By Sewa Singh
The following information represents an interpretation of teachings, both overt and subtle, that I was blessed to have received from my spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan.
His first lesson was that women, by nature, are ten times more powerful than men and sixteen times more compassionate. At the time, and still today, we are distracted by mainstream cultural messages suggesting that men and women have equal power and equal compassion. I believe it is this popular denial of a woman’s natural and obvious unique qualities that Yogi Bhajan worked his entire life to inspire us to overcome.
There is hardly any place on Earth where women are treated by men as equals. Perhaps the reason for this is that men intuitively or subconsciously understand this profound difference in natural potential and out of fear have taken what power they can from women. At a very basic level, all men know that they only are blessed to be alive at all because of the unique role nature has given to women. Many men spend their entire lives either unsuccessfully trying to return to the origin of their births, or attempting to create some material things to make up for the fact that they simply can’t match a woman in the act of bringing another living thing onto the Earth.
By not acknowledging and honoring the critical and basic power differences of women, men create a profound imbalance in themselves which leads to fear and anger. It is like a person who curses the rain, because they can’t control it. The rain is clearly beyond their abilities, yet their life depends on it. Instead of feeling blessed by this wonderful aspect of nature, they curse themselves and those around them with an insensitivity and imbalance rooted in their egotistical lack of gratitude. It is a global issue that touches all of our lives.
Yogiji taught men not to react. This is a very simple concept, yet most men will never hear of it in their lives and fewer will master it. The purpose of this technology is to acknowledge and honor the power of the woman. A man who does not live this technology, may feel easily inconvenienced, disturbed or angered by even normal conversation. Ignoring the communicative power of a woman, or worse, resisting and arguing with it, will yield nothing useful or positive. The man who understands that he must respond to a woman as a natural force instead of reacting, lives in a powerfully creative world.
An appropriate response to any communication from a woman is to fearlessly acknowledge its value and its spiritual roots. Yogiji often reminded us that we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience, not earthly beings seeking a spiritual experience. When a man can remember this when responding to communication from a woman, all the divine creative potential of that interaction will have the opportunity to manifest in the world.
Current popular culture and fashion single out almost every aspect of female sexual maturity and directly shames women for possessing those physiological signs of adulthood. These physical expressions of maturity number between about 11 and 13, depending on how you sort them. Not only are these physical characteristics not acknowledged as natural signs of divine beauty and creative power, women are ridiculed and made to feel ugly for having them.
This dominant expression of profound fear of a woman’s natural creative power is so pervasive, that a large proportion of women in the USA exhibit the “Stockholm Syndrome” as their response to it. This syndrome is a phenomenon in which those being dominated express sympathy and have positive feelings toward those dominating them, sometimes to the point of defending their actions.
Many women strongly defend their right to eliminate or diminish most of the physical signs of their sexual maturity as if it has some great value. The only actual value is to meekly avoid the shame and harassment of being a woman who is fearless enough to acknowledge her power to the world. This shaming of the physical signs of a woman’s natural creative power goes mostly unnoticed, yet is profoundly damaging to girls and women in ways that most men will never have an opportunity to understand. However, most men and boys do have to deal with the indirect consequences.
Yogiji worked his entire adult life to teach women how to reverse the effects of these and all types of injuries to their power, grace and general well-being. To the men, he taught a model of behavior that would end their participation in the shaming, harming and betrayal of women.
Most men know intuitively that women are much more compassionate than men. Being sixteen times more compassionate also means that women are many times more hopeful than men. Unfortunately, this is the means by which men take advantage of women. Whether it is consciously done or more often just out of selfishness, fear and/or anger, it is the promise of a hopeful future that men very successfully use to rob women of their power, grace, self-esteem, confidence and energy. To end this cycle of abuse and betrayal, Yogiji laid out some simple values for a man of spirit to commit to.
He taught the basic mantra, Sat Nam. Sat is truth, Nam is identity. He taught us to greet each other with these words and to end any meeting with these words.
“Truth is my identity” – this means that every communication that comes from you will be true and that everything that you imply with your behavior will be true.
No exaggerations, no implications, no broken promises, no hopeful sales routines and no positive projections, without any intention of completion. Yogiji taught us to understand a spiritual definition of commitment. Most people define commitment as promising to do something until you change your mind. The definition of commitment for a man of spirit is, “Commit, that’s it!” in other words, there is no changing your mind, no excuses for not coming through, no emotional, intellectual or spiritual reasons that will release you from your word, once it is given. He never stopped inspiring us to live to this model of commitment. It is not an intellectual concept or a promise; he insisted that we must experience it by living it through time and space. It is not the intent to commit; it is your ability to keep up in the face of every challenge and every change.
These are a few very simple, yet incredibly powerful rules of behavior a man can commit to, that when perfected, can put an end a lot of suffering:
- Don’t react, respond with kindness.
- Don’t argue.
- Don’t make or imply promises you don’t keep.
- Relate to the Divinity of the other person.
Commit to these values to manifest kindness, to express love and to nurture healing and joyful tranquility. Men, every woman in your life deserves this level of honor and courage from you. Commit to these values so that our children will have an opportunity to fully blossom in the Light of the Divine.
Sewa Singh Khalsa is one of Yogi Bhajan’s early students. He has acted as a counselor for many couples and individuals, basing his approach purely on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. He is also an accomplished artist and his work can be seen on www.sikhphotos.com. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Sewa Kaur and son, Hargobind Singh.