What is a man but this deeds and actions?
These past two weeks have been a troubling time for myself and many other Kundalini Yogi’s. The creator and teacher of Kundalini Yoga has been accused by multiple women as an abuser, rapist and manipulator. It is hard to digest and also confusing at the same time. How could someone of such ‘light’ do such things and how could he also have created something that has helped thousands of people. With this news it brings up deeper questioning of the apparent darkness and shadow side of humanity. What happens when we only focus on the light and repress the shadow.
It appears the patriarchal world is falling a part and what was festering and repressed below the surface is coming to the light. This has happened with Bikram, and now it is happening to Bhajan.
Many of us are angry that we weren’t told of this sooner as it has been circulating that many of the older teachers that have been practicing KY knew about the allegations and stories.
There is still many unanswered questions and we can only hope with time that the truth will unfold.
This had lead me to question many things within my own being and my own experience of unknowingly being a part of a cult. Even saying this makes me cringe.
I had heard whispers of abuse but somehow didn’t think about it because a 1st generation teacher told me to dismiss it and it wasn’t true. “Don’t pay attention to the guy on the internet, he is lying, no need to worry about it”
I had questions about the lineage, did research on many things Yogi Bhajan claimed such as his PHD and could find no evidence.
Yet, I still continued practising and teaching and didn’t question further. It seemed with this character that he was larger then life and so bright and wonderful so why would I ever second guess his motives or what he said. Also, his students that had directly practiced under him loved him so much and had so much respect for him, they said so many positive amazing stories so I didn’t question it.
I kept practicing certain meditations and KY practices even when it didn’t feel good or right to me. I went against my own truth because of what teachers said or what a book said. I thought ‘oh perhaps its my ego’ or ‘oh this is just a side effect of this karma etc clearing away’ etc. There was always an excuse or I would explain it away to myself.
I didn’t like wearing all white all the time, or wearing a turban and felt pressure to become someone else and dress different while I was teaching. To present a more pure version of myself. At the time, I thought it was just procedure and got rid of many of my clothes because they weren’t acceptable in this lineage and I didn’t feel right wearing them anymore. I wanted to fit in and if I wore black or makeup I felt like I was sinning or something.
I did all of this willingly.
I didn’t question.
I just followed the teachings. Teachings disguised for my spiritual benefit.
I wanted to be a good student and to do good. I wanted to help people and so I did just as I was told.
I consider myself to be an independent and intelligent person. I am well educated, I came from a family where our individual choices were honoured and respected and I was taught to do what I wanted with my life and yet still I fell in this trap…
I went against my own intuitive hunches that something wasn’t right, but I loved the community, I loved my friends and I loved teaching so I kept up with it, even though some of it didn’t feel right to me. I made up excuses that it was just my ego, that I was just having an aversion that it was something karmic. Using spiritual language to bypass my actual experience. I did it to myself.
My heart goes out to the women and children that are suffering from this mans direct/indirect actions. I cannot even begin to imagine how much pain this has caused them.
I am still processing it all and figuring it out, how I feel about things and what really happened during those 5 years. A lot of the allegations I am not surprised about but also with some I was shocked as I keep learning more and more. There is grief as I loved the practice and in many ways it did help me and did change my life for the better. Because of Kundalini Yoga I stopped drinking and smoking, I met my life partner, I made amazing friends and I developed a daily practice. However, now I am confused and trying to figure out how to move on without the yoga. Without Bhajan. It is a complex task and as his teaching are so ingrained in me I am really going through what is REALLY true for me, not based on what someone else said but on what I know and feel in my being.
This is a lesson for all of us – To listen to ourselves first and foremost. To not do anything we aren’t ready for or doesn’t feel right for us. To be true to who we really are. To not put other human beings on a pedestal, to not give our power away to other people we think are more wise than us, teachers etc. To belong to yourself instead of trying to fit in. To be aware that if there is smoke there is fire. So many lessons, please comment below what you have learned/learning through this experience if this news has touched your life.
This is a poem I wrote in reflection of all this.
A lion in Sheep’s Clothing
I wanted to be good, so I followed you.
You preached the words only God would speak.
But now I know,
You were a lion in sheep clothing.
Lies and deception your currency.
Bodies like pons at your mercy.
You played with words and we tried to decipher them like keys
Thinking perhaps I am not spiritual evolved enough to understand thee.
Maybe I am in karma, lost from the dharma.
Yet, we gave you the power.
Without us, there was no tower.
Now it is falling down.
What was repressed is rising,
The Goddess, the feminine, the shakti.
The coiled snake is unwinding.
The illusions created and the deceptions kept secret
Are coming to the light
For true healing.
The fire is igniting
The poison is alchemizing.
The true teachings are arising.
Where there is smoke there is fire,
Where there is love there is hope.
Where there was a sheep there is now a lion.
The truth is out with all its pain and freedom .
You are your own teacher
You always were
And you always will be.