You are here

Yogi Bhajan Lecture: The Hunger of the Soul

Excerpts from a lecture given on April 27, 1982, in Los Angeles, CA

If you really want to look at people, people do not know what to do with themselves. People do not know how to pass time. People do not know how to take care of their loneliness.

The majority of people who suffer today in western society feel that they are lonely. And loneliness comes from the very inner being of you, and that is your soul. You really feel lonely. Your full soul feels lonely. It is lonely because it wants to be with God; it wants to feel the feeling of God; it wants to feel the inflow of the divine spirit and be in touch with it.

You have done nothing to create that scene. You think with bourbon on the rocks, and by doing this and doing that, you can totally beat out the hunger of the soul. The whole pain of life starts when the hunger of the soul is not taken care of at all. And when you are confronted with this you say, “I don't have time. I don't have time to get up. I don't have time to meditate. I can't do this. I can't do that.”

Well my dear, the soul is hungry and needs to be fulfilled by the spirit of the higher self, through the word of higher being, by the company of the holy. These are the three ways that the thirst of the soul can be quenched: by the company of the holy, by hearing the high sounds of God's praises, and by giving it the musical essence or spirit of God. You may not be part of God—you can deny God, but your soul can't. That's the dispute.

You think you can live without God, but your soul can't. And soul is very powerful in you, and it is dormant because the subtle body is the friend of the soul, and it is that minutest subtlety. Soul wants that subtlety; soul wants that little prayer, that little folded hand, “Lord be with me.” That is more than a big meal. You sometimes think perhaps you have to grind the whole earth upside down to just quench your soul. No. Soul needs a constant food. It is hypoglycemic.

(Students' laughter)

It needs a little food and all the time. A little word here, a little word there, a little kindness, a little love of God, a little appreciation of God, a little relationship to God, a little blessing of God, drop, drop, drop, drop. The soul does not have the capacity to drink by gallons. It wants just a little trickle. It wants to hear the name of the beloved.

Divinity, this is called Kirtan, it's the path of Divinity. Yoga is the path of unity with God. When you want to unite with God you do yoga. But suppose you can't do yoga. You can't do pranayam. You can't meditate. But you can always sing. And when you cannot even sing, you can listen. When the totality of the personality is moved towards Divinity, that is when you feel like just giving some food to God and that food is to your soul. You appreciate God, the Creator, and the soul is satisfied.

Your life is the nucleus of the self, and the self is nothing but soul. So if you can take away the hunger of the soul and trickle little, little, little…What is soul? Soul needs the love of the beloved. Soul is the beloved of the Lord God, the Creator. And when you appreciate and when you praise God in any form and shape, when you selflessly serve somebody in the name of God, when you move and dance in the name of God, when you sing the praises of God…when you do it together, it multiplies.

Soul is not interested in how much money you have, whether you are a doctor, an attorney, a big businessman. Soul has nothing to do like that. Soul needs its own trickling of God's praise.

When you start mathematically, methodically, personally relating to the soul and feed it the praise of God by trickle and trickle, that is the day Divinity starts sprouting in you.

Somebody argued with me. He said, "What are you talking about sir—soul, soul, soul, soul. What is soul?"

I said, "It is under your shoe."

(Students' laughter)

It is the sole of your shoe. You don't care. You say heck with your soul. But I tell you, when you say, heck with your soul, happiness says heck with you! You choose. You choose between the two and choose it now. And this is the time.

And when I say do kirtan, it works for me. It can work for you—if not, do something else. Take a table and play on it; just create a rhythm, and with that rhythm start playing and start feeling and start feeding your very soul. It's in you, it's less than an ounce. It's no big deal.

All I know is, your soul is hungry and needs a little trickling, a little bit of food. I know the story of the soul, and it is very hypoglycemic.

(Students' laughter)

It needs food here and there, a little bit here, a little bit there. Why can't you take care of it? You let your soul live lonely, die lonely and squeeze it to suffocate into own extremities. And then you have a lot of problems. Then your problems come out with neurosis, emotions, commotion, your this, your that. What's going on?

You don't want to connect with your unknown which is in you. You try to connect with outside. Inside is you and outside is your karma, make a choice.

©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan