Yogi Bhajan Lecture: Strong as Steel, Steady as Stone
Have you ever wondered why Yogi Bhajan taught so many classes for women, but not for men? Actually, in 1978 he began teaching an annual course for men. Granted, these courses were not as long as the women’s courses, but they were potent and effective. “Yogi Bhajan would blow in and teach with all the testosterone only a master yogi can conjure,” (Hari Jiwan S. Khalsa). Yogiji gathered men together and challenged them with straight talk and hard exercise.
“Sitting among the men at Yogiji's Men's Courses was completely enthralling. No one moved while he spoke. An entire room full of men, each one unique, with completely diverse backgrounds, sitting in awestruck silence, with eyes on him. Then he would give us a kriya. Sweat would pour and tears would fall, potential would be achieved. Songs would resound in your cellular structure, and I don't think we were ever the same again. He always said that we would understand more in the future. We had never heard these words used to describe what we could be: gracious, respectful, contained, aware, sensitive, potent, learned, beautiful, and wise. This vision of man's true Self was nowhere in the mainstream media. After years of practice I still feel his teachings are as alive as ever and continue to sink in and touch me at greater depths.” -Dharm S. Khalsa
The following lecture excerpts feature some gems and jewels from Yogi Bhajan’s teachings on men, and include these subjects: commitment, values, success, relationships, communication, and trust. All material has been excerpted from Man to Man: A Journal for the Conscious Man by Yogi Bhajan, available for a discount through KRI.
Here we are in a men's course. We want to build a strong man of you. Not so that you become “macho;” not so that you become self-destructive; but so that you can handle every challenge you face. We believe the strength of the man is in the challenge: the higher the challenge, the higher the man's capacity to meet it, the higher is his achievement in life. Challenge is not something that destroys you; challenge is something that gives you an experience.
We are required to have a different kind of strength. We are required to have within us what we need. We cannot go with the free flow of insanity. Life requires much more commitment. Life needs the nurturing of commitment and commitment needs strength of character. Character needs strength of values and values have to be learned from the learned, and then practiced and lived.
I believe that you are wise enough to answer every question. Your failure is when you don't mean to commit. Because without a base, without nailing yourself to the situation, you will never find the answer. You may want to have the answer, you may badly need the answer, you may try to have the answer; but without your nucleus, there is no answer. Are you going to live with this woman or not? Are you going to be with this situation or not? If you are going to be, then go through with everything!
In our lives we do not believe in the flow of commitment. The commitment of life is a flow, and we do not guard the commitment. We only guard the life. You don't guard the commitment of life and you don't guard the values of life. Life flows in order for you to develop values; and as the life flows and you develop your values, the deeper and deeper should be your commitment.
Within each of us is a faculty to move our personality. It doesn't matter whether we are children, adults, or old men; we do move and we do project. We want to project and conquer. It is in his spermatozoa. To conquer is your basic natural faculty. But you forget the most beautiful aspect of it—your spermatozoa conquered the egg by entering it and becoming a part of it. It can never conquer the egg; it must penetrate it. The power to penetrate is the basic power that makes you male.
In the male and female relationship, you do the same thing your sperm does. Nature gave you the power to penetrate; Nature gave her the power to receive you and to relieve you of that power through which you desire to penetrate. Therefore, there is a balance in the male/female relationship. You are motivated by your power to be hearty, to be projective, to be going in and penetrating. Then you move and you are relieved—you call this ejaculation. If you look at that basic human act, you can understand your total personality.
All action of the spermatozoa is caused by the movement of its tail. Your ego is your tail. Put your ego behind you where it can move you. Don't put it up front. That's the secret of success. Whoever puts his ego behind will penetrate. That is the primary lesson you need to learn as a male. The spermatozoa are the male seed. It moves forward by moving its tail. Put your ego behind you and go forward. If you put your ego in front, you can never penetrate.
Some of you men have fallen apart for a woman. Your marriage fails and you fail with it. That is not a true response. A woman can be your partner, she can be your love, she can be your life, she can be your anything, but she's not you. Anything you subject yourself to will take away your freedom and give you slavery. Then you are not a man, you are a donkey.The question in life is simple: Who rides whom? The question is whether a woman, some children, a girlfriend, a project, or any temptation is powerful enough that you have to subject yourself to it. There are only three permissible subjections of the self. They are subjection to higher consciousness, subjection to intuition, and subjection to God. Any other subjection is not permissible.
