A student asked Yogi Bhajan the following question:
“Is giving an act of God?”
Yogi Bhajan replied, “No, no, no, no. Not at all. It is a perfectly selfish act. Have you heard about when I became rich? Listen to this. It is true. Verbatim, this is exactly true.
I taught a class at the East-West Cultural Center. And I did a wonderful job. There were three hundred and some dollars collected at class. I do not know exactly how much. But I definitely know one hundred fifty and some cents were given to me in an envelope as my fifty percent of that lecture. This is what they do. You go. They advertise you. You teach in that center. And whatever money comes in on that day, fifty percent is given to the lecturer and fifty percent goes to the center.
I did that. Then the director of the center takes the speaker out to dinner. Now this lady, the director, was more spiritual, well-read with the scripture and much wiser than I was. I was very happy with her and she was extremely happy with me, because when she would talk scriptures, somewhere along the line, I’d give her the understanding of the scripture. I’m not very good with all this bookish knowledge but certain things I just know.
She said, “Today your lecture was so pleasing. I just want to take you to eat. Please come with me.” She was just overwhelmingly joyful.
I said to her, “Well, there seems to be a storm behind the sunshine.”
“What can it be?”
When we came to the restaurant, on the side there was a pole. Standing beside the pole was a very beautiful, well-dressed black man. And he was saying, “I do not want to beg, and I don’t want you to help me, but I have children. I have a life, and I have a family. I am selling these pencils. You can buy these pencils for any amount, because I am blind and can’t see it. But I hope by the end of the day there will be a profit and I can take care of my family.”
When I heard that I handed over my envelope to him and I took one pencil out. She saw me doing that and God, that divine woman became a living fire. She said, “What have you done? You know, that’s what Indians do. You have encouraged beggary.” She was so rude.
I said, “Ohhhhh!” That was my first experience, awakening the mind to encounter the bitchiness of an American woman. Up until then I was fine.
I said, “What have I done?”
“You took one pencil for one hundred and fifty dollars. Do you know that you can get a truckload of them?”
“I don’t need a truckload of pencils.”
“Why did you take one pencil?”
“I want this one pencil to write my own fortune.”
“And you paid one-hundred and fifty dollars for it?”
“No. I paid much less. I paid nothing.”