always lean on that power – then you’ll never be unhappy. It is a practice.

We have never trained our minds to know our origin which is infinity. Instead we have run into rituals. All these churches, temples, and synagogues, all the places of worship were meant to create group consciousness. We start with consciousness then progress to group consciousness and universal consciousness. These religious places were designed so that all the people believing one way could come and join together to praise the Lord and feel high. That was the purpose. But now people come there to fight elections and to think who should control the synagogue or church. Or the minister speaks and lays his number. It has become a regular mechanized ritual – a systematic system within the system. The purpose which was to get together to practice and feel and experience the group consciousness is gone. Man has become confused. For when a person does not have individual consciousness and does not develop that individual consciousness to a group consciousness, he cannot attain the universal consciousness. Barriers shall exist. And these are those barriers which keep a man limited. The development of group consciousness in the experience of infinity is the bridge to universal consciousness and the release of the unlimited self.

All the technology you need is in Kundalini yoga. But we have a mental sickness. We are not constant at anything. If you are very regular, if you practice so that you can cater to yourself and have a better experience, you will enjoy your life more and extend its length. Hopefully you will do your best. This knowledge and exchange is a brotherhood, it is a mutual existence. There’s no big and no small. It’s a sharing. It’s very much a sharing. So if you are willing to get into that kind of sharing, that kind of love, that kind of existence, you are welcome. Otherwise, we are happy, you are happy. Wherever you are, you are; wherever we are, we are. There’s no problem.

Man exists to help those who need existence. I always feel that pushing knowledge on people is pushing drugs. Pushing is pushing anyway, so I don’t want to be a pusher of anything. That is something which I have never done in my life. I’m not going to push heavy knowledge on you, but I’d like to share with you certain things so that we can experience certain things.

In Kundalini yoga the most important thing is experience. Your experience goes right into your heart. No words can be said because your consciousness will not accept them. Your mind may or may not. All we want to do is to extend your consciousness so you may have a wider horizon of grace and of knowing the truth. Then you can smoothly plan your life to any extent you like. You can radiate creativity and infinity in all aspects of your daily life.

Thank you very much for this evening. God bless you.

YB Teachings, LLC 1978
Above Article Copyright Yogi Bhajan 2002. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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