By Shakti Parwha Kaur
Movies such as Syriana, Paradise Now, and Munich reflect and affect the growing public consciousness of the futility of war—the tragedy and futility of hatred—while they reveal the common humanity buried inside people, no matter how fanatic or cruel their actions. Some people consider these films controversial. To me, they are valuable signs of the times. It is no accident that these “based on true events” dramas are being shown at a time as our planet is going through the upheaval and turmoil of bringing in the Aquarian Age.
Yogi Bhajan told us insanity and violence would increase, and we shudder in horror at the accuracy of his prediction. Yet we see light at the end of the tunnel. Mother Nature has erupted with tsunamis and hurricanes, tragedies that injured and killed, but brought out the courage, compassion, and kindness of “strangers.”
When 3HO was in its infancy, we sang many rousing choruses of We are One in the Spirit, We are One in the Lord… It captured the prevailing enthusiasm of the idealistic generation that flocked to learn from the Yogi. It was an openhearted era of loving acceptance of everyone, presaging the Aquarian Age of brotherhood yet to come.
We didn’t know how traumatic the change of Ages was going to be, but Yogi Bhajan did. He traveled extensively throughout the world, preparing people for the Aquarian Age. Even when his words had to be translated, his teachings went straight to the hearts of the thousands of people he reached. Language was no barrier for him.
A number of years ago when I was in Loche, France, to facilitate the White Tantric Yoga® course at the European Yoga Festival, everything the Mahan Tantric said on the video and everything I said, had to be translated into five different languages. I kept my comments to a minimum, which is not easy for me!
I set up informal evening meetings with students from the various countries. One night with the Italians, one night with the French, one night with the Germans, one night with the Dutch, and one night with the Spanish-speaking group. Each evening was a different experience and I recognized a different feeling, a different “flavor.” Some groups were more serious and subdued while others were more gregarious and prone to laughter. The beauty of the experience was the feeling we shared of all being part of the same 3HO family.
I had always assumed that “people are people,”—fundamentally the same. And, of course that is true—fundamentally. But in practical application, people in every country, every continent, even in every state in the U.S. are different. Different cultures have their own unique ways of eating, of dressing, of talking, of worshipping, of behaving toward one another. Customs, attitudes, and values can vary from just one time zone to the next. Folks in Texas have a different mindset from New Yorkers. They go at a different pace and definitely have a different way of talking. Hawaiians and Bostonians; mid-westerners and Californians, and people in each country in South America have their unique identity. Right across the border only a few miles apart, Canadians and Americans sound different and act different.
With the electronic age making global communication instantaneous, geographic distinctions seem to be non-existent—seem to be. For even with the Internet connecting everyone, are we there yet? Are we one united family of humanity?
In his Language, Thought, and Reality, Benjamin Whorf postulated that the way their native language is structured is a major factor in the way people understand the world and behave with respect to it and each other. I’m sure that is true. The amazing thing is how the teachings of Yogi Bhajan have transcended the differences and acted as a unifying force bringing about harmony and spiritual understanding among people of all nations, all languages.
I don’t know why I call it amazing, since he was, after all, a Master of communication. His Ph.D. dissertation, Communication: Liberation or Condemnation, reveals some of the techniques he naturally used which made him so successful in bridging any language barrier. He knew Kundalini Yoga and the 3HO way of life could bring the great human family into harmony and oneness.
And that is the light that I see—not just at the end of the tunnel, but already shining in the tunnel, for it radiates from the hearts of all those in the growing global community who understand that we are indeed, One in the Spirit.
Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa was Yogi Bhajan’s first student in the United States. She has been teaching Kundalini Yoga since 1969. She was officially certified by KRI after completing the first Masters Touch Teacher Training Course in 1996. Author of Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power, Tool Kit for Teaching Beginners,and Kundalini Postures and Poetry, Shakti is currently working on Marriage: The Highest Yoga.
Derived from the Greek, meaning “filled with God”