According to you, a man is one who can drink a whole bottle of bourbon straight and still walk. Those are all stories of the old days: "A man is a man who will never tie up his horse and go with sixteen women." You remember those old stories about how the West was won? But now the story is different. Woman is intelligent, precise, intellectual. She has personality, surrounding, environment. She has understanding and education. She doesn't need you for money, for business, or even for sex. What I am trying to tell you is that the very deep feeling, the expression that a woman enjoys, which to her is very relaxing, very creative, very relevant, is when she believes and understands in her depth that she has found a man; and that in the depth of her heart, she can trust the wisdom of that man. Then she can forget everything that may be a handicap in that relationship.
A growing man is affected in his integrity, his commitment, his dignity, and his communication by the difference between his external face value and his internal value. If your inner value doesn't match your face value, you're always in trouble. You should not forget that the outside is what you look at, but the inside is what you deal with. People are not dealing with your outside—the outside is giving an impression. It is the inside they are dealing with. The inner values are the real values, which people want to relate to. Therefore, please deal with your inner values and keep your face values impressive and clean.
Accepting the challenge is the first act of the man and converting any adversity into prosperity is the second challenge of the man. Nurturing and caring is the third challenge of the man. Kindness and compassion is the fourth challenge of the man. Being noble and honorable is the fifth challenge of the man. These are the five challenges, which every man has to accept in his life whenever they come head on. Otherwise, you can call yourself a man but you are not. For that, you require character, instinct, intuition, intelligence, and knowledge.
You must earn every bit of your life—everything. That's the only way to grow as a man. Earn your woman, earn your money, earn your home, earn your prospect, earn your progress, earn your success. Learn to earn; don't learn to get. Don't learn to get. Whatever you get you will lose, whatever you earn will be yours. What you can earn, you can re-earn. What you get, you can lose. There is a tremendous difference between the two faculties.
A man who can give the convincing impression that he is very committed to values never suffers. Your life is not an irrelevant tug of war. It's not a hassle. All you have to do is find the values. That is so important because if you have not found the values for yourself as a father, you cannot find them for your son, your grandson, your neighbor, anybody.
Man is not what you think man is: man is an institution of grace, not reaction. When, as a man you react, no matter what the temptation is, or how hard the button is being pressed, you are not a man. The difference between man and animal is so little; there is such a fine line you can't believe it. If you react or provoke to react or ask to react or make to react, you are not a man. Man never reacts to environments, circumstances, and pressures. Man accepts the challenge and makes his own way. I hardly believe that you understand what I am saying, because what I am saying is that people look like men, they even try to act like men, they even talk like men, and they believe and feel they are men, but the reality is they are not.
The question is, what is your strength? What is your grit—not what are other people doing to you. People will always do things, weird, negative things. They will always be jealous. They always lie but lies do not live very long. They will try to bring you down. Their anger can reach a capacity, an animosity and vengeance, interlocked in life so that you don't have anything to go for. But don't do away with it; instead, as it is being presented to you, just laugh it away. A woman said to a man, "Hey, you son of a [xxx], you rascal, you idiot, oh, you cursed devil." Can you believe all this was said in one breath? But just see what his reply was. You know what he said to her? "Oh man, that's a wonderful script," and he walked away. I couldn't believe it. In my whole life I had never seen something like this. The man had been accused, abused, and faced and he said, "Oh man, that's a wonderful script. Doesn't fit me,” and he walked away. He didn't bother to saywhy are you abusing me? Why are you accusing me? What wrong have I done? What is this? What is that? Not a word! He said, "Oh man, oh man, it is a wonderful script," and he walked away smiling. That's called endurance.
The idea is for people to be strong and to let them control their weaknesses. When you want to stop water from flowing in one direction, you put up a dike to stop the flow and then open up a channel for it to flow in another direction. Human energy works in exactly the same way. You stop it from flowing to the negative or destructive side and you will have an equal amount of energy to flow in a positive direction. Just remember: there is X amount of energy in you and you are its master. You can use it the way you want and direct it in the way you want it go.
In life, men are questioned, challenged, and tested. Do you believe yourself to be a man or don't you? That is the question. Can you be questioned by the whole world and have an answer for it? And is your answer, “I am a man of Infinity”? If you don't want to call yourself a man of God, then call yourself a man of Infinity—then your love is with Infinity and nothing else.
The Successful Man
Either you shall be successful or you were born to be miserable. There are no two ways about it. That's how powerful success is ingrained in you. You are not afraid to succeed; you just don't want to succeed because you have never enjoyed what success is. There is no substitute for success and to succeed there is only one thing to do. When there are emotions and feelings in the way, jump over. Just remember, emotions and feelings are yours, but performance is also yours—and performance has to be perfect. Don't let your emotions and your feelings and your fears and your needs detour your performance. Let it not be diluted or polluted. Your life is meant to succeed. The power of success is such that, if not in this lifetime, somewhere else, some other time, somewhere you must succeed. The purpose of the soul is to feel success and experience it and be satisfied. That's the price it paid for separation from God.
