Sat Nam Dear Family,
The Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan was the man. And, by the way, he’d be most appreciated to be recognized as just a man. Please, let me give you an example.
In his capacity as a true teacher, it was his duty to deal with many things, including issues of which he was diametrically opposed. That’s the job of a real teacher - poke, provoke, confront and elevate.
A student of the Siri Singh Sahib Ji, came before our teacher. This student had gained quite a well-known reputations as a yoga teacher. A conversation proceeded with our teacher poking and provoking a response, a defense which would reveal the true nature of this visitor. Finally this student blurted out, “I’m a teacher sir, I’ve built the whole ashram literally with my hands. I have many students who follow me. I need to be heard. What’s wrong with that. You know, I have something to say.”
Now, that woke me up. A teacher with this inflated ego must have more interesting things to say, He was right. Usually, I was half conscious during these meetings, even during counseling secessions. It turned out that he did have something to say, only it wasn’t what he thought it to be.
We were seated on the veranda at the cabin during Solstice time in 1984. There were many students seated around from all over he world. Usually sessions of this kind were private, but some students took this public time to take advantage of our teachers availability and guidance. This was such a time.
This man continued, “Let me say it to everyone, sometimes a divorce is necessary to keep mental health and growth available.”
“So now you are my teacher, the Siri Singh Sahib rhetorically queried?”
“No sir, but sometimes a divorce is necessary so I can grow. She’s holding me down.”
Now, our teacher began to confront, “Great, she’s holding you down. Now what? Are you going to lift yourself up, or you going to let the situation win by getting rid of her? Which is it? Or, do you think you’re going to find another girl with less issues? Or, do you think that you’ll find a girl who won’t care about your issues, your neurosis?”
“I don’t understand, this teacher responded?”
“Of course you don’t. All you see is the pain she’s causing you and the best thing is to just get rid of her. But, there are consequences. Have you thought about them? Can you see them through the pain?”
“I’ll deal with them as they come. First I need to get rid of this woman.”
“Have you heard a word I’ve said? Should I say it again? It’s best for you if you see the undesirable consequences of this act and deal with the issue rather than create greater and greater problems. Do you hear me?”
“Yes, I understand, but the issue still stands, how do I get along with her? It can’t work.”
And, now, the elevation began, “Well, with that attitude you’re right, it won’t work. And that right there is how you will learn to get along. The first step is to see her differently. No matter how many times her actions or speech and old thinking patterns capture your consciousness, keep up practicing to see her in a positive light. Don’t judge it, just do it. Prove to yourself that you’re greater than yourself. With God’s help, all things are possible.”
“What good would that do?”
“Now. you’re asking the right question. Your young children will be spared; your reputation will not be besmirched and your teaching won’t be compromised; your money and your house will remain in tact; need I go on. Most importantly, your consciousness and your confidence will be elevated.”
“How’s that, sir?”
“A real marriage requires the development of real trust between you and your God. Ultimately, it’s not about your wife, it’s between you and God. This relationship is where understanding, continued commitment, elevation, and happiness lies. And, the harder it is, the more trust is required. If this challenge is accepted and worked, great benefits await you, benefits which are only only dreamed of, life is lived in contentment. You know when you’ve developed enough trust when this contentment is experienced. It’s a challenge worth taking. It delivers like no other sadhana and marriage is the ultimate sadhana. It’s truly calls on divine intervention.”
“Yes, but that’s for saints, not just teachers?”
“Isn’t it. This is the transparent life of a real teacher. This is how the teacher garners the true trust and love of students. Commitment for the teacher is eternal. ‘Let your head go, but don’t let go of the hand of God.’ When your word is your bond and when your word is true, God helps make it happen. With God’s help, all things are possible.”
Did this teacher get it? Truth be told, he didn’t. Yes, he heard the Siri Singh Sahib, and left uplifted. But, unfortunately, it did’t last. He was trapped in the pain. For him, the only solution was to eliminate what he thought was the source of the pain. He couldn’t accept the challenge which would have made his teaching totally real. He would have become a master. Sadly, there were many like him. Nevertheless, that’s the way the Guru says it’s to be.
My advice, take advantage of every challenge thrown your way. That is to your advantage. I’m grateful to this person who sadly didn’t pass his test. He taught me to never let pain get in the way of doing what’s right. In the end, the pain is small recompense for the Infinite experience of contentment. Stay tuned,
In the Humility of Service and Gratitude,
MSS Hari Jiwan Singh Khalsa
Chief of Protocol