It is difficult to imagine that in 1975 Guru Ram Das Hamburg was an outpost. The early struggles on the frontier were not easy. MSS Tarn Taran Singh and I did not speak any German when we arrived here. Madhur Nain Kaur was just over two years old. Actually she picked up German faster than we did and would translate for me when we went shopping!
The ashram was first located in a drug rehabilitation center near a slaughter house. By Guru’s grace we moved from there after a fire on the second floor burned up through the building to the sadhana room which was on the fourth floor, for one month the building inspector would come almost daily to announce that the apartment was condemned and we could not continue to live there.
The story could go on and on, but I always return to the thought which we lived by: This is the Guru’s mission. We will work and do our best. If it is to be a success, He will have to arrange some things behind the scenes. He certainly has.
Guru Ram Das Ashram in Hamburg is not an outpost in 1988. Kundalini Yoga and humanology are growing so fast that we cannot keep track of what is happening everywhere. There is a dynamic force which has expanded beyond linear organizational limits. There are at least 280 Europeans teaching the yoga and sharing the information everywhere.
What is very interesting is the differentiation in which the teachings of 3HO are being manifested in Europe. For example, in Rome, HarPal Singh has combined his psychotherapy with Kundalini Yoga and has opened a beautiful and very successful center. Seva Kaur and Sardar Singh are teaching how to relieve the stress and pains of computer use in a computer company in Oslo, Norway. Gurudass Singh incorporates the Siri Singh Sahib’s healing techniques in his chiropractic practice. Gurudass Kaur has established an Aerobics Teacher’s Association. Guru Jagat Singh teaches Kundalini Yoga teacher’s training courses and has a successful 3HO tape and book business.
Here in Hamburg the yoga has expanded into not only three Kundalini Yoga classes nightly in our centers, but we also offer a two year Kundalini Yoga teacher’s training program. There is a Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association consisting of one hundred teachers in the immediate Hamburg area. Women can further study pregnancy yoga or woman’s yoga in special training courses after they have completed the Kundalini Yoga teachers training program.
We have also established the Association far Natural Childbirth which has trained over 2500 women for birthing since 1977. Each course is for fifteen weeks and covers pregnancy, birth, nursing, forty days after birth and child raising. The Association also offers counseling for young mothers and families, postpartum yoga, yoga for mothers with babies and children’s yoga. The association has been receiving a 40 hour work grant for the last two years from the government for its social service.
Our Golden Temple Restaurant with its healthy pastry selection is still a success. It inspired me to compile many recipes and I have written a cookbook which is selling very well throughout the country. Yogi Tea is also selling very well after a year of visits to national health food fairs around the nation. We also offer cooking classes weekly plus a party service which is organized by Simran Kaur, a yoga student.
Sat Hari Singh has been the creative force of the Meeting of the Ways which gathers twice a year in Hamburg. Each gathering draws over two thousand people. Different spiritual centers participate in its organization and program presentation. He also organized a winter craft fair where people can sell their handmade wares.
In the Hamburg area there are also courses taught by the 3HO teachers on natural healing, Being a Man, astrology, Tai Chi, massage and kirtan. Throughout Germany there are over 120 people teaching Kundalini Yoga. Tam Taran Singh, Sat Purkh Kaur from Neue Isenburg, Germany, and I have been traveling through the country and other places in Europe, training teachers and sharing the teachings of 3HO. There is no way that we can call ourselves an outpost again!!