When emotions and feelings take over priority in work you are doomed. You have no place. Tons of money and millions of friends and extreme power in your position, and still you shall be the most unhappy and upside down human being. Work is not for anything but to prove success. The whole system that is you is geared toward one point: Work to prove success. Not to prove to anybody else; but to prove to you. Work is an experience of self-success. Whenever you work with the attitude that work is an experience of self-success, you shall be successful. It is your elementary right. There is but one God and that is success through the experience of your work. Your work, your experience, and your success are a manifestation of you and, within you, of God. It should be your primary achievement, because it's your primary right.
When the internal block of ego communicates with emotion, it doesn't matter how wise or how great you are, you become self-destructive; and whenever your ego and your intelligence come together, you shall become successful. It doesn't matter who you are. Your ego is like the common wire of a toggle switch; your emotions and your intelligence are the two opposite poles. It is just a matter of blocking the current to one pole and allowing it to flow to the other.
You don't have to hassle to be successful. You just have to flow with the energy of life. Just being alive is successful. Just live and once you live, let others live. You will create such goodwill, everything will come to you. Live, let live. Live, let live. Every life, all energy will be with you because you are a living energy.
You may be very well-dressed, well-mannered, well-positioned, well-equipped, well in everything, but if you do not win trust, you have not arrived. There is no point in corresponding, in traveling miles and miles, in hugging, kissing and all that, when you have not reached the other person at all. When you start out, look good, look in your mirror, look in your consciousness, look in your intelligence, look at yourself—body, mind, and soul—and ask one question: "Can I win the trust?" Then, after winning the trust, can you keep it?
I never react to anybody, because all of you have given your trust to me and I have to keep it. There's one more thing you have to do: You must give it back. You must deliver it. When you were born, it was called delivery. Trust is no good if you can't keep it. Keeping it is no good if you can't deliver. Why should you win the trust to begin with? For success! There is no success without it. We are not here to learn to be failures. We are here to learn to be successful.
To create success as a human being, you must know how you talk, why you talk, when you talk, and what you talk. You must know what you are conveying. You believe that you can say things and get away with it. If you are angry, you want to talk angrily. If you are unhappy, you want to communicate your unhappiness. If you are freaked out, you want to create your freak out. If you are lovey-dovey, you want to communicate that. Actually, all you're doing is communicating your mood. You are not communicating yourself. It is simple to communicate yourself, just say, "I love you, but I am angry. I am not in a position to tell you why at this time, but I'll talk to you later." At least in this way, you protect your personality, and you don't communicate your anger. The result of this kind of communication is that the other person will always trust you.
I am asking those of you who live by the emotional self, where are you going? The credibility within you is your credibility as a man. What you want on the Earth, what you want as a man, is to be recognized as a man. Understand that. The purpose behind all the wealth you are using, all the status you are using, all the emotions you are using, all the commotions you are using is that you want to be recognized as a man. Basically, if people don't trust you, it doesn't matter who you are, you have no value and no influence. As a male you have to understand that you will only be recognized as a man if you are trusted. If you don't gain the trust of the people to whom you relate, it doesn't matter who you are, or what you possess, or what you think you can influence, you have nothing to commend you as a man. So how can you be trusted? Your word must be everlasting. For your word to be final, you must be in touch with your intuition. Your virtue is in your intuition, not in your emotion.
Keep the trust. That is what I mean when I say, "Keep up." Keep up means keep the trust flowing, keep the trust going, keep the trust living, keep the trust accelerating. Keep the trust in the memory of the other person forever and ever. Then, ultimately, you'll become God. I'll give you the secret of how to become God. When you are called in the name of trust by another person, and you come through and you deliver it, you are the God. When God is called upon in the name of justice and truth, God delivers it. Simple.
You are the men of God. May you recognize it.
You are the men of the Universe. May you deal with it in the light of God.
You are men to be men. May you feel the pride of it and be in grace.
You are the men of success. May you accomplish it.
You are the men of self, light, and respect. May you understand it.
You are the men of merits. May your virtues be known.
You are the men of knowledge. May your compassion be known.
You are the men of absolute determination. May your kindness be known.
May you be men whom the world, the Earth, the Universe may be proud of.
Compiled by Guru Tera K. Khalsa, Aquarian Times Managing Editor
From Man to Man, courtesy of KRI.