Yogi Bhajan in the Early Years

I got forwarded this account of Yogi Bhajan and thought it was too funny not to share- Hargobind

Ron Baird on Yogi Bhajan – September 13th, 2003
“It has been over 30 years since I spent time with Yogi Bhajan, although I often smile and think of him when I read those little homilies on my tea bag in the morning. I used to teach at the U of T School of Architecture back in the sixties and at the beginning of each school year all the students were required to attend a 10-day course in drawing held at the Forest Ranger’s School in Dorset Ontario.

A skinny red haired freshman answered a knock on the door of his room and was astonished when his unexpected visitor introduced himself as Yogi Bhajan from India. The freshman’s father was attached to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi where he had crossed paths with Yogi Bhajan who mentioned that he was planning a trip to Toronto. The father said that his son was attending university there and Yogi Bhajan might look him up, and so he did. The freshman said he was delighted, however he was just preparing to leave for the north to register for his course and was already late. “Wonderful!” exclaimed Yogi Bhajan, “I’ll go with you and you can show me your country.” “I’m afraid I have only a little motor scooter,” apologized the boy. “No problem,” said Yogi Bhajan, “In India we travel by motor scooter too.” They left in a cloud of blue smoke, dragging the muffler over every hump in the road.
Yogi Bhajan Early Years
That evening, the freshman came to my room and explained that he was late because of the unanticipated difficulty in getting his scooter up the hills and, by the way, he had brought someone with him and didn’t have any idea what to do next. I took a look around the corner at our uninvited guest and saw a very exotic creature indeed. Bright blue turban, jet-black beard, long silk shirt and sandals … no luggage and an unnerving way of looking directly at you when he spoke. I returned to the room where Professor John Hall was explaining the impossibility of the university accepting this yogi, as he was not a student. Since we couldn’t very well turn him out in the woods, we declared that he was a guest lecturer who could stay until the first available ride back to Toronto presented itself.

The next day, students gathered in the auditorium for the evening program to find Yogi Bhajan by the podium, sitting in lotus on a table, covered with a blue cloth that matched his turban. When the room quieted he began his talk. He said that the problem with westerners is that they don’t know how to relax. In fact some couldn’t even sleep and sleep was essential to the rejuvenation of our bodies. If we studied yoga, we would gain the ability to sleep anytime, anywhere we wished. The proper position for sleeping is on the right side with the head resting on the arm and the legs bent. He demonstrated this posture and closed his eyes. We waited. A minute went by, then another. Students began looking at each other with quizzical expressions, raising eyebrows and shrugging shoulders. Another long minute dragged by and still he didn’t move. We waited quietly for five minutes and suddenly he sat back up. “That is how it is done,” he said, and walked off the stage.

I invited him to Thanksgiving dinner at my house that fall. The table was set; my wife had prepared three little Rock Cornish hens, one for each of us. Yogi Bhajan arrived right on time. He brought with him six women whom he had assured would be welcomed to the feast. It had never occurred to me that he was a vegetarian. I assumed that vegetarians were all pale and wane and totally without energy and he certainly didn’t fit my model. I asked him what he would do if some naive person served him food that was inappropriate. “Your first duty,” he said, “is to your host. You must eat what is placed in front of you and then, at the first opportunity, excuse yourself and go and throw it up.”

We carved pumpkins together that Halloween and he did very well for his first time, except that his Jack-O-Lantern had three eyes. He asked me what was the best way to advertise his mission to bring Yoga to America, and I said, “Probably television.” The very next day he phoned to tell me to watch the Elwood Glover Show, because he was going to be the next guest.

“I’ve thought of a good American name for my mission,” he announced to me one day. “It’s 3HO, what do you think?” I said, “It sounds like the symbol for decaying tritium or a laughing club or something. What does it mean?” “It stands for the Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization.” I cracked up. “What’s wrong with it?” he inquired. “It’s just silly. It’s a ridiculous name; it will never catch on. You must think of something else,” I declared. “I can’t,” he replied. “I’ve already paid for the business cards.” …”

 

5 Comments

  1. Sat Nam,

    Thank you for the awesome story. I was laughing out loud!:) it’s beautiful. I like the idea he came up with. It’s perfect. I didn’t get to meet him in his physical body, so this is a lovely treat.

    Peace, joy , and blessings
    Jeanette Maureen Welonek ♡ ☆

     
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  2. This is hysterical. Love it!

     
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  3. Thanks for sharing this delightful story of Yogi Bhajan.
    What fun!

     
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  4. Sat Nam,

    One of my biggest regrets in life is never (physically) meeting Yogi Bhajan.
    I cherish these stories – I laughed out loud – what a character !

    Thanks for posting Hargobind and Spirit Voyage – keeping sharing !

    peace to ALL,

    Catalyst Yogi
    http://budurl.com/2jjr

     
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  5. Thank you for sharing this!! Sat Nam

     
    Reply

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