Death's Divine Embrace. Thank You Yogi Bhajan
by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #96 - October 18, 2004
As many of you already know, Yogi Bhajan left his physical body October 6th about 8:00pm PDT.(1) This cosmic soul, who spent 75 years in this physical incarnation, called himself a Saturn teacher. He pressurized his students in order to transform raw carbon into diamonds. He continually confronted and challenged us, with the purpose of elevating and inspiring us to be the best we could be. Even in death he is still teaching us, and challenging us to expand into greater levels of awareness and compassion.
I first met Yogi Bhajan in March 1977 at a White Tantric Course in Boston. He talked about how the practice of Kundalini Yoga would awaken people's consciousness so that we could be free. Free people, he explained, could not be controlled by corrupt political, economic and religious institutions. I knew immediately that this man had the formula for planetary change, and indeed the seed for a grassroots revolution.
Yogi Bhajan has, for the first time in the history of the Planet, made the heretofore secret technology of Kundalini Yoga available to everyone. Personal empowerment is now a choice, not a privilege. There are no chosen few. Everyone can choose to initiate themselves through the practice of this incredible technology of transformation.
The Saturn Teacher
The summer of 1977 I was in Europe, and was able to attend the European Yoga Festival in France. During one of his lectures before the White Tantric exercises, Yogi Bhajan began talking to me in a very confrontive way, in front of hundreds of others. I was embarrassed and mortified and, of course, I didn't like what he said. I cried for 2 days. Later that summer I moved to Boston, where I eagerly attended the White Tantric Course that fall. I remember it so clearly. I was sitting to the side up front. He walked in and started scanning the audience. When he got to me, he looked very surprised and pleased. He exclaimed in a loud voice, You're back!! His communication to me was, after all that upset, you still choose to come back for more! I could feel him sending me a lot of love. I always came back for more.
The Ways of the Master
That is just one of many stories that thousands can share of our dear Saturn teacher Yogi Bhajan. He facilitates our maturing process. We might not like it. Our ego generally doesn't. But we come back for more. Over time we understand what is happening on a deeper level. As the pain of unconsciousness is burned away, we begin to feel the love of our teacher and the love of the Universe in our own hearts.
Between the White Tantric exercises we could usually join Yogi-ji on stage. He would talk to us and we could massage his feet. One time in Los Angeles I remember him yelling at a lady. She just sat there and seemed to be perfectly fine with what was transpiring. Finally she said, Sir, thank you so much for giving me so much energy. He broke into laughter. He loved that she had understood the game.
When I had meetings with him, he would tell me to talk. Believe me, in front of this master, it was hard to talk. I knew he would refute or challenge anything I said, but he would insist. I told him once, that I was afraid to say anything because I knew he wouldn't like it. He explained to me. Just talk. Just say anything. I need you to talk so I can do my work. Lets get the work done and then we can move on. So I talked. He shifted my energy through some confrontation and finally said, OK we are done. Then he invited me to stay and sit in his presence.
Don't Miss Me, Feel Me
Years ago Yogi Bhajan told us "If you miss me when I am gone, you have not understood a word I said". In the past years, he asked us why we resisted his leaving the earth plane, explaining that he could help us so much more when he wasn't restricted by the physical form. At summer solstice in 1988 he told us "Those who believe that I live, I shall live one hundred times more powerfully-strong in them than they have ever experienced. With these words I would like to tell you that we have an everlasting, loving, beautiful relationship, here, thereafter-unto Infinity and even beyond that". It is amazing how true this is. Many, many people are experiencing some form of connection with him. Another sign of the democratization of spirituality.
It is so easy to get emotional about his passing, especially if you were in New Mexico and could go to the funeral and see his beautiful body before it was cremated. Being farther away from all the activities, I found myself wanting to avoid emotional commotions, as Yogi Bhajan used to call how we used our emotional body. When I am not emotionally upset I can stay present to another level of what is happening. I do my best to be present to this level of awareness as much as I can.
