Brave Sikhs

July 2000
By the former Kamlapati Kaur Khalsa

Here are a few brief stories about some very well known leaders in 3HO, who left the organization in dramatic and courageously righteous ways. I want to thank and honor these women and men for their sincere integrity because truly: "He tested their heart with His touch-stone and found them to be pure."

Did you know that Yogi Bhajan fell in love in this life? Yes, most of us feel strongly that he loved one woman above all others. Sadly, it was not his Indian born wife, it was one of his first USA students-- though he wasn't a bit faithful to her either, of course. She was, and is, a poet and a muse, a truly beautiful woman, through and through, the best imaginable astrologer and a healer.

We love this sister for being the most innocent young dupe, and the most sophisticated diplomat, and for her amazing suffering and isolation in those dark years, and her courage to leave 3HO, and for what happened after that. And after that, and after that! If I had to join 3HO and become a zombie love slave, why didn't I let this woman be my spiritual teacher instead of Yogi Bhajan? What a fascinating and refreshing and unfailingly honest person she has proved herself to be, over and over again.

Yogi Bhajan's very first official student was a sweet kind wise man. He lived in the first Los Angeles ashram with Bhajan, the woman I previously described and maybe a couple other women. They started 3HO. This first 3HO student lived in the garage of that early 3HO house--so he didn't know there was anything sexy going on.

One day Yogi Bhajan sent that first student on an errand, which was not uncommon. He was supposed to procure this strange Chinese Herbal medicine for Bhajan. It was quite an adventure to find this medicine and when he finally did discover it in some little Chinese Herb Shop, he asked the man what the concoction was for.

"It is not for you?" the man asked.


"This is good. It is for sexual vigor, to help a man perform better in bed."

This first student was puzzled about that, but he shrugged it off. Years later, this same man, Yogi Bhajan's first devotee, refused to be involved in what he had very good reasons to believe--were illegal 3HO businesses. He left 3HO. He is quite successful and wealthy today, far beyond Bhajan, but as humble and kind as ever.

When the woman Yogi Bhajan loved was leaving 3HO, another very popular Brother, a fantastic public speaker and yoga teacher from Canada (who knew Bhajan from the beginning as well) listened to both Bhajan and this beautiful woman's story. He thought Yogi Bhajan should calm down and be willing to answer a question or two. Next this Bro got a surprise visit by a punj. That means "5" of Bhajan's bodyguards showed up to say, he should not speak again about this woman's shocking accusations. This Bro very courageously wrote a detailed letter anyway describing the whole incident, and sent it to everyone in 3HO on his way out the dharma door.

There is one ex 3HOer who has been famous in one way or other his whole adult life. He was the lead guitar player in a very big 60s band. He is so skilled at Indian music that he still has lots of Indian Sikh admirers, as well as the rest of us totally admire his talent. One day Yogi Bhajan publicly declared this Brother and his wife crazy--and slandered them so horribly that they were completely and instantly shunned by 3HOers everywhere.

And what about the incredible East Coast psychologist who left 3HO much sooner than the rest of us, back in the 70s. He has been open and helpful exiting 3HOers through all these years. He wrote up an interview he had with a young woman who said that Yogi Bhajan raped her, when she was a virgin, with the help of a couple members of Bhajan's female staff--including her own sister.

One of Yogi Bhajan's most loved students was a wealthy businessman who flew airplanes. This man has an open heart and a brilliant mind. Bhajan showed him the books for his troubled Indian children's program. This businessman then wrote a check to cover the kid's needs and said, "You understand that after seeing these accounts that this is the last check 3HO will ever receive from me again?" Of course Bhajan understood why this beloved student then immediately left 3HO.

One of my dear ex 3HO friends comes from a very politically powerful and "old money" sort of family. She and her husband were model 3HOers for a very long time. One morning during meditation practice, a team of federal agents arrived and the famous bust of Gurujot Singh went down. This woman didn't agree with the idea, that never talking about the arrest again, was the best way to help everyone recover from that trauma. And when a big donation she had given to 3HO for a specific purpose disappeared from the books (without that purpose being dealt with) she wasn't quiet about that either.

And then there was my friend who didn't quite understand or believe how low Yogi Bhajan would go. That is, until he apparently was set up and arrested him for a crime he hadn't committed. I firmly believe he was specifically picked to take that fall because he had been the one to suggest to me that I write my series of articles, at the beginning of the 90s--about how dysfunctional the 3HO family was becoming.

These were all once well respected, loved and well known leaders in 3HO (i.e. 5 Mukhia Singh Sahibs and two Singh Sahibs), active on the Khalsa Council. How could 3HOers possibly believe Yogi Bhajan, after so many respected people left?

Yogi Bhajan called people who left "egotists."

But you know, it seems to me that we have got to face it, 3HO was, and still is, clearly a cult [sic]!

For these brave friends, and many others who have less well known stories too, our Guru wasn't, ultimately Yogi Bhajan at all--and we proved it under dangerous circumstances.

For many of us, we first still meditate on the Adi Shakti, the primal feminine creative power, before we go any further into any dogma. That is a deep meditation. Then we turn our minds to the great lineage of historic Sikh devotional poets/teachers (who lived more amazing stories then we have) in the Middle Ages in Northern India.

There was a line of ten Sikh Gurus back then. But the tenth one decided that it was a bad practice to worship a person, so he empowered a Holy book of sacred poetry to become the True Guru for all Sikhs--the eleventh and eternal Guide on the Sikh path.

I still am grateful to Yogi Bhajan for one thing--he taught us about the great Sikh path. But he taught us the hard way.

Real Sikhs bow to no man save God.

Copyright &copy Rick Ross.

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