It was during my time in the Amritsar Central Jail that I thought of writing this book. As soon as I had Internet access, I began to research what it might take to create a written record of my experiences. In effect, this book was created as it happened and certainly before I knew how it would finish.
My hope was that I could help others to learn from my experiences; not only those in India, but also those within the 3HO spiritual organization to which I devoted thirty years of my life.
Pleasure is the disease and Pain is the medicine
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2013
A great insight into the 3HO organisiation and the complexities of the Indian legal and social system. I am impressed with t he authors fortitude and positive nature despite the tsunami of events that go against him . His faith takes him through quite an adventure-despite all the ups and down he comes out of it a wiser and more enlightened Sikh
The Cult angle is interesting because it gives on an insight of how these organisations work-they offer the gift of enlightenment but it is a sham for control and financial benefit. It is sad to read about the blindness with these Cult organisations
India is a fantastic adventure for Guru Sant-some mistakes are juvenile but others are those of an innocent man manipluated by people that want to make a quick buck-or rupee as in this case!!
Got to admire the author -I learnt
a lot of how to deal with the ups and down of life-he is quite an inspiration!
The author has a great sense of humour which carries him through his adventure and it looks like he has found a friend for life in Mr Shira
Enjoy the read-its quite a tale that has a wonderful message about Sikhi
Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2017
I thought this book was incredibly insightful into the true origins of Kundalini yoga and the whole western obsession with it! The author can be a bit misogynistic while talking about the arranged marriage he was seeking while in India, but learning about how different Indian culture is regarding marriage, women's rights and social norms was fascinating. If you are considering getting into Kundalini Yoga, I suggest you read this first. This is a first-hand account from someone who was in Yogi Bhajan's inner circle while he was still alive and faithfully followed him for 30 years. I learned so much about Sikhi, the Indian criminal justice system and the 3HO movement! Highly recommended!
Reviewed in the United States on July 25, 2013
This book is extremely well written. It is a very honest, self-reflective account into one man's spiritual journey. Apparently there are 3HO members who have dedicated an extreme amount of energy in discrediting Gursant Singh.
I find this very telling indeed. This isn't some frivolous, gossipy account of Yogi Bhajan and his empire. This is a book that seeks the truth and on a highly personal level. I found it to be very even-handed toward Yogiji and 3HO. Anyone who feels otherwise is probably concerned with their own house of cards tumbling down. I am so glad I read this book.
I strongly recommend it to anyone on ANY spiritual path. Charlatans abound in this world and claim to hold the keys to the truth. Big thank you to Gursant for risking it all to put out this amazing book. Here is to finding personal truth.
Reviewed in the United States on March 25, 2014
Book review: Confessions of an American Sikh by Gursant Singh
I had opportunity to read this interesting book recently. Not knowing the author from any of his past writings I was apprehensive to start reading a large book. However I was pleasantly surprised to find how reader friendly his style was. Since the book was based on the real experience of the author during his visit and unexpected stay in India, I found the stories interesting and gripping. The narration was fast moving and full of humor with interesting twists and turns. It was hard to put the book down and I finished reading this book in a record time for me.
In the story he the authors narrates his experiences in Northern India, mostly Punjab where he went to visit Amritsar's "Golden temple", get his teeth fixed and find a Punjabi wife. He is falsely implicated by the police... Thrown into an Indian jail, his experiences there are extremely funny yet painful . He has recorded them in detail and truthfully. Only those of us who have knowledge on matters there can really appreciate his plight during that period. The author relates his dealings with the corrupt officials , common folks and businessmen and relates how he was lied to, cheated and robbed.
His ultimate escape from India was a challenging task accomplished through bribing after crossing the border illegally to Nepal.
The other important part his story is regarding his conversion from Christianity to "Sikhism" as introduced to him by Yogi Bhajan. He describes his experiences while living within the commune. He was taught " Tantric yoga" and told that this was a part of Sikhism. He ultimately realizes the truth the about Sikhism during his trip to india. This is my first insight into the Yogi's commune and its mechanics , described truthfully by someone who was very close to Yogi.
I strongly recommend all my Sikh friends to read this book. It will remind us all how bad the things have become in India since we left and how fortunate we are not to be living there any more. It will also inspire us to have faith in "Waheguruji" as the only force that the author relied upon that helped him to freedom.
In conclusion I want to thank the author for giving us this book and laying open his life for others to learn from. I feel that this book can be transformed into a very interesting feature film and I will encourage Gursant Singh to explore that option.
5.0 out of 5 stars A roller coaster of a read with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns.
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2013
I would actually give it 4 and half stars. The vividness of the details that the author uses to describe India make you feel like you are there at times. Gurusant Singh was a conman and doesn't hide that. At times you find yourself really hating the guy and some of his arrogance and plans for world dominition as a "Khalsa" made me want to puke.
Other times you feel genuinely sorry for him and his plight, especially when dealing with the Indian authorities. I admired and was able to relate to his spiritual aspirations. I have some experiences with 3ho and Kundalini yoga and was a hairbreath away from taking a "yoga teacher" course. I thank God that I didn't go through with it.
At times you want to ask him "what were you thinking?" and "You didn't see that coming?", but so is life. You can't judge someones stupid decisions without realizing that you've had some stupid ideas as well.
He really takes you on a rollercoaster ride with this biography.
I'm glad I read it, though I'm not sure who I'd recommend it to.
Any unsuspecting person who is taking a Kundalini Yoga class should read this book and save their time and money. Any person who has an interest in cults would love it. The general reader would enjoy aspects of it. I would like to learn a little more about Sihkism in general after reading this book and would like to some day visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
the 3HO boarding schools, explained
One of Yogi Bhajan's edicts to his followers was (and still is) what he called "distance therapy", which entailed sending children away to extended summer camps and to India for boarding school. The schools 3HO children attended were:
Guru Nanak Fifth Centenary School (GNFC) located in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, 1981 - 1988
Guru Ram Das Academy (GRD) located in Dehra Dun, Uttarakhand, 1989 - 1993
Miri Piri Adacemy (MPA) located in Amritsar, Punjab, 1993 - present
There was also a period in which groups of 3HO children were schooled here in the U.S:
Amritsar Academy located in Albuquerque, New Mexico
New Mexico Military Institute, Roswell, New Mexico (unaffiliated with 3HO, but accepted a number of 3HO students for a brief period in the early 90's, and made exceptions for 3HO dress and uniform to allow the turban and uncut hair and beard).
This article details the influences upon and the construction of Kundalini Yoga as introduced, taught, and propagated in the West by Yogi Bhajan (1929–2004), by delving into the lost history of the practice's earliest years through previously neglected sources such as its documentation in rare early texts and interviews with early students and associates. As opposed to the official history of Kundalini Yoga that claims it as an ancient and secret tradition prior to Yogi Bhajan's open teaching of it, this article argues that it was a bricolage* created by Yogi Bhajan himself and derived from two main figures: a hatha yoga teacher named Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari (1924–1994) and the Sikh sant Maharaj Virsa Singh (1934–2007). It is the aim of this article to provide clear evidence as to what Yogi Bhajan's Kundalini Yoga is and what it comprises, put forward the historical and cultural contexts in which it was developed and presented by Yogi Bhajan, and ultimately offer possible conclusions that could be drawn from this revised understanding.
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