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Just Say Yes

By Dharam Singh Khalsa

I would like to share with some teachings I received from Yogi Bhajan some years ago when I took part in the Master’s Touch course at Blois in France. In addition to Yogi Bhajan, there were many well-known teachers from 3HO gathered for the course. My spoken English was not exactly brilliant, but I had learned to understand, more or less, what Yogiji was saying.

Despite Yogi Bhajan’s busy schedule, I was able to have a private interview with him. I asked him a few simple questions and he answered kindly and patiently. I must add that he has always had a very kindly attitude toward me. That time, too, his words were gentle, but he knew how to get me to look at my ego.

I had finished asking my questions but still wanted to be with him. I was the last person to have an appointment with him that day and I wanted to ask if I could stay a little longer, but did not know how to put it, and at the same time I did not want to take advantage of his time. I just sat quietly and he looked at me, seeming to know what I wanted. I was trying to formulate some other question, but the words just would not come out. At this point his secretary let me know it was time to leave. Suddenly Yogi Bhajan said, “Dharam Singh will stay with us.” His secretary looked surprised and then offered me some tea.

I sat across from Yogi Bhajan for about an hour, just following what was going on around me: phone calls from around the world; people coming and going; discussions about herbs, recipes, and meditations; counseling students—all this at a pace seemingly impossible for an ordinary human being to keep up with.

I was still sitting, and was furious with myself for having never learned much English, and I prayed for my soul to be able to absorb some part of that speed and knowledge that I could feel coming from him. I felt like my intuition was being refined; that I could understand everything very clearly; and I had a strong urge to ask him one last question but did not know which one. Every now and again he would glance my way and nod at me, his eyes laughing.

It then occurred to me to ask him questions mentally and I decided that if he “answered” with a nod, it meant he had understood. I silently asked him a personal question to begin with: I waited, expecting a nod, but he looked at me as if he had heard, and said, “Sadhana, sadhana, sadhana, everyday, and all things will change.” One second later, although in the same room, he was miles away, taken up in the vortex of his activities. I asked him a second question mentally and waited once again for an answer. And once again he spoke, “Bahuta karam (a Sikh prayer)…repeat eleven times…new prosperity.” This was all I could understand with my poor English. I did not know what to make of it all. Maybe he had not heard me, maybe they were sentences being spoken for someone else’s benefit.

In my frustration, I waited for yet another answer. But I decided to wait until he could dedicate some of his time to me. I formulated another question, the question I really wanted to ask; it came from my heart, my mind, my soul. I said to him mentally, “I would like to be helped to understand what I must really do in the near future, in the next few months.”

Yogi Bhajan looked at me, smiled, and started talking. He asked an Italian girl to translate for him. “To precise questions, precise answers.” He went on, using the same words I had silently used: “In the next few months there will be many new and important events in your life. You must be very aware, because this will determine your future choices both in the material and spiritual areas of your life. Sadhana will help you a lot, especially the 25th Pauri of Japji[1]. But be careful of yourself, of your ego, and more than anything else, of your fear of not being ready. The real danger is yourself, with all your uncertainties and the fact you are so unsure of your choices. What you must do is always say yes to everything that comes your way. Always say yes, always say yes: Do you get that?”

He asked the Italian girl to make sure I understood. I answered, “I must always say yes.”

At last I left, and all my Italian friends with whom I had come to Blois were curious to know why I had been in the room so long. I told them I had learned that I had to always say yes, and they were as astonished as I was. I meditated a lot on those words, but once I was back in Rome I forgot all about them. (I must say, though, that I did increase my sadhana practice.)

One day my landlady, a little old woman who lived in the same building and loved listening to the mantras we sang in the morning, knocked at my door and told me she was going to go and live with her older sisters and had decided to sell the flat. She wanted me to buy the flat so I could go on chanting for her and her dear ones in the morning. “Do you have enough money?” I was just about to say no, when Yogi Bhajan’s voice resounded in my head like thunder, “You must always say yes!” I quickly answered yes.

In actual fact, I had very little cash, but I had a small house in the country that I had been trying to sell for six years. I became very anxious because of the answer I had given, and started doing more and more Kundalini Yoga meditations, and I recited the 25th Pauri time and again. I also kept on asking myself where on Earth I was going to find the money to buy the flat. Then one morning a doctor friend of my sister’s phoned to ask about the country house; he bought it within days. Things were beginning to look a bit brighter, but all I had was one-third of the needed sum. The date of the contract was getting closer and I was getting more and more worried.

Once again an unexpected event took place. My father phoned me and said he wanted to divide his property between my sister and me. Now I had two-thirds of the sum. I went to see my bank manager full of hope. I just couldn’t believe it when he said he would not give me a mortgage or give me a loan for the balance of the money I needed. I felt very let down. I tried every possible way to raise the rest of the money but no one could or would help me get what I needed.

I was about to give up and tell the landlady that it was all off, when the father of a patient of mine (I am a psychoanalyst) phoned me to thank me for all the help I had given his son. I was feeling very sad and sorry for myself that day, and he could clearly hear from my voice that something was wrong. He asked me if everything was all right and if not, if he could help in any way.

I was about to say no, when once again I heard the voice of my spiritual teacher telling me to say, “Yes.” Without knowing that this man was the manager of a bank, I said I needed help and explained what the problem was. Everything was solved in a couple of hours, and I was able to buy this flat that has now become a big yoga center, as well as my home.

Does all this have anything to do with the Sensory System of the human being? All I know is that if I had relied on my rational mind, I would never have gotten anywhere near where I am now. Of course, you need a good dose of courage and intuition to face life on your own and it is important to accept one’s own responsibilities. But it is also good to have a teacher who can help you. In my case, I was fortunate to have been able to have this experience with Yogi Bhajan. I could trust his Sensory System initially, and then during this experience I discovered I could rely on my own Sensory System, too.

Dharam Singh is a psychotherapist specializing in family therapy. He has written books on Bach flower remedies, homeopathy, and psychology. He has been the head psychotherapist at the Department of Public Mental Health in Rome for 25 years, and he has been an honorary judge in the junior court judicial system from 1990 to the present time. In 1983 he met Yogi Bhajan and followed his teachings and courses. He has been teaching Kundalini Yoga since 1987. In 1990, he founded Accademia of Kundalini Yoga in Rome, where he also organizes teacher training courses for the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association.

[Originally published in Aquarian Times, Spring 2003]

[1] The 25th Pauri of Japji is “Bahuta Karam”, a prayer for prosperity and abundance.