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2016-07-18 13:11:46 -0600 answered a question Why do most of Yogi Bhajan's kriyas say to look at the tip of your nose while your eyes are 9/10 closed?

Search Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji for Ang 1106. You will find something that looks suspiciously like a yoga kriya given by Yogi Bhajan, as you call him. Yes, Guru ji says to inhale through one nostril, hold the breath and exhale through the other nostril as a way to focus the mind. Meditations to help focus the mind are sometimes helpful because if we just recite bani while the mind roams all over, we are not truly doing bani.

As far as focusing on the nose, apparently it is recorded in history that Guru Gobind Singh gave this instruction to his wife, Mata Jeeto ji. Using this method and dedicating herself to this practice she attained a great meditation and perceived the future. "Gur mantra dey mata ko, boley sahib nal piara. Drisht taravo nasika basai Amrit dhar." "Guru ji gave the mantra to Mata ji and he spoke to her with love, 'Put your focus on your nose, and amrit will rain down on you.' "

There is a version of this history in the Siri Guru Pad Prem Prakash by Baba Sumer Singh where it is also recorded that Guru ji instructed her to look at the nose.

This is a way of focusing the mind which will then be ready for a more powerful meditation. Focusing on anything can help tether the mind under control. Focusing on the nose is an excellent method because when you are looking at it, you know exactly when you are losing focus. Where if you focus on something while your eyes are closed it is easier to forget that the focus has been lost.

These are ancient practices, the likes of which were much more common in Sikh culture before the time of the British.

2016-07-18 12:57:49 -0600 answered a question Does Guru Ji say no to yoga?

Guru says no to hollow spiritual practices.

Search Siri Guru Granth Sahib for Ang 1106. That is a shabd which gives an instruction which many would consider a "yogic technique". Yes, Guru Sahib instructs us to inhale through one nostril, hold our breath, and exhale though the other nostril. This sounds precisely like a yoga meditation, yet is it instructed in SGGS. Whatever can help us on the spiritual path, focus our minds and to connect with naam is acceptable. Shabds like this in Siri Guru Granth Sahib show that there are no hard do's and 'don'ts' from Guru Sahib. Whatever a Gurmukh does is approved.

If you have any examples of Gurus saying not to do yoga, that will help to give context. A lot of it has to do with context. Some places of Guru says that the vedas are a waste of time, some places Guru says we are foolish for not respecting the vedas. It's all context.

When your heart is cooled and soothed, you are done the right thing. Everything else is something else.

Yoga is not an intoxicant and has nothing to do with drugs and alcohol and lumping them together does not serve us at all. Yoga does not "freeze the mind." Drugs and alcohol are attachments.

"He is called a Yogi who looks upon all mortals with the same eye and deems them as equal. Abide thou pure amid the worldly impurities. Thus shalt thou find the way of Yoga. When man remains detached amidst worldly attachments, then attains he the way of Yoga."

Guru Nanak Dev Ji

2016-07-18 12:44:23 -0600 answered a question Why promoting Waah yantee hindu mantar as part of Sikhi ?

You have a lot of questions here. It basically revolves around a suspicion that SikhNet is part of some agenda that is against Sikhi or mixing things that are against Sikhi. So let me address that directly.

Vaaraan Bhai Gurdas is the key to Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Historically it is known that Guru Arjun Dev ji even offered for it to be included in Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji. Being written by one of the most prominent historic Sikhs alive during the time of several Gurus Bhai Gurdas ji's writings hold a rare status as universally accepted to be sung in shabds in Gurdwara as Gurbani. Thus there is nothing controversial, questionable or contradictory in Vaaraan Bhai Gurdas from SIri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

The following is from Vaaraan Bhai Gurdas, this most authentic source in Sikh history: "Gurmukh Patanjali the (supposed) incarnation of the Sesnaga, very thoughtfully recited, the Naga-Shastra, Yoga Shastra."

It is clear that Bhai Gurdas did not consider Patanjali as a Hindu outsider to the Sikh religion. In fact Patanjali is given the title of 'Gurmukh':

This vaar goes on to describe how Patanjali was a great spiritual leader who's teachings provided salvation and satisfaction for devotees in this Kal Yug: "In kaliyug, Patanjali gave the teachings which fulfilled the desires that remained unfulfilled in the other three ages."

It is clear from this text that the practice of Yoga itself is not against Sikhi, in fact it can be of great benefit in order to reach the state of anahad: "Yoga is cleansing praxis through which the surati gets absorbed into the unstruck melody (anahad dhun).

This vaar also introduces the term "Gurmukh Yogi", praising one who attains such status. This fully dispels the notion that yoga is outside of Sikhi.

With this context we can see that there are many teachings within Siri Guru Granth Sahib ji that do warn of Yogis who have lost the goal of attaining to the anahad, the higher states of consciousness. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, "If yoga was all about flexibility than a circus clown would be the best yogi". These many warnings of practitioners using yoga not for its intended purpose have been interpreted as warnings against yoga itself. This is understandable if you take those certain lines out of context.

Though this interpretation may have gained popularity in this modern era I think it is abundantly clear from this vaar that it is falsity that Guru ji warns us of, not of yoga itself. In fact yoga can be useful to absorb naam if used correctly:

"The complete achievement of yogic bhakti is that, with your hands, you complete all your affairs." -Vaaraan Bhai Gurdas

Also, it is clear that Patanjali is a venerated figure within Sikh history. Baba Gurmukh Patanjali gave teachings which state, "illusion cannot be erased without (the true) yoga (of union)". To reject yoga outright in ... (more)