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  • Writer's pictureRon Brent

9. Seeds of Doubt

During one of these informal gatherings Yogi Bhajan says something that gives me a jolt. As time goes on, it begins to eat away at my trust in him.

On this particular morning, as we sit eating our rice cakes, he reads us a letter that’s recently arrived from his wife in India. As usual, she’s writing about Maharaji. However, rather than reading her letter with his usual tone of admiration, he admonishes her for writing about Maharaji in such glowing terms.

Instead of praising her as he normally does, Yogi Bhajan now refers to his wife as a foolish woman. With mocking words and gestures, he asks a rhetorical question: "Why is she saying, ‘Maharaji is like this, or Maharaji is like that’? He's not a God, he’s just a human being!”

All of a sudden Yogi Bhajan’s words regarding Maharaji have a completely different tone to them.

Though I don’t yet fully understand the nature of the Guru/Disciple relationship, I have some sense of it from the poems appearing in the Sikh Holy Book, Guru Grānth Sāhib. There’s been a major change in Yogi Bhajan and something tells me that it’s a big deal.

I can't quite figure out what all of this means, but I know it's important - to what extent, I’m not sure. This much I do know: the moment has come where I begin to doubt Yogi Bhajan.

Soon, the handout praising Virsa Singh disappears from the takeaway table, as does his photo. Yogi Bhajan is now claiming that Guru Ram Das (the fourth Guru in the Sikh lineage) is actually his Guru, and we’re not hearing Virsa Singh’s name mentioned any more. The name Guru Ram Das Ashram will soon be prominently displayed over the entranceway of 3HO’s new and larger quarters.

I continue to practice and teach, but something has changed. I’m having doubts, yet I’m not quite sure what to do about it. I’m not ready to move on, as I’m enmeshed in the community and still benefiting from the practice.


Soon plans get under way for the Summer Solstice Celebrations taking place outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. There’s excitement in the air and my doubts go underground for a while.

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