Yogi Harbhajan dies in US

The Times of India/October 8, 2004

New Delhi -- Yogi Harbhajan, the 75-year old Sikh missionary in US and preacher of Yoga, died at Espanola in New Mexico last night of heart failure.

"Yogi was suffering from a heart problem. He was bedridden for some time. His died of heart failure last night at 9.40 pm (local time)," National Commission for Minorities Chairman Tarlochan Singh told PTI.

A master practitioner of both hatha and kundalini yoga, Yogi Bhajan was the "Supreme Religious and Administrative Authority of the Sikh Religion in the Western Hemisphere," he said.

He was also given the title of Singh Sahib by Akal Takht, the temporal seat of the Sikhs in Amritsar, he said.

Thousands of American disciples in his Healthy-Happy-Holy Organisation ('3.H.O.') revered the robust, bearded Bhajan as the holiest man of this era.

Born in 1929 in Gujrawala town in Pakistan, Yogi was a custom officer in Amritsar. In 1968 he immigrated to Toronto, later that year moved to Los Angeles and eventually started his own ashram [spiritual Commune] in a garage. He ran over 200 religious centres all over Europe and US by the name of Guru Ram Das Ashrams, said Singh.

Although Sikhs are renowned as meat eaters, Bhajan insisted that his followers be strict vegetarians. While yoga is not part of Sikhism, Bhajan tought the practice, not its mild form widespread in the US but Tantrism, a strenuous, mystical variety practiced by men and women in pairs.

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