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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: The Life of a Teacher

Flexibility, Humility, and Compassion

Excerpts from a lecture by Yogi Bhajan, 7/24/96

The problem is that you can't handle a relationship because to handle a relationship, you have to invest your spirit, and you don't have a concept of your spirit. When you do not have a concept of your spirit, then you have a concept of emotions, feelings, commotions, and everything else added to it.

Are you born that way? Is it decreed that you have to suffer? No. If you have your emotions, and you keep your emotions, and if instead of using your emotions, you use your spirit, you shall not suffer.

Do you recognize who you are supposed to recognize? No, you don't. If it fits your emotion, you recognize it. If it doesn't, you don't. If it fits your purpose, you recognize it. If it doesn't, you don't. The strength of your judgment is the only enemy you have. You don't look at things in the light of the spirit, the light of the soul, and you do not believe and trust that everything is the light of the soul. Things will fit in when they want to fit in. You are not required to fit them and unfit them and make people believe or force them to consider.

What has happened to you when you sign for a divorce from a girl to whom you are married, and whom you have told for seven years, "I love you, I love you, I love you?" Then what happens? What happened to your statement of love? "It is no contest, just our chemistry doesn't meet." Why? Why do you sometimes have friends, and then you don't have friends? Because technically speaking you don't have strength. You don't have the strength to go through the gallows. And this is the main reason why the most beautiful gift of life, which could just be enjoyed, is wasted.

There is something you do not understand. Birds live, animals live—the cows, the hogs and horses—and you will live, too. In their world, they act and react. But in your case, you have an applied consciousness. In your case it is your depth and strength. In your case it is your wisdom and intelligence. In your case it is your intuition and your human strength. Therefore, you can be very flexible, adjustable. Your position can be understood, and you can stand under, and keep going.

A Teacher has no territory and a healer has nothing of self but prayer. A healer is a living prayer. A human is a living light. And there's no fight about it.

A Teacher is there to teach a person all the facets and faculties of life, and to conquer the mental state in confrontation. That's the job. You have come here to become Teachers to do what? Read books and write stories, teach people how to raise their legs and how to raise their head or stand on their heads? Or just to tell them how good and great you are? No. That will never make you a Teacher. That will only make you a book machine.

When you become a Teacher, then you become a perfect enlightened creature. It's very easy. You will not be you. As long as your ego exists, you are not a Teacher. As long as you expect appreciation, you are not a Teacher, you are a beggar.

As a person you have an authority of contract. But as a Teacher you have no authority—moral, personal, or individual. As a Teacher you have no authority of contract. You have only one right—to serve, to serve, to serve; to elevate, to elevate, to elevate; exalt, exalt, exalt.

When a teacher and student meet in a good atmosphere, it creates a spark. Some students you meet are very wise, loving; they serve you. Some like to be with you just to put their hooks somewhere. Some like to come to be insane. You must understand that as a Teacher, you cannot be judged by the present time. History will judge you. A Teacher is not judged by his students, nor by his fellow man, nor by anybody. A Teacher is always judged by history. Are you willing to take the risk that in history you shall be known as a bogus idiot who exploited everybody, that you were worthless?

Don't fall in love with me, because then I'll start testing you and you'll feel miserable. This is the first job of the love of the Teacher. When you love a Teacher you should become desireless. Not undesirable—desireless.

I was a Teacher in India. If you came improperly to class or you came one minute late, that's all you needed to raise the Kundalini. The class would sit and watch what that person would go through—you would not believe it. Because without a discipline you can never be a disciple, and without a discipline you cannot be a master, and without a discipline you cannot deliver. And without a discipline you will never know the exalted self.

The power to obey is the power to command. Here in the West, to surrender, to be humble, to obey is considered to be a slavery, but actually it is the power of the self. Only a most exalted, most powerful character can surrender.

There cannot be any power which can come to you from outside. There's a dormant power within you which has to be awakened. You must awaken that power and penetrate all the cycles of transmission of your magnetic field energy, in which you have a psyche, which governs your essence to become a greater exalted person to face everything with grace. That's the beauty.

At least we have the desire to become Teachers. Whether we will become Teachers or not, act as Teachers or not, it's difficult to say. A Teacher acts in the interest of the higher self of the student. There are three parts of the student—his self, his worldly self, and his higher self. A spiritual Teacher only belongs to the higher self. And when the student obeys and reaches his higher self, then the other two sides are all taken care of. It is very simple.

You have to elevate to go higher, and then you can't leak downstairs. Here is shashara (Yogiji puts his hand on top of his head). You have to save yourself from your ears, from your eyes, from your mouth, from your hands, and from your legs, and from the other two areas. You have to have a total control of what comes in and what goes out of you, in the interest of you.

This world is our qualification, standard, examination—a place where we must examine ourselves in our own interest. We must learn to love ourselves before we love anybody else. We must honor ourselves before we honor anybody else. We must serve ourselves before we serve anybody else. If we do not know how to do things for ourselves, we shall not be in a position to do things for others.

© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

This lecture is published in The Master’s Touch, available through KRI.