What I experience is that Yogi Bhajan is indeed very present. In fact, when I listen I can hear him talking to me. In my stillness I have also gained a very precious understanding of how I perceive he used his emotional body. He used to harp on us about being so emotional. He didn't even talk about the emotional body in his delineation of the ten bodies, but everyone has an emotional body. It either uses us or we use it. Now I understand how he used his emotional body. He used it to heal, to transform energy, to do White Tantric Yoga cleansing, to offer energy infusions and to send waves of love out to us and the planet.
One man who attended the funeral said, that after he stopped crying (3 days) he realized that Yogi Bhajan was indeed still here. Yogi Bhajan is still teaching us, this time about the nature of death. In fact, we are realizing first hand that our soul/spirit really does not die, and our connection with other souls is always there too. We simply have to be awake enough to experience this reality. So again, Yogi Bhajan is challenging us to expand to the next level of consciousness. In this expanded awareness, the fear of physical death loses its grip. We also gain a deeper appreciation of the preciousness of life.
Yogi Bhajan did not offer us a fluffy path. Chiseling and faceting a diamond is an arduous and precise task. Life on Planet Earth requires grit no matter what path you take. He gave the world Kundalini Yoga so that we could excel and become strong, courageous and graceful. I remember so well one of his lectures at Ladies Camp in New Mexico. He seemed a little concerned. He said that there had been a misunderstanding on our part. He never promised we would not have problems. He said that what he promised is that if we did our daily practice - Sadhana - we would be able to get through them.
Nirvair Singh (formerly from Alaska, who makes Kundalini Yoga videos) told me that he got to sit with Yogi Bhajan a year before his passing, in his Dome in Espanola. He was already is a very weakened physical state. Nirvair said that he felt that Yogi-ji was existing in divine grace. There was so much light around him. He was simply there in full radiance of being, in complete acceptance and totally at peace.
Scorpio and the Cycles of Life
Above I have shared a few stories that illustrate the life-death-rebirth lessons of Scorpio and Pluto. While the Sun is in Scorpio, between October 22nd and November 20th, we can facilitate our spiritual journey by using these insights and the following points to guide and deepen our life experiences.
- Scorpio's bumper sticker could be Life is confrontive. Deal with it. We can deal with it and remain a victim. Or we can deal with it and become a self-empowered radiant jewel.
- Life is cyclic. Life, death and rebirth have their own timetable. We can flow with natures unfoldment and live in peace, or we can resist it and live in pain. The choice is ours.
- Everything comes to an end. Every ending is the start of a new beginning. With Yogi-ji's passing we have come to the end of an era. One door has closed and another one has opened. Whether it is the end of an era, a year, a life or a day, we are invited to evaluate our experiences, to learn as much as we can, to appreciate the gifts we acquired and to move on. For tomorrow is another chapter. We are encouraged to leave as much excess baggage as possible behind, so that we can embrace the unlimited potential of the generous unknown that awaits us.
- As we confront physical death, we are asked to reflect on the legacy that we will leave. How will the world be a different place because we came for a visit?
- Who we are and what we do this lifetime are defined by our soul code. Within our soul context, there are unlimited possibilities of who we can be, what we will realize and what we will do. With every cycle of life, we are called upon to identify what fits our identity and our mission, and what does not. We can ask ourselves - What is authentically ME and my destiny? What shackles must I shed to unlock my potential? What limiting stories must I bury so that I can write a more becoming biography? What mental restrictions must I discard so that a clear mind can guide my choices?
Three Incarnations of Scorpio
It is revelatory that Scorpio has three incarnations - the Scorpion, the Eagle and the Phoenix.
The Scorpion phase pulls us deep inside ourselves, so that we can examine our subconscious programming and limiting beliefs. We must disentangle ourselves to set ourselves free. The Eagle liberates us to another level of understanding. From its higher perspective we see the truth of who we are and what we can become. We are motivated to let go of restrictions and false gods. Scorpio offers any dysfunctions, pain, negative programming, etc. to its own funeral pyre. When all the excess baggage is transformed into ashes, the Phoenix rises and Scorpio is liberated.
