Hearthside Foods files lawsuit against the wife of Yogi Bhajan ; Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Puri

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Friday, October 21, 2011, 15:16 (3740 days ago)
edited by Gursant Singh, Friday, October 21, 2011, 17:38

Doesn't look like they want damages but they are asking for a trial and pursuing litigation.

Please see this link to a very informative discussion forum with many former or X Yogi Bhajan followers and old Kundalini Yoga students in a forom of inside information on the latest updates in the current litigation: http://forums.delphiforums.com/Kamallarose/messages?msg=1518.1

Join the cause on facebook "Stop Hearthside Foods' Use of the Golden Temple Brand""The Golden Temple is the English name for Darbar Sahib located in Amritsar India. The Golden Temple is a central Gurdwara (house of worship) for Sikhs everywhere. Yogi Bhajan was dead wrong to use the Golden Temple to sell breakfast cereal, to feed his wallet and ego. Sikhism teaches to never mix faith with commerce. Sikh teachings are offered freely. No one should profit when sharing the Sikh religion. And no one should trivialize other's religious traditions, much less profit from cheapening us. The executives at Hearthside Foods are innocent and ignorant. They know nothing about Sikhism. They are just more victims of Bhajan's cult." http://www.causes.com/causes/509680-stop-hearthside-foods-use-of-the-golden-temple-brand

It looks like the anti-trust firm that represented the Golden Temple defendants (Kartar, Ajeet, Karam, Gurudhan, Guru Hari, Bob Zielhl) has been hired by Hearthside Food Solutions. Last Friday Hearthside filed a trademark infringement suit against Bibiji in Oregon District Court in Portland.

Hearthside Food Solutions paid $71 million for the Golden Temple business. That included the name. Hearthside Food Solutions is a big company, owned by a large investment group called Windpoint Partners. Although Hearthside now owns the Eugene, Oregon bakery they don't own the Yogi branded cereals.

Hearthside produces many cereals, Peace Cereal, Sweet Home Farms, bulk granolas, and lots of boxed cereal brands sold under private labels around the country -- the Trader Joe's cereals, for example. This is not a groovy, hippie mom and pop undertaking. This is industrial, American corporate food production.

The Yogi named products are still owned by Golden Temple of Oregon LLC. That's the tea and Yogi cereal company in Springfield, Oregon -- the blue-collar town across the river from Eugene. They have a significant tea operation in Hamburg, Germany. The Yogi brand names were the subject of the arbitration recently concluded between Bhajan's widow, Bibiji, and Golden Temple LLC. As a result of the arbitration the "YOGI" name was awarded to Bibiji and her three children (Ranbir S. Bhai, Kulbir S. Puri and Kamaljit K. Kohli) along with back royalties.

The potential destruction of the business in Oregon is real, based on the time frame mandated by the arbitration. Where does Hearthside fit in the timetable? The pretrial discovery in this new case has to be completed by Feb. 10, 2012.

In the meantime, there is the urgency of the secretaries case against Bibiji in New Mexico.
This lawsuit is time sensitive, too, as a result of the trademark decision.

All of this is distinct from the Unto Infinity case brought by Sikh Dharma Worldwide ("Siblings of Destiny") that is still awaiting a decision in Portland.

One thing does emerge from the murk here: There is no love lost among these warring parties of Yogi Bhajan's 3HO cult.

Selling Golden Temple
The Fight For Yogi Bhajan’s Empire
By Kamalla Rose Kaur, Special to Sikh News Network

Kartar Singh Khalsa, head of Yogi Harbhajan Singh Khalsa’s business empire, testified in the Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Oregon, that selling the rights to the ‘Golden Temple’ brand name was just good business.http://www.sikhnn.com/headlines/1469/selling-golden-temple

Please see these links to a very informative discussion forum with many ex Yogi Bhajan followers for inside information on the latest updates in the current litigation: http://forums.delphiforums.com/Kamallarose/messages?msg=1485.2
"So those running Golden Temple, making Yogi brand tea, can no longer use the words "Yogi" or "Yogi Tea" - those word belong to YB's heirs.

GTO must also pay $1,644,605.00 in back royalties to Bibiji and kids. She doesn't get any back royalties for the time before 2009. Of course she gets her legal fees paid.

Bibiji won by proving that Yogi Bhajan controlled everything. They call him the CMA, Central Management Authority. True enough."

"Court documents Concerning Yogi Bhajan's secretaries and personal assitants "The Members of the LLC will be responsible for maintaining the personal behavior of the members of the LLC in a manner consistent with my teachings and values. Should a 2/3 majority of the membership of the LLC vote that a Member is no longer living according to my teachings and values, as understood by the Members, then that Member may have her share reduced by two (2) percent. The balance of her income share will be donated to the Legacy of Yogiji Foundation...Upon the death of any LLC Member her share will be paid to the Legacy of Yogiji Foundation by the LLC."

