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- Yogi Bhajan
Yogi Bhajan, a Master of Kundalini Yoga by the age of 16 – itself a rare feat – gave his first lecture at a Los Angeles high school gym on January 5, 1969. Then a 39-year-old recent émigré from India, he left behind a government career to realize the vision of bringing Kundalini Yoga to the West. No matter that not a single student was present that evening; he came to teach and he spoke to the empty hall.
Yogi Bhajan first reached out to the youth of the turbulent 1960s. He recognized their experimentation with drugs and altered states of consciousness expressed a deeper desire to experience a holistic and liberating sense of awareness and a longing for family, for connection with themselves and one another. Soon realizing that Kundalini Yoga could give them a peaceful inner euphoria naturally, young people began arriving by the busloads to his classes. Yogi Bhajan created a family, known as 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization), and soon 3HO teaching centers sprang up across the United States and throughout the world.
Yogi Bhajan blazed a trail, and after decades of determined effort on the part of 3HO and the Kundalini Research Institute, yoga and meditation have gained widespread acceptance in the West. This popular attention speaks not only to the proven benefits of yoga and meditation, but also to the increasing public interest in spirituality and a healthy lifestyle.
Born Harbhajan Singh in what is now Pakistan to a family of healers and community leaders, Yogi Bhajan studied comparative religion and Vedic philosophy in his undergraduate years, and received his Masters in Economics with honors from Punjab University. He later earned his Ph.D. in communications psychology from the University of Humanistic Studies in San Francisco.
He emerged as a religious, community and business leader with a distinguished reputation as a man of peace, world-vision, wisdom and compassion. He authored and published more than 30 books on topics ranging from spirituality and consciousness to communication and psychology. He founded several foods companies that manufacture and distribute natural products based on these teachings. He fostered economic development in every community in which he participated, annually conducted business seminars, and authored several books that provide guidance to both the aspiring entrepreneur and seasoned business executive alike.
As the Siri Singh Sahib, or the Sikh leader in the Western Hemisphere, he met with Pope John Paul II to promote inter-religious dialogue and worked with the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop of Canterbury to foster world peace.
Adapted from www.yogibhajan.com.