Yogi Bhajan - Abuse in 3HO and Kundalini Yoga

Abuse in Yogi Bhajan's 3HO Kundalini Yoga World


  • 3HO – stands for Healthy, Happy and Holy Organisation. Today it still exists as one of the non-profit organisations (3HO.org) under the umbrella organization SSSC – the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation (sssccorp.org). ‘3HO Foundation’ was the very first organisation Yogi Bhajan established in 1969. When outsiders talk about '3HO', they often assume reference to the umbrella organisation that overlooks the profit-making companies such as Yogi Tea and Akal Security, and the non-profit entities that were established in the last fifty-year period by Yogi Bhajan and his community. Since 1997, however, the ‘oversee role’ has been assumed by the SSSC, the 'Siri Singh Sahib Cooperation'. Today 3HO itself is one of the many non-profit set ups under the aegis of the SSSC.


  • AOB – An Olive Branch - AOB Report. An Olive Branch is a Buddhist-inspired organization specializing in guiding spiritual organizations in investigating ethical issues. On March 3, 2020, they were commissioned by the SSSC to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse by Yogi Bhajan. The AOB report is the outcome of that investigation. It was delivered end July 2020. Click here for more info.

  • Ashram - spiritual center. In just a few years’ time Yogi Bhajan send out new yoga students to open over a hundred spiritual centers - ashrams - spread over the US, Canada and Europe. It were/are places where people lived together in one or more houses. They were constantly in a field of connection, community. Early in the morning they did their sadhana – early morning practice – together. They organized yoga sessions that were open to the public and so they could attract new community members. Each ashram had a leader. Stories exist of ashram leaders copying the behavior of their authoritarian leader. Yogi Bhajan made sure he kept a strong influence in each of those ashrams and he remained the center of everything.


  • Bani- for Gurbani is the term used by Sikhs to refer to various sections of the Holy Text that appears in their several Holy Books. (Source: SikhiWiki)


  • Dharma - For Sikhs, it means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice. The Guru Granth Sahib (holy book of the Sikhs) connotes dharma as duty and moral values. The 3HO movement in Western culture, which has incorporated certain Sikh beliefs, defines Sikh Dharma broadly as all that constitutes religion, moral duty and way of life. (Source: Wikipedia) 3HO Sikhs often refer to their community as ‘the dharma’.


  • Gurdwara - A gurdwara (meaning "door to the guru") is a place of assembly and worship for Sikhs. Sikhs also refer to gurdwaras as Gurdwara Sahib. People from all faiths are welcomed in gurdwaras. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Gurmukhi - the script used for writing the Punjabi language.


  • Jupiter teacher – see Saturn teacher


  • Khalsa Council - The Khalsa Council is an international body of Ministers of Sikh Dharma committed to serving and upholding the spirit of Khalsa in service to humanity. The International Khalsa Council was established in 1974 by Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji with the vision that it would provide leadership and inspiration for our Dharma and for our global communities. Since then, it has met twice a year to continue its work and to embody the nobility and purity of Khalsa consciousness in the world. (source - sikhdharma.org)
  • Kirtan – Kirtan refers to devotional singing in Sikhism. It is typically performed at Gurdwaras (Sikh temples). Sikh scriptures and legends are usually recited in a song, to a certain raga and accompanied with musical instruments. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • KRI – Kundalini Research Institute - KRI is a non-profit organization that holds the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and provides accessible and relevant resources to teachers and students of Kundalini Yoga. (Source: kundaliniresearchinstitute.org)


  • Mahan Tantric - The energy created during sessions of White Tantra (see White Tantra) must be directed by a Mahan Tantric. Yogi Bhajan claimed that the authority of the Mahan Tantric (Master of White Tantric Yoga) in 1971 was bestowed on him in 1971 when the presiding Mahan Tantric died. Historian Philip Deslippe has shown in his research article ‘From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric. The Construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga’ that many of the claims Yogi Bhajan made, are based on lies.