"Roy Lambert and Sopurkh are running the Legacy Yogiji Foundation.
Will the two of them take the extra money from the lapsed secretaries' shares and buy more peacock food? Or will they invest in some solar powered weedeaters for Ram Das Puri?
This gets better and better."

The Direction for Distribution of Yogi Bhajan's Share of Trust is at the bottom of Exhibit A in the sheaf of faxes attached to Surjit Soni's volley.
It's in "Bibiji opp to reopen S11082320530.pdf" which shows up as the last pdf on the SDW site under Legal 3 at the top of the page.

"But that's always been the essence of YBism, a weird country club-esque voting scheme where being in the favor of enough YBers is enough to get in and stay in. If the criteria was held against something like the SRM, it would fall apart. I think UI mentioned pre-trial that it was hypocritical to be outraged at them for "failing their vows as Sikhs" since so many within the Khalsa Council had already done so, but in more awful and less visible ways. The precedent was already set to hold one set of values and live by another, especially by YB himself. It makes sense that you would have a fuzzy majority-rules set of conduct similar to being voted off the island."

Serial adultery? Drug-smuggling? Meh... Take off the 3HO costume or start to seriously reflect on who you're with and what you've done?


Branding issue goes to court
An Illinois company and the widow of the cereals’ titular yogi vie for the rights to company trademarks
By Sherri Buri McDonald

The Register-Guard

Published: (Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011 05:00AM) Today

The company that bought Golden Temple’s cereal business last year has filed a lawsuit to bolster its right to continue using the Yogi, Peace and Golden Temple trademarks in its products.

Hearthside Food Solutions, an Illinois company, churns out Peace Cereal, Golden Temple bulk granola and Yogi cereal and snack foods, among other products, at its 300-employee factory on Prairie Road in Eugene.

To keep that product flowing, Hearthside recently sued Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Puri, known as Bibiji, in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Bibiji, a Los Angeles resident, is the widow of Yogi Bhajan, who brought his own brand of Sikhism from India to the United States in the late 1960s. His Eugene adherents founded a bakery in the early 1970s that grew into Golden Temple, an anchor of the local natural foods industry. Yogi Bhajan died seven years ago.

This summer, arbitrators in Portland ruled that trademark rights for “Yogi” in tea and cereal belong to Yogi Bhajan’s heirs, including Bibiji.

In its lawsuit, Hearthside alleges that Bibiji has claimed ownership in the Yogi, Peace and Golden Temple marks and that she has claimed that Hearthside is infringing her trademark rights by producing cereals with those marks.

Bibiji has demanded that Hearthside sign a licensing agreement with her and pay her royalties to continue using the trademarks, or that Hearthside must stop using them, the lawsuit said.

“Bibiji informed Hearthside via e-mail that if Hearthside did not meet her settlement demands, she would file suit against Hearthside,” the lawsuit said.

The royalty rate in the 2004 trademark licensing agreement between a living trust for Yogi Bhajan and Bibiji and Golden Temple of Oregon decreases as sales increase, from a royalty rate of 3.5 percent of gross sales up to $25 million to 0.10 percent of gross sales for sales of more than $100 million.

In its lawsuit, Hearthside contends that it owns the Peace and Golden Temple trademarks for cereal and that it’s authorized to make Yogi brand cereal and snacks under a trademark license agreement with Golden Temple of Oregon.

Hearthside is asking for court orders stating that Hearthside owns the Peace and Golden Temple trademarks and that it can continue to use the Yogi mark under the licensing agreement; that Hearthside hasn’t infringed Bibiji’s trademark rights; and that Bibiji must stop claiming ownership of the Peace, Golden Temple and Yogi marks.

Bibiji’s attorney Surjit Soni, who also happens to be her nephew, said Bibiji has asserted rights to the Peace and Yogi trademarks, but “I don’t think we’ve asserted any rights to Golden Temple.”

In communications to Hearthside Bibiji has stated her belief that the Peace mark was Yogi Bhajan’s idea and grew out of, and was inspired by, the Peace Festival that was used with Yogi Bhajan’s name and image from 2000 to 2009 and falls under the licensing agreement, Soni said.

Soni said Bibiji will sue Hearthside for infringement of the Peace trademark, probably as a counterclaim to Hearthside’s lawsuit.

Soni said he understood that Hearthside planned to stop using the Yogi trademark by the end of the year.

“If they continue to use it, we would sue for infringement and an injunction” to force them to stop using it, he said.

