Yogi Bhajan’s Background
Born Harbhajan Singh Puri, August 26, 1929, in the part of India that became Pakistan in 1948, he was the son of a medical doctor. He would later legally change his name to Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji in 1976. When he was just eight years old he began his yogic training with an enlightened teacher, Sant Hazara Singh, who proclaimed him to be a Master of Kundalini Yoga when he was sixteen and a half.
During the turmoil of partition in 1947, at the age of 18, he led his village of 7000 people, near what is Lahore, Pakistan today, 325 miles on foot to safety in New Delhi, India, where he arrived with only the clothes on his back. Later, after graduating with a degree in Economics, he began Indian government service.
In 1952, he married Inderjit Kaur: They had two sons, Ranbir Singh and Kulbir Singh, and a daughter, Kamaljit Kaur.
In September 1968, he left India for Canada to teach yoga at Toronto University. After two months in Canada, he flew to Los Angeles for a weekend visit. Arriving in Los Angeles virtually unknown, Yogi Bhajan met a number of young hippies, the spiritual seekers of that era, and immediately recognized that the experience of higher consciousness they were attempting to find through drugs, could be achieved by practicing the Science of Kundalini Yoga, while simultaneously rebuilding their nervous systems.
Breaking the centuries old tradition of secrecy surrounding the empowering science of Kundalini Yoga, he began teaching it publicly. With the yogic sciences of yoga, meditation, yogic philosophy, and loving acceptance, he gave the soon to be called “Baby Boomers” an effective alternative to the prevalent drug culture. He called it the “3HO” (healthy, happy, holy) way of life.
From humble beginnings, teaching first at the East West Cultural Center and then in a student’s furniture store in West Hollywood, “The Yogi” was like a magnet. Students flocked to his classes. Soon he was teaching at colleges and universities, including Claremont and UCLA, and accepting invitations to teach in other cities.
In July of 1969 the non-profit 3HO Foundation (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) was incorporated in California. 3HO’s service to humanity is through Kundalini Yoga, meditation and the Science of Humanology which improves physical well-being, as well as deepening spiritual awareness.