While the Sun is in Scorpio, we will experience the bites of our dysfunctions. They will sting us until we cannot ignore them. They will even disable us, if they must, to get our attention. Scorpio's mission is not to kill us. Scorpio's mission is to empower us, to give us an experience of our own soul power. Scorpio's mission is to free us so that we can touch the eternal that cannot die, that cannot be taken away even in physical death. Scorpio's mission is not to engage us in endless examination of the subconscious, but to connect us to the reality of the Divine that lives and never dies in each of us.
A Time of Transformation
This is very much a time of transformation. The two Five-Star Pentagram formations, the first on October 1st and the second on October 27-28th (between 6:47pm and 11:49pm GMT, the same day as the Lunar Eclipse) initiate a new phase of consciousness. Both the Solar Eclipse/Libra New Moon October 13th, and the Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon Taurus/Scorpio October 27th open the doors to new levels of awareness and liberation.
The issues highlighted in the upcoming Taurus/Scorpio Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon deal with our personal and collective resources and power. Taurus wants us to get our emotional and physical needs met. Scorpio helps illuminate what must die so that we can have what we deserve, so that we can truly live an inspired and impassioned life. It is a time of self-observation. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we can see how attached we are to our own suffering. We can also let go of self-sabotaging programs, relationships and circumstances that do not serve us, and quit imposing limitations and pain on ourselves. Our task now is to go inward, to examine, to heal, to release and to transcend.
Death's Divine Embrace
When souls leave the physical plane, they exit the dimension of conflict and limitations and enter the dimension of universal love and oneness. A soul that has passed wants to share this experience with loved ones still on the Earth plane. One of the ways that they can communicate with us is through the embrace of love. Masters like Yogi Bhajan don't lose consciousness of higher dimensions while on Planet Earth. They try to share with us how we too can connect with this higher awareness in physical reality. When they leave, their embrace is even stronger. Yogi Bhajan's embrace feels all-pervasive.
So how can we make ourselves more receptive to the divine embrace? The first and most important question I ever asked Yogi Bhajan was "How can I experience God?" He told me to Relax and feel IT. That is what I did. It has taken me a long time to cultivate relaxation, but I do know that the more I relax, the more I can feel IT. In my experience, the quest for relaxation is a journey. When I let go of one more thing and let down one more barrier, a little more confusion and static disappear, my free space becomes a little bigger, I feel freer, and I experience more love and peace.
Seventeen Days of Celebration
Yogi Bhajan invited us to celebrate his life for the seventeen days following his physical passing. Final celebrations worldwide werre on October 23rd and 24th. He left during the higher love days of Libra. The Sun will be in introspective Scorpio during the last days of celebration. During this time, Yogi-ji asked us to join him in his journey to the Light, offering us yet another opportunity to expand our awareness of the Divine. Sometimes I laugh to myself - Yogi-ji will never stop teaching us. We can participate and strengthen our personal connection with Yogi Bhajan by chanting any Guru Ram Das chant.
The most common mantra is GURU GURU WA HE GURU GURU RAM DAS GURU
It can be chanted in monotone or with music. This mantra is the last track on all Kundalini Yoga Sadhana music CDs.
I personally love the versions by Wah! (Wah He Guru Kaur) on her Aquarian Sadhana CD - below. Singh Kaur's touching version of Guru Ram Das is on her Crimson I CD.
It is so beautiful how the Universe arranges everything so perfectly. Neptune was stationary or still on October 24th, as it changed from retrograde to direct course. This stillness of the Planet of Divine Love made meditation, prayer and healing work deeper and more fruitfully between October 23rd and 25th. Joining together with a few friends to do yoga, meditate or simply to be together in gratitude on these days proved to be very powerful.
In Gratitude, We Say Thank You!
In gratitude, we thank you, Yogi Bhajan, for teaching us how to live in the Light and Love that animates the Universe, and how to die in sweet surrender to Divine Grace. Thank you for loving us just the way we are, and for continuing to help us open our minds and hearts to Divine Love.
References and Footnotes
1. For more on Yogi Bhajan and a listing of his Books and DVDs see Yogi Bhajan - Lifing the Veil on Kundalini Yoga.
Sikhnet also has detailed biographical information on Yogi Bhajan.
For an introduction to his Kundalini Yoga, check out my Free Online Course.
For news of all the latest astrological events, check out Guru Rattana Blog