Yogi Bhajan, Dehradun not Brigadoon

Sat Nam Dear Family,

It was January, 1994 and we were on our way to India. Our primary reason for going was so that the Siri Singh Sahib could visit a school in Dehradun where many of our children were in attendance. This was before our school in Amritsar was completed. Dehradun is in the Doon Valley surrounded by the Himalayas not far from the Ganges River about 200 miles north of Delhi. It’s a beautiful area.

I was accompanied by my two daughters as they were scheduled to attend the next year. I wanted to give them a “heads up” on what to expect. It’s an eight hour taxi ride from Delhi to the school. We hired four or so taxis to take us on our journey. My kids and I were in one taxi as we caravanned off. It wasn’t long before we were on our own as caravanning in India for this distance is almost impossible. We all met up with the Siri Singh Sahib at an American style rest stop called Deer Park (with real deer) a few hours later. It was great; clean, comfortable, French-fries cooked correctly, tikis (Indian potato cutlets, yum, it was a potato feast). This was an American oasis in the middle of nowhere, what a treat.

India is full of colors, smells, and people of all kind. If you venture outside of the large cites to the “old style life,” you can see that almost anything goes – there’s no dress code, traffic code, or lifestyle code. You can see yogis in loincloths, woman working the fields in beautifully colored dresses, trucks so over loaded with mustard greens your sure they’ll tip over, dentists with a chair on the side of the road, you name it, if it’s to be found, it’s probably there.

At this time, the girls were in school in L.A. at Berkeley Hall, a Christian Science school located on Mulholland Drive at the high point of the city. Berkeley Hall is a very good, if not conservative, school which had just recently been opened to non Christian Science students. The girls loved it. It was the quintessential L.A. private school.

Upon our return, my youngest daughter, Sarab Shakti Kaur who was eight years old, was asked to give a report to her class on her experience in India. She did. Everything was going along fine when she blurted out that as we were traveling through a village on the way to Dehradun, she saw a naked Sadhu (spiritual man), casually walking down the main street. At this point her teacher interrupted in astonishment, “My, my,” she exclaimed, “did you tell your father.” “Oh”, Sarab Shakti confirmed, “he’s the one who pointed him out to me.”

Stay tuned,

M.S.S. Hari Jiwan Singh Khalas

Chief of Protocol

Sikh Dharma

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