Hearthside attorney Kenneth Davis said he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit without contacting his clients, who were unavailable because of the time difference.

Davis represented Golden Temple Management, a group of six Golden Temple managers — including the company’s CEO, Kartar Singh Khalsa — in a lengthy lawsuit that is awaiting a ruling from Judge Leslie Roberts in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Ken Kwartler, a trademark attorney in Lake Oswego who is not involved in any of these cases, said when a company licenses its trademark to another party, the company usually promises to defend that party and pay damages if the party is sued for trademark infringement.

“That’s absolutely standard in a licensing agreement,” he said.

Hearthside Food Solutions, LLC v. Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Puri (Yogi Bhajan's wife)http://dockets.justia.com/docket/oregon/ordce/3:2011cv01238/104532

Hearthside Food Solutions' lawsuit claims that when it acquired Golden Temple, Hearthside became an authorized user of the Yogi trademark.

Hearthside claims Bibiji(Yogi Bhajan's wife) has no rights to the Golden Temple mark or to the Yogi mark.

They say that they tried unsuccessfully to negotiate the dispute with Bibiji, but there was no resolution.

Peace Cereals were produced by Golden Temple Foods in Eugene Oregon and were owned by a group of Yogi Bhajan's students who are embroiled in a lawsuit over who owns Peace Cereal and Golden Temple Foods. All I see from all this fighting is a bunch of greedy and angry people and not much peace or love for humanity. You'd think that with all the yoga they supposedly do that they would have more peace of mind.

Peace Cereal used to advertise that 10 percent of their profits are being given to peace organizations, when in fact 10% of Peace Cereal's profits went only to support Yogi Bhajan's tantric agenda in the form of Yogi Bhajan's invention he called Peace Prayer Day! This is certainly misleading of Yogi Bhajan's organizations and follows in the same path as other YB fraud's like "The sleight-of-hand of Peace Cereal, switching from organic to conventional ingredients" and using Sikh religious symbols and scriptures for commercial profit. http://gurmukhyoga.com/forum/index.php?id=304
"Ten percent of the profits of Peace Cereals go to the annual Peace Prayer Day, held at Ram Das Puri, near Santa Fe, New Mexico."

An ex Yogi Bhajan follower had this to say about the Yogi Bhajan Peace Cereal fraud, "At one point Peace Cereals was advertising that a certain percentage of their profits were being given to peace organizations.

The truth was that the money was used to support the 3ho event of Peace Prayer Day. For some reason I had been invited to a meeting about this and when asked my opinion I said, "Well, it's pretty misleading and self serving" and was promptly ignored and not invited back."

See more photos and discussion on facebook at:

“Amid the legal infighting following Yogi Bhajan’s death, critics are offering another portrait of the Sikh leader.”
3HO Sikhs are now fighting amongst themselves in a lawsuit over the millions of dollars in profits made from using the sacred Sikh religious symbols and scriptures for their own personal gain.3HO Sikhs, who follow Yogi Bhajan, funnel the money to support Yogi Bhajan's tantric cult church which 3HO Sikhs have deceptively camouflaged using names like "Sikh Dharma International", "3HO foundation", "Sikh Dharma Stewardship","SikhNet.com","Sikh Dharma Worldwide", "Unto Infinity Board","Khalsa Council" and "KRI(Kundalini Research Institute)". See "Sikhnet's" and "Sikh Dharma International's" slick new websites which were produced with the millions in ill-gained profits using the name of the Golden Temple, names and images of the Sikh Gurus, and sacred Sikh shabads for profit in commercial enterprises.

Read the full front page article about Yogi Bhajan's lust for power and greed of his 3HO Sikhs in Today's Eugene Register-Guard:

""Yogi's Legacy in Question"".[/link]

"New lawsuit hits Golden Temple with fraud!"

Read about the infighting in 3HO and Sikh Dharma--
Today's Eugene Register-Guard:

""Rift in 3HO Sikh community threatens business empire""

Appeared in print: Friday, May 28, 2010

"Bhajan was a leader ‘by fluke’

Recently, a friend sent me articles from The Register-Guard on litigation involving Yogi Bhajan’s organizations in Oregon. The letters to the editor that followed, critical of the reporter, prompt me to throw some light on the subject. Bhajan was extremely good at what he did, but propagation of Sikhism he was not. Criticism of Bhajan’s cult cannot be construed as criticism of Sikhism.