  • Punjabi – Punjabi means belonging or relating to the Punjab region of India or Pakistan, its people, or its language


  • Sadhana – means a daily spiritual practice. In Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan it specifically points to the early morning yoga practice that takes two and a half hours. Starting with recitation of Japji (Sikh prayer), a yoga session and the chanting of the seven sadhana mantra’s for the Aquarian Age mantra’s that were given by Yogi Bhajan.

  • Saturn Teacher - Yogi Bhajan described two styles of spiritual teachers, the Saturn teacher, and the Jupiter teacher. Both look to the soul of the student, but each uses a different mode to evoke results.

    Saturn Teacher: The planet Saturn is the only planet with rings. The rings provide limitation and constriction. The Saturn teacher is all about discipline. He specializes in always doing the unexpected and he “carries a stick” so he can suddenly “whack” any student who gets out of line. His role is to give the discipline and the limits.  It is through limitation that we gather our strength and become potent and powerful.

    Jupiter Teacher: The planet Jupiter is large, expansive, and full of wisdom and blessings. The Jupiter teacher acknowledges every student's radiance and always blesses and expands everyone. The Jupiter teacher is a fountain of happiness, enthusiasm, love, and joy. (Source: ikyta.org)

  • Sikh means ‘seeker of truth’.

  • Sikh Dharma is the same as Sikhism. In Sikhism dharma means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice and one’s own moral duties towards God.
  • Sikh Dharma International – a non-profit organization that was originally called Sikh Dharma Brotherhood. Yogi Bhajan launched it to spread the Sikh teachings and serve the needs of the Sikh sangat. In 1973 it was recognized in the US as a religious organization. This opened doors to benefit from a favourable tax regime.

  • Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in Punjab in the 15th century by Guru Nanak. Sikhism, a blend of reformed Hinduism and Islam, is practical-minded, allows democratic election of its priests, and abhors personality cults. The kind of Sikhism preached by Bhajan is far different from that practiced by 10 million Indians. Although India's Sikhs are renowned as meat eaters, Bhajan has insisted that his followers be strict vegetarians. While yoga is not part of Sikhism, Bhajan taught yoga. Not all Indian Sikhs were happy with the way Yogi Bhajan introduced his own version of Sikhism in the West. Many controverses existed and there were some rather serious confrontations.

  • Solstice – At Summer and Winter Solstice the 3HO community gathers in big Kundalini Yoga events organized by 3HO – the Healthy Happy Holy organization.

  • SSSC - Siri Singh Sahib Cooperation - the umbrella organisation overlooking all the other organisations that were created under the leadership of Yogi Bhajan, both profit (Yogi Tea, Akal Security, ...) and non-profit (3HO, KRI, Sikh Dharma, ...). At least that was the case till beginning 2021. On their renewed website where the picture of a meditating Yogi Bhajan was finally removed in March 2021, they do not mention the profit organisations anymore. www.sssccorp.org


  • Tantra - In Sanskrit, the word tantra means woven together. People who practice Buddhist and Hindu meditation may also practice tantric sex to “weave” the physical with the spiritual. This practice brings together spirituality and sexuality and emphasizes the importance of intimacy during a sexual experience. Yogi Bhajan taught White Tantra (see White Tantra) and claimed to be the Mahan Tantric (See Mahan Tantric).


  • White Tantra – Yogi Bhajan said White Tantra was an integral part of the Kundalini Yoga experience. It is a non-sexual form of yoga in which students sit in rows facing each other. One row of male participants faces a row of females. During exercises that can last up to an hour they sometimes stare into each other’s eyes while perform strenuous exercises and chanting mantra’s. White Tantric exercises should be done under the guidance of the Mahan Tantric, Yogi Bhajan said. He claimed he was the Mahan Tantric (see Tantra). One-to-three-day sessions of White Tantra Yoga are/were taught all over the world. Since Yogi Bhajan died, video-taped versions of the sessions are used, and White Tantra facilitators guide the sessions.