Excerpted from a Middlesex News article from Sunday, November 19, 1995:
Friday, November 17, 1995 – Yogi Bhajan was honored as the 52nd recipient of the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award.
He said he merely teaches others to raise their own spirit because “a man without peace is not a man complete”.
“When I first came to the US in 1969 for a short visit, I saw all the young people getting high on drugs. It was painful to see, so I decided to stay and take the challenge”, Yogi Bhajan said. “Peace is difficult to understand. It is mental. You must first have peace of the mind, then of the self and then of the spirit.”
In a ceremony before the award presentation, Yogi Bhajan took the seat at the head of the table, a seat occupied by several of history’s most influential peace leaders. There, surrounded by his guests clad in white turbans and robes, a brass bowl of water was passed around the table in which each seated guest dipped their fingers to share the healing oils of their hands.
Abbey Director Lewis Randa and Ekongkar Singh Khalsa, a student of Yogi Bhajan and Sikh resident in Millis, presented the award.
“At a time when Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King were laid to rest, when men were dying in Vietnam and scores of America’s youth were turning to drugs, Yogi Bhajan came to this country. He picked us up, dusted us off and wakened us to a new life”, said Randa.
Khalsa praised Yogi Bhajan for his accomplishments as a spiritual teacher who has given more than 10,000 lectures and classes, written dozens of books, and established teaching centers on every continent.
“Most importantly, Yogi Bhajan has advanced the cause of peace. His message has been consistent and clear. He told anyone who listened, ‘It is not the life that matters, it is the courage you bring to it’. He inspired millions to live distinct and fearless lives, to leave behind the delusion of drugs and despair for a life of commitment and service”, said Khalsa.
The award Yogi Bhajan received, which was first sculpted 52 years ago for its first recipient, the Dalai Lama, is a small sculpture of a hand holding an open-winged dove.
He was preceded by esteemed peace champions including Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Robert Kennedy, Mother Teresa, Richie Havens, Dr. Benjamin Spock and the Dalai Lama.