Trilochan Singh, a distinguished Sikh scholar, in his 1977 book “Sikhism and Tantric Yoga,” describes Bhajan devastatingly: “Yogi Bhajan is a Sikh by birth, a Maha Tantric by choice but without training, and a ‘Sri Singh Sahib’ and self-styled leader of the Sikhs of the Western Hemisphere by fluke and mysterious strategy.” There was no mystery to his strategy. He ingratiated himself with the Sikh religious leadership in Punjab, which was more corrupt than the Vatican during the time of Martin Luther.

According to the Tantrics, the best form of worship is the fullest satisfaction of the sexual desires of man, therefore sexual intercourse is prescribed as a part of Tantric worship. In the annals of abuse of women, some had harems, others had concubines and Bhajan had secretaries. The Sikh gurus condemned the Tantrics and their practices. All the cases mentioned in The Register-Guard had merit.

Humility is the hallmark of a Sikh, and Bhajan had none of it. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, describes people such as Bhajan succinctly: “Those ... who have no virtues but are filled with egotistical pride.”

Hardev Singh Shergill President, Khalsa Tricentennial Foundation of North America Editor-in-chief, The Sikh Bulletin El Dorado Hills, Calif.

"Sikhism and Tantric Yoga"
by Dr. Trilochan Singh (Link to entire book)

"The book Sikhism And Tantric Yoga is available at: www.gurmukhyoga.com.This website which is operated by a genuine White Sikh is highly recommended. Gursant Singh was a member of the Yogi Bhajan Cult (3HO and the Sikhnet Gora Sikhs or White Sikhs) for over 30 years and has intimate knowledge about the inner workings of this cult which attempts to miscegnate Sikhism with Hindu idolatry. I downloaded the book from Gursant’s website and found it to be absolutely compelling. I read it in one compulsive and sustained draught. It is a study not only about cults in Sikhism but about the miscegenation of the Sikh Religion by Hinduism. It is a classic work rendered in beautiful English prose and it is patently the work of a profound intellectual scholar with a deep knowledge of Sikhism."
Quotation taken from: http://www.sikharchives.com/?p=5513&cpage=1#comment-2011

You may also view individual chapters to "Sikhism and Tantric Yoga" at these links:

Sikhism & Tantric Yoga A Critical Evaluation of Yogi Bhajan

Sikh Doctrines and Yogi Bhajan's Secret Science

Yogi Bhajan's Adi Shakti Shaktimans and Shaktis

Yogi Bhajan's Clap Trap Theories of Kundalini Yoga

Yogi Bhajan's Ego Maniac Utterances

Yogi Bhajan's Seven Years in America and His Tinkling Titles

Yogi Bhajan's Arrest and Release on Bail

Yogi Bhajan Becomes the Only Maha Tantric in the World

Sikh Leaders without Conscience

Call to Truth and Authentic Sikhism

Please read an Excerpt below taken from "Sikhism and Tantric Yoga"

The Name of Golden Temple and its Murals

"In England last year a firm advertised some blue jeans as Jesus Jeans. The whole religious world of England rose in one protest and stopped the manufacture of these jeans. The word Golden Temple has become an instrument of commercial affairs of Yogi Bhajan He has now even named shoe stores as Golden Temple. I was given a "Wha Guru Chew.""

"Yogi Bhajan is using the sacred Sikh mantras and the sacred name of Guru Ram Das as a mantle for his Tantric Sex Yoga which will inevitably lead to mental and physical debauchery of those who take his brand of Sikhism contaminated by crazy sex-energizing asanas seriously."

Read about the "war between 3HO Sikh's Unto Infinity Board and Yogi Bhajan's Sikh Dharma". Yogi Bhajan set up all these organizations and installed their leaders. Decide for yourself if the Tantric Sex Yoga which Yogi Bhajan taught inevitably leads to mental and physical debauchery.

Many of these 3HO profiteers have cut their hair and renounced Sikhi! See these pictures below of Kartar Khalsa CEO of Golden Temple Foods and chairman of Yogi Bhajan's "Unto Infinity Board" who has cut his hair and is no longer a Sikh.
(Is it any wonder that Kartar and Peraim, Controlling members of Yogi Bhajan's "Unto Infinity Board",are wearing circus masks in the above photo?)http://cirrus.mail-list.com/khalsa-council/Kartar-Peraim.2-10.jpg

See these articles in today's Eugene Register Guard which shows the greed surrounding this dispute:

"Money trail at heart of Sikhs’ legal battle."

Wha Guru being used sacriligiously for huge profits by 3HO Sikhs
[image] [image]"Five flavors and they're all nuts!"


"What did the magician say to the Wha Guru Chew? Open sesame."


