Yogi Bhajan, born Harbhajan Singh Puri, taught from 1969-2004 in every part of the globe. He repeatedly emphasized that he came not to create disciples, but to create teachers. Today, Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is being taught in 42 countries.
Yogi Bhajan was born in 1929 in Punjab, India. He was the son of a medical doctor. He spent his youth in Catholic convent schools and private schools. He began his yogic training when he was 8 years old with an enlightened teacher, Sant Hazara Singh, who declared him to be a Master of Kundalini Yoga at the age of 16 and a half.
During the turmoil of the partition of India in 1947, Yogi Bhajan, at the age of 18, led his village of 7,000 people 325 miles on foot to safety in New Delhi, India. After graduating with a degree in Economics, he began service with the Indian government and married Bibi Inderjit Kaur in 1952. Throughout his academic career and government service in India, Harbhajan Singh taught yoga to people from all walks of life.
At the age of 39, he was impelled by his inner guidance to travel to the West. Yogi Bhajan began teaching in the heyday of the sixties drug culture, when many young people were searching for different states of consciousness. Yogi Bhajan recognized that this reflected their desire to experience the infinite and he resolved to serve the generation of restless souls searching for Truth.
Yogi Bhajan gave his first public lecture in the USA in Los Angeles on January 5, 1969. Soon he was teaching at colleges and universities across the US, openly revealing the technology of Kundalini Yoga for the first time in history. For centuries this yoga had been kept secret and never taught publicly. Students had to endure rigorous tests to prove themselves worthy before they could receive the wisdom from the yoga master. Yogi Bhajan broke this exclusivity and angered many traditionalists by openly sharing Kundalini Yoga. He believed that everyone could access wisdom within, instead of looking for wisdoms outside of them. Kundalini Yoga enables this to happen by stimulating the glandular systems and nervous system, giving a person strength and a connection to their inner wisdom. He said, "It is your birthright to be healthy, happy, and holy."
To reach and uplift people, Yogi Bhajan established the 3HO Foundation (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) in the United States in 1969. The 3HO Foundation belongs to the United Nations group of Non-Government Organizations and is a global community that promotes healthy, conscious lifestyles in countries around the world. The 3HO legacy lives on and grows with the same spirit of joy, sharing, acceptance, vitality and contribution that he gave it. Traveling extensively in the '70s and '80s, Yogi Bhajan worked tirelessly to educate, inspire, and enlighten everyone he met. In 1971, Yogi Bhajan became the Mahan Tantric (Master of White Tantric Yoga) when the previous Tibetan Mahan Tantric left his body. Following Yogi Bhajan's directive, the Kundalini Research Institute was incorporated in 1976 to verify, preserve, and make available his teachings.
Yogi Bhajan earned his doctorate in the Psychology of Communication (1980). The author of more than 30 books, Yogi Bhajan's teachings are available in more than 200 other books, videos and DVD's. They are a treasury of wisdom and inspiration. His teachings were precise and practical yet universal, appealing to everyone, regardless of creed, race, country, caste, or profession. Yogi Bhajan was given the unique ministerial position of Siri Singh Sahib of Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere (Chief Religious and Administrative Authority). He inspired both Sikhs and non-Sikhs to live to the highest standards of spirituality, commitment, and compassion. He was the recipient of many awards and proclamations for his work to promote peace, inter-religious cooperation, conscious business enterprises and healthy lifestyles. Yogi Bhajan passed away on October 6, 2004 at the age of 75. Despite Yogi Bhajan's passing, his teachings continue throughout the world. Everything he shared, even the most esoteric teachings, were to further the simple goal of achieving happiness and spiritual fulfillment so that each one of us could live a life of excellence. A visionary, a teacher, an inspiration and a leader to millions of people, he established a legacy that continues to serve humanity.