Society and the Social Animal


by Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji

Beads of Truth, Fall 1980 #5


As it is a fact that we are human beings, so it is a fact that it is the tendency of a human being that, having been born, he likes to seek. The human likes to seek association with a group. The human is a social animal, so to form a society of people is the basic instinct of the being. Thus you will always see all people of all races have one society or another. Such a society then became the government, and the government be­came a country. People and their prejudices became stronger and so they invaded one territory, took care of and also made slaves of others. Those who were clever, they tried to trap others.

Thus there is a tremendous history of humans fighting the other humans because everybody wants their society to expand. So much so, that we sometimes have very neurotic chil­dren. We tolerate them because we want our society to expand. In our home there is a thief, who is our own son or daughter. We some­times enjoy it, because at least it is our son and our daughter. And this social technical commitment, because of the human instinct, continues to lead people and to change people into different varieties of social struc­tures. And basically every social structure started out of the dire need of the human instinct. And also be­cause there is a dire need or instinct to relate to Infinity, such social struc­tures in the beginning could only be started in the Name of God and thus a religion was formed.

If you study the continuity of the history of the man, you will find even today in America there are ethnic groups. They are all Chris­tians, but they are divided into eth­nic groups. In Christianity there are ethnic groups and there are social groups. One church member doesn’t want to go participate with another church member. One group doesn’t want to relate to another group. Why? Because ultimately every social group will create a hierarchy. Every social group creates a hierarchy and the new bulls will like to fight the old ones. And this competition is natural.

When a western Sikh or a western Khalsa woman stands out with her bana, bani, seva and sim­ran, and if she receives negativi­ty, it is not unusual. It is in appreciation of her commitment. And so it is and has been from the time im­memorial. Ten years ago I was a man, very ordinary. Ten years after,I am a man, very ordinary – rather, super ordinary. But now, the prob­lem is that when I say that I am very ordinary, nobody believes me. Now, I want to be ordinary, I say it from the very sincerity of my heart and with all my consciousness that I am a very ordinary man. And I feel hurt when people don’t believe me. They think I am lying. What am I lying for? I am a very ordinary man, I know that. It is a very honest truth. They say, “Ah, because of your humility, you say it. You are not very ordinary, you are great.” I do not know what great I am today that I was not before. I say the same thing to you here, and you listen, and I used to say the same thing when I was in India, and nobody listened. That is the only difference. I say the same things to the Sikhs of Indian origin who are here, and they don’t listen. And the same thing I say to you who are not of any origin, but you listen and you form an origin – a nucleus.

I said the same things all along. I said that it is the basic instinctive fulfillment and satisfaction of a hu­man to stand out. And the experi­ment of standing out was started and carried out by Guru Gobind Singh. He did a very great experiment. He said that whosoever shall relate to the very spirit, and whose mind shall re­late to the spirit, that body must represent it. The body must represent it, and the body must be totally disciplined. Other than the dis­cipline, he said that there is no re­lationship. And then openly he said:

“Rahit piaare mujh kao Sikh pi­aaraa nahee.
Dear to me is the discipline of the Sikh, not the one who calls himself a Sikh.

Now a situation is being thrust upon us. What is the rahit? What is a Sikh? This morning I received a telephone call and the proposition was, that if I do not say to the patit Sikhs that they are patit, they are willing to compromise with me. Now if I don’t say that patit Sikh is a patit Sikh, who is going to be im­ported to say that? As a missionary my first duty is to tell some­body, “Look, gentleman, and look, great lady, you are wrong! You are not living according to the rahit. You are not following the Guru’s word and you will not get the bene­fit of what has been promised.” Is it very honest? So what can be compromised in that? I say it to the western Sikhs, I say it to the eastern Sikhs, I say it to the northern Sikhs, I say it to the southern Sikhs. I say the same things, that, my friends, all this is mud, and you are playing the game of mud. It is not the game of Grace. By playing the game of mud, you will end up with the mud and not with the Grace of the Divine.

“Halach palach sagli moee, jhoota dhandhai moho.”

Sensuality and sexuality never lead to the intelligent experience of In­finity. You can quote me. Sensu­ality and sexuality can lead one to try and to make an effort toward the oneness of the experience. And it is the oneness of the experience which can lead to the experience of Infinity. If you become sensitive to be com­mitted, and then you become sensi­tive, socially sensitive, mentally sen­sitive, spiritually sensitive, to stand out and pay the price, you are in the state of meditation.

Guru Gobind Singh explained in one of the most beautiful verses:

“Re man eh bidh Jog Kamao…
Oh my mind, practice union in a practical way, practice it in a social way, and in a mental way, but experience it unto In­finity.

society2The idealistic approach and the easiest approach which Guru Gobind Singh laid out was that you should make up your mind – and so be it made! Don’t look left, don’t look right, don’t look up, don’t look down, just look straight, and do!

In this honorable house there is no place for an Indian Sikh or an American Sikh or a short Sikh or a woman Sikh or a man Sikh. It doesn’t recog­nize anything. It recognizes the rahit, the action. And it is a law of the universe that action has a reaction. If you do not stand out as Khalsa, the Universal Energy will not recog­nize you as a Khalsa. Now, what a simple thing it is.