Yogi Bhajan used the sacred name of the Golden Temple, names and images of the Sikh Gurus, and sacred Sikh shabads for commercial enterprises to make millions of dollars. Wha Guru is even used as the name of a candy bar by Golden Temple Foods!Links appearing on the internet advertise Golden Temple along with wine and alcohol such as in this Google search link: "Golden Temple Granola - Food & Wine - Compare Prices" Other internet links associate Golden Temple massage oil with sex and sensual massages as in this Google search: "Sensual Soothing... Golden Temple Soothing Touch Massage Oil."

See for yourself the pictures below of the Darbar Sahib(Golden Temple) in Amritsar and Guru Tegh Bahadar featured on yogi tea boxes:
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3HO Sikhs are associating yogis, ashrams, tantric sex yoga rituals,drinking of wine and magicians of the occult with the Sikh Gurus and the Golden Temple See the Rare Photo (above) featuring the Harimandir sahib in 1908 when it was under the control of the Pundits or mahants. Sadhus and yogis felt free to sit wearing only a dhoti and no head coverings.The Gurdwara Reform Movement stopped such practices in India and gave the Gurdwaras back to Gursikhs.

Tantric Asanas taught by Yogi Bhajan for transmuting sexual energy:Reprinted from Yogi Bhajan’s official magazine “Beads of Truth” 11, p. 39

Yogi Bhajan illustrated here controlling tantric shakti "energy". Notice the depiction of Shiva,above Yogi Bhajan's head, Shiva is the god of yoga for Hindus. The illustration also shows Kundalini Yoga Asanas taught by Yogi Bhajan for transmuting sexual energy

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Yogi Bhajan's students are intstructed to meditate on Yogi Bhajan's picture everyday which you can see displayed in the 3HO Espanola Gurdwara in the photo above.

Idolatry is forbidden in sikhism....why does an 8-foot high statue of the Hindu god Ganesh, adorn the entranceway to the Siri Singh Sahib (yogi bhajan) lane in espanola. This is the hindu god of "prosperity", as in the 3HO publication "prosperity pathways".Adi Shakti Chandi 3HO Tantric Deity worshipped by 3HO in songs and prayers(shown above). Read about Yogi Bhajan's Shaktiman and Shakti women.

Read these shocking fire pujas and occult numerology,(below), practiced and advertised in the latest newsletter published by 3HO Sikhs. These "kriyas" or pujas are complete rubbish,only adding to the destruction and dissolution of the Sikh faith and should not be practiced by Sikhs of the Guru. The object of these practices is to combine the Sikh faith with Hinduism; to defang, neuter and completely destroy Sikhi. The strategy is to introduce idolatry and a stratified priesthood into the Sikh Religion. Yogi Bhajan and his 3HO shakti cult followers are introducing idolatry and Hindu practices of pujas and tantra mantra into the Sikh religion. The Bhajan movement is attempting to shift Sikh worship from the commonwealth of Gurdwaras to private estates controlled by 3HO priests of Yogi Bhajan's Tantric sex cult church.
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Idolatry is forbidden in Sikhism....why does a golden statue of a yogi adorn the entranceway to the 3HO Gurdwara in Espanola. This is a Hindu practise.
3-HO Sikhs demonstrate(in the photo above)their complete subservience to false worldly material power by exhibiting the Flag of God (The Nishaan Sahib) at an even level with the flag of the United States in front of the 3HO Gurdwara in New Mexico. The Nishaan Sahib, (The Respected Mark of God under the shadow of the Sikh Broadsword) should always fly higher than the flag of all the false materialists. The Flag of the Khalsa should occupy a place of exaltation above any government's flag that temporarily inhabits the material world.


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Tantric Yoga asanas (above) taught by Yogi Bhajan
and practised in 3HO Gurdwaras

"Tantric doctrines involving sex-poses or physical contact poses are extremely repulsive to Sikhism. The Sikh Gurus repeatedly ask the Sikhs to shun Tantric practices because they are based on a mentally perverted outlook of life. The Sikh Gurus ask the Sikhs to shun the very presence and association of Shakti-Cult Tantrics." Dr. Trilochan Singh "Sikhism and Tantric Yoga"

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Tantric Asana taught by Yogi Bhajan for transmuting sexual energy:Reprinted from Yogi Bhajan’s official magazine “Beads of Truth” 11, p. 39

See how Hindu gods and yogis are displayed in 3HO Gurdwaras, (see link in blue).

See this post which exposes the most shocking relationship Yogi Bhajan had with Jagjit Naamdhari who is considered by his disciples as the 11th Sikh Guru. The Naamdhari Sikhs keep the Siri Guru Granth in a closet while they bow to Jagjit and refer to him as "SatGuru Ji" as you can see in the photos at this link.

Read these comments by traditional Sikhs. "What better way to make money: add a religious tone to the product. All of a sudden, it seems legit."

