by MSS Guru Raj Kaur Khalsa, Vancouver BC, Canada
It is the Shabad Guru which unites us to the Infinite, through the meditation on the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Kundalini Yoga prepares us to hear that Shabad.
While compiling Victory & Virtue (Sikh Dharma Manual), we were aware that it would be read by Sikhs who chose to become Sikhs, as well as those who were born into a Sikh family, usually of Indian origin. At the time we created this manual, most of those individuals who chose the Sikh path had been inspired to do so through the practice of Kundalini Yoga and the practice of Nam Simran at Kundalini Yoga classes taught by Yogi Bhajan (the Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma) or his student/teachers.
I do not believe that this is a coincidence. I believe that by the Grace of Guru Ram Das, who sits on the Throne of Raj Yog, the teachings of Kundalini Yoga were brought out of India to the West by Yogi Bhajan to lead the souls whose destiny it is to walk in the Guru’s Way unto the Guru. I believe that it is important to maintain the practice of this “preparation.” We also recognize that it is the Grace of the Guru which leads us unto liberation.
Kundalini Yoga is the householder’s yoga. It is the Yoga of Awareness, of Chardi Kala. Guru Nanak admonished the yogis of his time that they were on the wrong path, teaching them that leaving their families, leaving this world and practicing austerities would not merge them with God. This is true. He did not teach that yoga itself is bad and in any way incongruent with the life of a Sikh. In fact, the internal process of merging with the Infinite that is described in the Siri Guru Granth Sahib is identical to universal principles of union with God which were taught by the ancient yogis.
A Sikh does not do yoga to “earn” his or her liberation. A Sikh uses the techniques of Kundalini Yoga in the same way that s/he would take a bath in the morning, or be conscious of how s/he maintains the body purely, eating a vegetarian diet, not partaking of tobacco or alcohol.
In other words, a Sikh prepares this sacred body temple as purely as possible to bring the Holy Nam, the Holy Gurbani into it, to do justice to that Sacred Word. However, Kundalini Yoga prepares not only the physical body, but all of the Ten Bodies of which this magnificent human system is composed.
I see no contradiction to a life as a worshipper of the Siri Guru Granth and my Kundalini Yoga practice. There is nothing in the path of Kundalini Yoga that in any way contradicts what is taught in the Siri Guru Granth.
It has been my personal experience that Gurbani Kirtan and developing a relationship with the Siri Guru Granth Sahib has given me the bliss and grace of life. However, it was and continues to be my Kundalini Yoga practice and teaching that helps keeps me in Chardi Kala and continues to remind me to seek the Guru’s Feet as my refuge.
I truly believe that it is the Miracle of Guru Ram Das that the ancient teachings of Kundalini Yoga were offered to the Sikhs to keep them in Chardi Kala. How else can we explain the miracle of so many Westerners coming to the feet of Siri Guru Granth Sahib through the practice of Kundalini Yoga?
Dhann dhann Raam Daas Gur
Jin siri-aa tinai savaari-aa
Pooree ho-ee karaamaat
Aap sirjanhaarai dhaari-aa
Blessed, blessed is Guru Ram Das; the One who created You has also exalted You.
Perfect is Your miracle; the Creator has installed You on a throne [the throne of Raj Yoga].
About the Author
MSS Guru Raj Kaur Khalsa was among the group of the first women to become ordained as Sikh Dharma Ministers back in 1972. She has been active as a Sikh Dharma Minister since then, dedicated to the Khalsa Panth, in interfaith work, with Sikh youth including Sikh youth camps, and in the Office of the Bhai Sahiba of Sikh Dharma. She served as editor of Victory & Virtue (the Sikh Dharma Minister’s Manual), and The Aquarian Teacher Training Manual, and is a KRI Senior Teacher Trainer.