Who Is Yogi Bhajan?

June 1998

By Terry Michelle Kurtz, MA

Yogi Bhajan told students to
place this photo on an altar

His real name is Harbahjan Singh Puri from India. His family went through the partition of India and were left poor by the upheaval and turmoil. He married Inderjit Kaur, who was from a wealthy clan. They have 3 children; all grown and living in America. In India, he worked as a custom officer for the Indian Boarder Patrol. Somehow, he lost his job, left his family and went to Amritsar, holy city of Sikhism. He claimed that he did nothing for four years but scrub the floors of the Golden Temple. He left India in 1968 for Canada. He had a work visa, but, admits himself that no one wanted him around, or would give him work. Somehow, he was given a ticket to Los Angeles, because his work permit had expired in Canada.

When Bhajan arrived in the United States in 1969, he began promoting himself as a yogi from India. Bhajan always talked about the day he landed in the LA airport...he calls it "the day I knew"...He always tells the story that the moment he saw all the riches (he called it "MAYA") in LA, known as the "City of Angles" that his destiny was great. He was destined to stay in America and promote himself as Yogi Bhajan.

He also claims that all of India was furious with him for claiming to be a "yogi" of Kundalini Yoga. He claimed that the Indians told him that this was "dangerous". He proclaimed that he was only in America fulfilling the prophecy of Sikhism that the-- "Sun shall also rise in the West". This is why he came to America; as a teacher.

He founded the "3HO Foundation" to organize his students into Kundalini Yoga teachers. (3HO stands for "Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization").

Note: Terry MIchelle Kurtz (1952-2021), received her undergraduate degree from Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri and her Masters in Psychology from Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona. She worked with child protective services in Phoenix and was an advocate for those victimized by cults. Ms. Kurtz was also a yoga teacher and a former member of 3HO known as "Kartar Khalsa."


Copyright © 1998 by Rick Ross

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