Your power as an individual, and as a collective ‘kabeela” of the Guru, is to stand out collectively and in­dividually, and not to discriminate. That is the beauty in the House of Guru – nobody is discriminated against. Nobody is high, nobody is low. Nobody is fast and nobody is slow. Sometimes people ask me what they can do? All I tell them is to keep doing. When you keep doing, it will be done. It won’t stop hap­pening as long as you won’t stop.

Some Muslim holy men got ahold of Guru Nanak, and they said,

“Hindu uadaa ke mussalmaano-ee”
Who is better, the Hindu or the Mussalman?

They were gathered there at Mecca to do the pilgrimage.

“Baba, aakhe haajeeaa, subh amalaa baajho dono roee. Hin­doo musalmaan doee dargeh andar lahan naa dhoee.
Baba said, 0h pilgrims, without good deeds, both cry, both are in need, both waste time, and life is lost.

Life has a very simple answer within itself. Life is an institution of a living commitment. If you can perform a living commitment in the three aspects of body, mind and soul, you have made it. Otherwise, it is a waste of time. I always remind you that on every corner you can find a church. After every few cor­ners you will find a synagogue, then every few corners you will find an ashram, a yogi, a swami or a re­verend. You know how many they are? But they all can tell you to do it. Ultimately it is you and you alone, who has to do it. Everybody will tell you that if you take this freeway, it will take you to a certain place. But nobody will drive it for you. Therefore, under the circumstances, Guru Gobind Singh believed, preach­ed and said that you must do it and so it shall be done. And that is fulfillment. That is called Chardee Kalaa.

So, my dear Guru Sangat, we be­lieve that the more committed we will be, the more we will be tested. So, if you find any negativity, some­body mocks at you, somebody threatens you, somebody questions you, somebody tries to pull you down, your job at that time is only to forgive his ignorance. Because, remember that Jesus was mocked at; Moses was insulted and thrown out, chased and they wanted to kill him; Hazarat Ibrahim was mocked; Guatama Buddha was mocked; Lord Rama was questioned; Krishna was totally in­sulted in the very court of Dhriodan which ended up in the Maha Bharata War. Guru Nanak was told that he was a bhootaanaa. Bhootaanaa means an evil spirit. Guru Arjan Dev was put on a hot plate. Guru Gobind Singh was attacked by the hill chieftains. Take the history of all holy men and you will see the same story. For thirty-nine years nobody attacked me, but since I started working for the Guru they attack me left and right. But nothing can stop me, nothing should stop me, and now it is very difficult to stop. I enjoy what I am doing. When I see the sangat, I see the sangat of the Guru, I see the radiance of people’s auras, I see the brightness of the faces of many people. I see people remaining married and rehabilitated. I feel so good about it, that I really understand the meaning,

“Dhan dhan Ram Das Gur, jin siriaa tinai sauaariaa. Pooree, hoee karaamaat, aap seer jan haare dhaariaa.”
Blessed, blessed is Guru Ram Das. The Lord who created thee, He alone embellished thee. Com­plete is thy miracle. The Creator Himself has installed thee on the throne.

I have understood the meaning of it. And I shared with you, that the beau­ty and bounty of the house of God is infinite.

In the kitchen where I am stay­ing, there is a saying carved in wood: “Earth knows no sorrow which heaven cannot heal.” I think some­body put it up, and it is beautiful, though they might not have read it. But since staying at this place, every time I pass that place I read it.

I have seen in my fifty years of age that, unfortunately, the first child is al­ways ruined, because the first child is thought of as a novelty. It is a piece of a game or it is a toy. It has not to be given values, it has no personality, it has no character. and there is nothing to develop. Shame on such parents. They should be ashamed of being parents. They are unfortunate. You can train a dog. You can train a parrot. You can train a cat. How unfortunate, ill­-produced and raised you are if you cannot characteristically give char­acter training to your child. Why am I so mad at you? Because you are very unfortunate, you are traitors. Because it takes the first three years, only to train a child in the hand of the mother, but if that training is missed, the whole lot is missed.

society1In Canada, I was talking to the Indian Sikhs in a Gurdwara, and I said, “You should love me.” They said, “Why?” I said, “Because I tell you things in advance. The first people who will suffer in this country will be the Indian Sikhs.” First of all, they are distinct. They can be recog­nized. Secondly, they have a kind of commitment that they are what they are. And thirdly, when the economy of this country fails, the tragedy you can well understand. Even now, when the economy is not failing, blacks have an unemployment of up to 34 %. Can you believe that? Are they not American? Have they paint­ed their skins? Or have they some other method going on that they can over­haul themselves overnight and be­come white? No. It’s a majority against a minority. It is the same tribal thing. Spiritual tribe is always put down by the non-spiritual. If you go into a bar, and you see a majority of the drinking people, and you ask for a glass of water, they will make a mockery of you. Because booze-drinking people are a majority over the water-drinking minority. So a minority and majority game. And spiritual people are always in a minority, because the elementary soul is rare among the comple­mentary and supplementary souls.

So you have a lot to face. But keep your face toward God and Guru. Those who keep their face toward God and Guru, they always see God. That is why all rules and rituals are simple directions. Ritual and rule has no problem, it is just like a signboard: “New Mexico 1600 miles.” Whether you believe it or not, it states a fact. There­fore my friends, remember, each one of you has to carry the light within to face towards that greater Infinite Light without and your life will be­come a delightful meditation. Wahe Guru ji ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru ji ki Fateh.

Copyright:  Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

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