If you want to stop these degrading and sacriligious practices by Golden Temple Foods and Yogi Bhajan's cult followers; Post a letter of support on this website or write your local food stores and demand they stop selling Golden Temple Food's products. Some of the major stores which carry these products are Trader Joes, Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats but there are many many other stores who sell millions of dollars in Golden Temple Granola, Peace Cereal, Yogi Teas, massage oil and Wha Guru Chews.

Yogi Bhajan's sacrilegious teachings in the name of Sikhism are illustrated quite distinctly by pictures of Yogi Bhajan's portrait, hindu idols being displayed in and around 3-HO Gurdwaras and the practice of kundalini and sex energizing tantric yoga asanas inside 3-HO Gudwaras by Yogi Bhajan's students.
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Idolatry is forbidden in Sikhism. Why does an eight foot high image (above) of Yogi Bhajan controlling the tantric shakti "energy" adorn the 3HO Gurdwara in Espanola? You can see the menacing image of Yogi Bhajan overshadowing the Sangat on the right side of the entire Espanola Gurdwara in the photo above.

Idolatry is forbidden in sikhism....why does a golden statue of a yogi adorn the entranceway to the 3HO Gurdwara in espanola. This is a hindu practise.



Yogi Bhajan's students are intstructed to meditate on Yogi Bhajan's picture everyday which you can see displayed in the 3HO Espanola Gurdwara in these photos.
In a painting at the New Mexico 3HO Gurdwara(above)you can see the sacrilegious misrepresentation of our sacred Khalsa symbol "Khanda" with two swords around it. You may also observe in this painting how Yogi Bhajan is depicted on an equal level with Guru Ram Daas(the 4th Sikh Guru): Dr. Trilochan Singh recounts this observation in 1977 when he writes, "The other picture was the Khalsa symbol Khanda with two swords around it. The Khanda (double-edged sword) within this symbol was replaced by a picture of an American woman with Sari-like robes. The woman is called Adi Shakti. I saw this published in the Beads of Truth in London and have already commented on it in my book, The Turban and the Sword of the Sikhs. I told Shakti Parwha that this is the most sacrilegious misrepresentation of our sacred symbol. As usual she dismissed my opinion as unimportant."

The sikh code of conduct says food offerings to the GURU are forbidden, but there is a 'testimony' page over at sikhnet.com, a 3HO run site loaded with volumes of Yogi Bhajan nonsense talks. Yogi Bhajan instructs 3Hoer's to prepare meals as offerings at the gurdwara and calls this "a dish for a wish". This is nothing more than the Hindu practice of puja. The testimony states "a dish for a wish".
Please read an Excerpt below taken from

"Sikhism and Tantric Yoga"
by Dr. Trilochan Singh (Link to entire book)

"Yogi Bhajan is using the sacred Sikh mantras and the sacred name of Guru Ram Das as a mantle for his Tantric Sex Yoga which will inevitably lead to mental and physical debauchery of those who take his brand of Sikhism contaminated by crazy sex-energizing asanas seriously."

Yogi Bhajan studied and taught at the Sivananda Ashram in Delhi. This, in addition to his first Kundalini Yoga teacher Sant Hazara Singh. In the mid-1960s, Harbhajan Singh took up a position as instructor at the Vishwayatan Ashram in New Delhi, under Dhirendra Brahmachari. This yoga centre was frequented by the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter, Indira Gandhi, and diplomats and employees from a host of foreign embassies.

Here's an article on Sivananda's approach to Kundalini Yoga:


These are all Hindu practices.

You can also read about the Gurdwara Reform Movement which stopped such practices in India and gave the Gurdwaras back to Gursikhs.


Gurdwara Reform Movement

A Rare Photo of Harimandir sahib in 1908 when it was under the control of the Pundits or mahants. Sadhus felt free to sit in meditation wearing only a dhoti.The Gurdwara Reform Movement (Gurdwara Sudhar Lehr) is the Legislation passed by the Punjab Legislative Council which marked the culmination of the struggle of the Sikh people from 1920-1925 to wrest control of their places of worship from the mahants or priests into whose hands they had passed during the eighteenth century when the Khalsa were driven from their homes to seek safety in remote hills and deserts.

When they later established their sway in Punjab, the Sikhs rebuilt their shrines endowing them with large jagirs and estates. The management, however, remained with the priests, belonging mainly to the Udasi sect, who, after the advent of the British in 1849, began to consider the shrines and lands attached to them as their personal properties and to appropriating the income accruing from them to their private use. Some of them alienated or sold Gurudwara properties at will. They had introduced ceremonies which were anathema to orthodox Sikhs. Besides, there were complaints of immorality and even criminal behavior lodged against the worst of them. All these factors gave rise to what is known as the Gurudwara Reform movement during which the Sikhs peaceful protests were met with violence and death and ended with them courting arrest on a large scale to gain the world's attention. Before it was all over many would fall as martyrs with some being literally blown apart while they were strapped to cannaon barrels.

