The student vs. the entourage

Posted on October 28, 2009. Filed under: How Spirituality Works |

Every student of a Spiritual Teacher wants to be part of the entourage of that Teacher. This is the crux of the problem of longing to belong. In every student’s longing to be cherished by their Teacher and become part of the entourage of the Teacher are the seeds of the spiritual corruption of the student because the student wants to be cherished above all others. Each student wants to be more important to the Teacher than all other students. In the mind of each student, they are more important than all other students. The entourage of the Teacher reflects this because the students that make up the entourage of the Teacher are the ones that learn to be adept at self-serving self-promotion.

Yogi Bhajan recognized this as one of the core problems that have corrupted spiritual lineages for centuries. It is all throughout the history of the Sikh masters how those that were closest to them were corrupt and unsteady. Whole religions are based on personal attachment to the founder of the religion rather than on personal spiritual development so that whole religions with millions and millions of members become huge manifestations of this entourage mentality.

Yogi Bhajan concluded that in order for humanity to really understand the internal process of spiritual awakening there needed to be a clear example of the spiritual corruption of our entourage mentality. Yogi Bhajan established three very clear examples the first of which was the ordaining of Sikh Ministers. Traditionally in the Sikh religion there are no ministers. There is Khalsa, and each Khalsa is a son or daughter of Guru Gobind Singh. Nothing further is required spiritually. When Yogi Bhajan began teaching in the US however, certain institutions required proof and authority to allow, for example, a person to perform marriages, or funerals. In the Sikh tradition these ceremonies occur as a function of the congregation. Yogi Bhajan used the cultural difference that existed in the US as a way to demonstrate that ordaining ministers does not produce more spiritual students. The ordained ministers of Sikh Dharma are not more spiritually advanced than any other Khalsa. In order to make this point understandable Yogi Bhajan made only two requirements to become ordained as a Sikh minister. It was required to have been baptized as Khalsa, and it was necessary to be recommended to be ordained as a Sikh minister by someone that was already ordained. This is where the entourage mentality took over, as Yogi Bhajan knew it would.

You see any person that became ordained as a Sikh minister (even though it was always apparent that being ordained in this way meant virtually nothing) wanted to stand out and appear to be important by way of their ordination. They therefore did not want every person that became baptized as Khalsa to become recognized as a minister of the Sikh religion, although that is what it means when one becomes Khalsa. This meant that once a person was ordained as a Sikh minister they did not recommend others . . . unless. Unless those others pandered to some ordained Sikh minister for that recommendation. The Sikh ministers are therefore folks that pandered others for their own self promotion to make themselves seem more important than the other students. This is a perfect example of the spiritual corruption produced by the entourage mentality.

The second thing that Yogi Bhajan did was to make members of the Sikh ministers more distinguished than the other ministers with the Mukhia designation, creating even more bogus hierarchy. Where there is Khalsa there is equality and no other status or distinction and this is apparent in the fact that no person that was given the Mukhia designation is any more spiritual than any other Khalsa.

The third thing that Yogi Bhajan did to demonstrate the false self-importance within the entourage mentality was the establishment of the Khalsa Council. The first requirement to be a member is that a person must be an ordained Sikh minister. The Khalsa Council got to meet in special sessions with Yogi Bhajan personally each year and it was a continual source of self-promotion for those that wanted to be included. The Khalsa Council was a farce that Yogi Bhajan perpetrated in order to expose the entourage complex within students. The Khalsa Council never had any power to make decisions. It could only make recommendations to the staff of the Siri Singh Sahib. In true Sikh tradition any five Khalsa can make decisions that have the full authority of everything sacred. There is nothing beyond it.

I think Yogi Bhajan must have gotten a good chuckle over these students that had elbowed and connived their way onto the Khalsa Council only to be unable to have any authority to make a decision when that authority was already theirs whenever they were willing to humble themselves and work with other Khalsas.

Finally Yogi Bhajan allowed the Kundalini Yoga Teachers Certification to happen as a way to demonstrate to all students how we buy into a bogus structure in order to feel included and turn spirituality into a religion in the process.

It’s not the life that matters, but the courage we bring to it.


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