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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: Become a Giver―Get Rid of Your ‘Couldn’t’

Excerpts from a lecture by Yogi Bhajan given on September 4, 2001, in Espanola, New Mexico

In our life there are three very difficult things. One is to pass our time. The second is to know our tomorrow. And the third is to meet our obligations, which are a demand on us. That’s the process of life.

Mostly we cannot save ourselves from our emotions. When we cannot save ourselves from our emotions, we cannot use our intuition. So we are not aware of our tomorrow. That’s why there comes the necessity of a guide. Otherwise there is no necessity for a man to have a guide. We are very fortunate that in fourteen hundred and thirty pages [of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib] there is nothing but guidance. It comes to one understanding, and that is: there is no heaven and there is no hell; there is no guilt and there is no nonsense. All you have to do is to make sense. To who? To yourself.

Life is a conception. There is no such thing which shall not test your guts. So what does life come down to? Life comes down to one thing and one thing only: do you compromise with your grace or not? And do you compromise it for your own sake, or for somebody else’s?

It is up to you, because there is no such thing as God outside of you. When you close these eyes forever, your God closes His eyes forever. Your God starts with you, goes with you, and ends with you. But you don’t live that way. You have guilt. So you can never be you.

So what do you have to do? You have to save yourself from yourself. You have to drop that guilt. That’s why we are a community, that’s why we are a family, that’s why we are together. We can get it together. You will never find a community leader who doesn’t know how to give, seva. Giving is the only way. Don’t only give to those who ask, give to those who don’t ask. Keep on giving, become a giver. Your faculty and God’s faculty will become the same. That’s divinity. That’s absolute divinity.

Dayndaa day lainday t’hak paa-eh. “You, Great Giver, keep giving to us and we grow tired of taking” (Japji Sahib by Guru Nanak, Third Pauree). You should be so conscious and so giving that people get tired of your hospitality. Giving is habit, character, consciousness, and self-projection.

How many people have you broken bread with out of joy? How many times have you had the guts to sit down with someone and share from one plate? We talk about God, divinity, yoga and all the yak, yak, yak... What have you learned? How many people have you hugged, how many children have you played with? You are looking for a romance but you need romance with nature, the prakirti.[1]

In this life there are challenges. How much sweetness is in you and how much of that sweetness are you willing to share? How much? How many times have you become one with each other [in consciousness] in the name of God? How much closeness have you produced? How relaxed are you when somebody makes a mistake? Where is your kindness and compassion?

Creative supplement is required for life to grow in peace and tranquility. Consistent sense of radiance of the tenth body[2] is required to protect us. The subtle body must give us intuitive self so that we can understand what is coming on us. Every day we should socialize and be kind to each other to grow our ultimate aura. If somebody has fallen, we should raise them. If somebody is going down, we should lift them. If somebody is hungry, we should feed them. If somebody is unhappy, we should dance with them. There are things to do and those things are part of us.

Life is like a beautiful, beautiful, marvelous horse and we get crippled riding it through unnecessary problems, unnecessary attachments, unnecessary things, but we believe God does everything. If God does everything what is it that you are bothered about?

What we get out of our holiness is intuition. We can see in time what it shall be; the sequence has started, what shall be the consequence. But when we are not with the flow, we do not know.

Do you remember a day when you wanted to come into class and you couldn’t? It happens. It happens many times. It happens. When you want to get up in the morning and be with your God and Lord, you couldn’t. It happens. When you wanted to love somebody and serve somebody, you really wanted it but you couldn’t. We want to get rid of this ‘couldn’t.’ We want to make our will so clean, so clear, so positive, that the ‘couldn’t’ doesn’t touch our shores. We have a very strong disease: ‘couldn’t.’ And ultimately this ‘couldn’t’ is like a cancer and eats our determination, our essence—because we ‘couldn’t.’

You know, all our problems on this planet come from this ‘couldn’t.’ This ‘couldn’t’ gives us a slip from our Dharma, from our duty.

Just imagine Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth master, when he, himself, was decorating his younger son to send him to war. He could, and he did it. Because he had a mastery over ‘couldn’t.’ The Sikhs were there and they said, “Lord, until we are finished you are not supposed to send your son.”

He said, “No, let him go and face the war.”

For the glory of the Dharma he decorated his own son to go into the war where each soldier was outnumbered by one hundred twenty-five thousand to one.

When I came to the United States I started teaching Kundalini Yoga. I knew that at least it’s a science which gives a person excellence. It will create excellent characters; it will take away from us ‘couldn’t.’ It will give us a pathway of an essential sacrifice which will give us maximum happiness.

Things shall not change if you don’t change them. What will change things in you is that you, the divine you, which is in you. It is the divinity in you which will allow you to sacrifice. It is the reality in you which will make you realize. Don’t take it personally. It is not personal. It is a general rule of prakirti. It is the law of law of the Lord. Purkha[3]and prakirti, it shall never change, you have to change with it. Because the only thing which dies is the physical body, but there are nine other bodies too. The total account is ten bodies. That’s the reality. You have to learn to love all the ten bodies, not the physical body only. Even if you don’t destroy the physical body, it is going to destroy itself. It’s the law of prakirti.

Jo upjo sobinsay. “One who is born has to die.” But the other bodies can help you to be young, fresh and beautiful. This body is given to serve. Recognize there are nine others with it and that is called the path of Dharma. And it is up to you to follow it or deny it. Once your life gets subject to rhythm, ‘couldn’t’ will go away.

©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

Originally published in Aquarian Times, May/June 2006

[1] Matter or primal nature.

[2] The tenth yogic body representing spiritual radiance and courage.

[3] Purkha is unmanifest spirit.