‘During the Gurdwara Reform Movement, the Sikh leaders started a publication that was named Akali. From this paper and its policy the leaders began to be called Akalis, in view of which they formed the present Akali party. These Nihang Akalis should not be confused with the members of the Akali party.’ The Turban And The Sword’' , by Dr. Trilochan Singh. (Page 402)

I found this post at SikhSangat.com It exposes the most shocking relationship Yogi Bhajan had with Jagjit Naamdhari who is considered by his disciples as the 11th Sikh Guru. The Naamdhari Sikhs keep the Siri Guru Granth in a closet while they bow to Jagjit and refer to him as "SatGuru Ji" as you can see in the photos below.

The 'Namdhari' cult has been excommunicated from the Khalsa Panth. See for yourself the pictures of Yogi Bhajan depicting his close relationship with Jagjit Naamdhari.

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"However their are several instances which I find questionable about Yogi Bhajan. One includes the relationship they had with Jagjit Naamdhari (http://satguruji.blogspot.com/), and the other about an occurance that occured in the late 70's between Yogi and AKJ, where Yogi criticized Jatha for trying to "steal" members."

Yogi Bhajan wore huge gemstones for their so called “yogic energy and power". Yogi Bhajan adorned himself with these yogic rings and precious gems for different days of the week. Yogi Bhajan covered up the fact that these days are represented by different Hindu deities and the practice of wearing these yogic rings is really only the Hindu idea of pacifying the various gods and goddesses. Not only this, Yogi Bhajan used astrology and numerology in choosing these yogic rings. Yogi Bhajan believed the gemstones had "energy affects" and influenced our destiny, thinking and actions.
Yogi Bhajan shown here on Sikhnet wearing a yogic ring for power

Around the year 2000, Yogi Bhajan tried to personally sell me a yogic ring for several thousand dollars. We were at Hari Jiwan Singh's house in Espanola where HJ keeps a vast collection of gems worth millions of dollars. Yogi Bhajan told me. "You're naked." And he stated I needed a ring with a particular stone to protect me.

Yogi Bhajan’s wearing and promoting yogic rings is yet another Hindu practice camouflaged in the sheep’s clothing of "Aquarian or New Age spiritual thinking”. These things should not be practiced by Sikhs of the Guru. As Sikhs we should rely on the Guru alone for strength as Guru Arjan so beautifully states:

I have learnt the technique of true Yoga from the divine Guru. The True Guru has revealed this technique with the Light of the divine Word. Within my body He has revealed the Light that pervades all the regions of the earth. To this Light within me I bow and salute every moment. The initiation of the Guru are my Yogic rings and I fix my mind steadfastly on the One Absolute God.i,

A. G. Guru Arjan, Gaudi, p 208

The following is taken from "Sikhism and Tantric Yoga" by Dr. Trilochan Singh.

We quote Yogi Bhajan on Precious Stones and rings, which for him are his status symbol, and for possessing which he expends quite a lot of his energy and ingenuity. He says in Beads, Summer 1972, "Precious stones are not precious because the rich wear them and the poor do not. Rather, they are precious because when cut in the proper way they concentrate sun energy and can transmit to the individual through the skin. Hence most rings are worn on the ring finger. The quality of energy channeled by each stone differs and so does its effect on the individual. Stones also correspond to the planets and serve in mediating the scattered energy which comes from retrograding planets."
Yogi Bhajan has given the following comments on stones.
Ruby (Sun) concentrates the heart of the sun's rays.
Moonstone and Pearls (Moon) help balance out too much sun energy. They are commonly worn by Libra.
Diamond (Venus and practically everything) can concentrate miles of sun rays into one beam. Recently in Los Angeles someone was robbed of 100,000 worth of jewel within 72 hours.
Emerald (Mercury) has wonderful effect on the brain and is a cooling stone. Good luck for everyone.
Coral (Mars) is for balancing positive and negative forces.
Topaz (Jupiter) is a good luck stone.
Blue Sapphire (Saturn) can give so much energy to a person that he becomes negative. Those who are interested in details can read the Journal Beads, Summer 1972, p. 16. I do not know what is the opinion of the Jewelers on these statements but from the point of Sikhism these notions are worthless absurdities.
Yogi Bhajan does not wear the earrings of the Nath Panthi Yogis, but he wears precious gold rings (sometimes two and sometimes three) heavily studded with jewels, and cannot help displaying them ostentatiously, probably as a symbol of wealth acquired through the techniques of Tantric Yoga, which he sacrilegiously identifies with the techniques of Sikh mysticism. Bhai Gurdas, however, makes it clear to all Sikhs of all ages that Yoga asanas and yoga techniques are absolutely useless and unnecessary for Sikh meditations and the spiritual path of Sikhism:
jog jugat gursikh gurs am jhay a
The Guru has himself explained to the Sikhs the technique of true Yoga, and it is this: A Sikh must live in such a moral and spiritual poise that while hoping and waiting he ceases to aspire or crave for low ambitions and remains unconcerned and detached. He should eat little and drink little. He should speak little and never waste time in nonsensical discussion. He should sleep little at night and keep away from the snare of wealth. He should never crave avariciously after wealth and property.
Bhai Gurdas, Var 20 / 15

