Sikh Dharma is a way of life which encourages the awakening of the soul. Many Sikhs describe it not as a religion, but rather a lifestyle.
Yogi Bhajan did not attempt to ‘convert’ anybody to Sikhism. Sikhs recognise one God, and consider all paths to God of equal merit. Yogi Bhajan was a devout Sikh, and attended Gurdwara every week. Many of his students, who had been so deeply impacted by his teachings, wanted to join him. They became inspired by the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, and began to follow this spiritual path, along with the path of yoga.
Sikh Dharma and Kundalini share some common points, including: Naad – the essence of the sound current, Simran – a continuous state of meditation, Shabd Guru – the technology of sound as a teacher, Seva – selfless service.
The path of Sikh Dharma finds its roots in the sacred writings treated by Sikhs as Guru: The Sirī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Its 1430 pages contains the poetry and teachings of Sikh Gurus as well as that of saints and sages of Hindu and Muslim faith, from the 15th to 17th centuries.
In Kundalini Yoga, our daily sadhana begins with reciting Japji Sahib, which is the first teaching of Guru Nanak Ji, and forms the first pages of the Sirī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Other excerpts from the Sirī Gurū Granth Sāhib are included in the teachings of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan as mantras. A student once asked Yogi Bhajan why the mantras in Kundalini Yoga come from the Sikh tradition. He replied: because they work.
In 1971, Yogi Bhajan was given the title Siri Singh Sahib, Chief Religious and Administrative Authority for the Western Hemisphere by the president of the SGPC (the governing body of Sikh temples in India).
Photo credit: Ravi N Jha.