The Akal Takhat jathedar and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee warned Yogi Bhajan’s family and followers over the summer to reign in their anti-Sikh practices.
Jathedar Gurbachan Singh was alerted to a petition, on June 28, from about 3,500 Punjabi Sikhs asking for a "ban on dancing and yoga on Gurbani, which is being performed and promoted by 3HO foundation USA and Sikhnet USA," says a statement on the "Wake Up Sikhs" Facebook page.
The page on the social networking website is the brainchild of Surjit Singh, president of Bhai Makhan Shah Lubana Seva and Welfare Society in Mohali, Punjab. It is a repository of videos and images from Bhajan’s yogis that show numerous transgressions committed by them in the name of Sikhi.
Among the videos are those of Bhajan’s well-known disciples, Snatam Khalsa and Gurumukh Khalsa, singing and yoga-ing to Gurbani songs in concerts and large yoga classes; and also Gurumustuk Khalsa and Guruka Khalsa, leaders of Sikhnet.com, justifying dancing to Gurbani.
Surjit Singh and his associates showed these videos around Punjab to encourage Sikhs to sign the petition. The grass-roots signature campaign began at Punjab University, in Chandigarh, and received nearly 600 signatures from students, both Sikh and non-Sikh, he said in his own video. News reports of the signature campaign, including the videos, were broadcast on the student-run “Campus TV.” The rest of the signatures were collected from sangats in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar, he said.
“The jathedar sahib assured us he would correct this as soon as possible,” Surjit Singh said.
The Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization, or 3HO, and Sikhnet.com are among the many nonprofit organizations founded by the late Yogi Harbhajan Khalsa, popularly known as Yogi Bhajan. After immigrating to Los Angeles in the late 1960s, Bhajan made himself the Mahan Tantric, leader of a spiritual movement he called Sikh-Dharma. He mixed Hindu Tantric Yoga philosophy and practices with Gurbani and Sikh practices, and taught it to his disciples as the only authentic Sikhism. Although Bhajan used “Sikh” in the name of this organization and “Khalsa” as the surname for all his followers, they do not follow Gurbani or the Sikh Rahit Maryada. They also have altered the Guru’s Bani in their English translations to justify their own beliefs and lifestyle. Bhajan kept his community inaccessible to Sikhs, and successfully networked with the Sikh leadership. But with the advent of the Internet, Sikhs are beginning to take note of Bhajan’s yogis. They are complaining.
[For more information, see “American yogis distort Sikh scripture,” by Sikh Free Press.]
“Yogi Bhajan’s followers in 3HO have given Sikhi a different swaroop in which they use Gurbani as the foundation for dancing to Gurbani and using verses from Gurbani to do yoga,” Surjit Singh said. “They are disrespecting Gurbani… Yoga and dancing should be stopped... The main motive of Miri Piri Academy (Bhajan’s school in Amritsar) is to create yoga teachers and propagate falsehood around the world,” he added.
- the photo of the naked lady portrayed (with recording artist) Snatam Kaur’s Kirtan Sohila Bani;
- worship of Hindu deities publicly and in homes of leaders of Sikh Dharma and their students;
- several complaints against practices at MPA (Miri Piri Acadamy, Yogi Bhajan’s school in Amritsar) and various Sikh code of conduct violations by MPA students and staff;
- complaints against MPA students smoking and drinking liquor in public;
- many instances of dancing on Gurbani Shabads including to Snatam Kaur and (Hollywood yoga teacher) Gurmukh Kaur’s chanting of Guru’s Bani;
- idol and stone worship by Sikh Dharma members / teachers and many more such practices.”