We still have very eminent scholars and saints who practice and live according to the Essentials of the Sikh Path with utter humility and devotion. They do not wear long robes. They do not wear gold and diamond rings. They do not contaminate Sikh doctrines and practices with practices of creeds and cults which are repulsive to Sikhism and strictly prohibited. There are piles and piles of correct interpretations of the Sacred Writings of the Sikhs written first by the great contemporaries of the Gurus like Bhai Gurdas, Bhai Mani Singh, Bhai Nand Lai, and our own contemporaries like Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh and Bhai Vir Singh. They not only interpreted it but lived it and suffered for it like living martyrs, never seeking anything but the Grace of God and the Gurus as a reward.
See an excerpt from a meditation taught by Yogi Bhajan listed on one of his student's websites promoting yogic gems at "YogaGems.com".

"Each finger represents a planet, whose energies we imbue with grace within ourselves and through our projection:

The little finger is Mercury, enhancing communication.

The ring finger represents the sun, empowering our physical bodies with healing and grace of motion.

The middle finger stands for Saturn. We strengthen virtues of patience and self-discipline.

The index finger is for Jupiter. We enshrine the light of wisdom within us.

The thumb represents the earth, ego, “dragons head and dragons tail.” We bring grace to the ego, so it supports our spirit.

I brought this realization of grace through the beautiful Light that had descended with me, wherein I experienced each finger’s cosmic connection—to the planet Mercury, the shining Sun, ringed Saturn, luminous Jupiter, and lastly, Earth—wherein dragons symbolize the spiraling DNA of creation, all these energies equally a part of my soul."

See these links by Yogi Bhajan's students promoting "Power necklaces".

Please read an Excerpt below taken from

"Sikhism and Tantric Yoga"
by Dr. Trilochan Singh (Link to entire book)

"Yogi Bhajan is using the sacred Sikh mantras and the sacred name of Guru Ram Das as a mantle for his Tantric Sex Yoga which will inevitably lead to mental and physical debauchery of those who take his brand of Sikhism contaminated by crazy sex-energizing asanas seriously."

The Register-Guard
Yogi’s legacy in question |
Former followers say he abused his position for power, money and sex
By Sherri Buri McDonald

The Register-Guard

Posted to Web: Sunday, May 9, 2010 12:14AM
Appeared in print: Sunday, May 9, 2010, page A8

A slow, painful awakening led Premka Kaur Khalsa, a top secretary in Yogi Bhajan’s Sikh organization for almost 20 years, to leave the religious group in 1984, she said.

Premka Khalsa, 66, said she could no longer participate because of the inconsistencies she said she had witnessed between the yogi’s behavior and his teachings — the deception and abuse of power.

In 1986, she sued Yogi Bhajan and his Sikh organizations, settling out of court. In court papers, she alleged that the married yogi had sexually and physically assaulted her, that he was sexually involved with other secretaries and that, as the head of his administration, she worked long hours for little or no pay.

The organization’s religious leaders vehemently deny those allegations. Its business leaders did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Kamalla Rose Kaur, 55, another former member of Yogi Bhajan’s 3HO (Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization) who wrote for a grass-roots newsletter in the community, said a light switched on for her when she was researching and writing about religious groups and thought, “Hey, we’re acting a lot like a cult.”

Former member Guru Bir Singh Khalsa, 60, who had been appointed a “lifetime minister” by Yogi Bhajan, said he received a wake-up call in the early 1990s, when Sue Stryker, then an investigator with the Monterey County District Attorney’s office, laid out evidence linking members of his spiritual community to criminal activity. Stryker, now retired, said a member of Yogi Bhajan’s Sikh community pleaded guilty and served time in prison for a telemarketing scam that bilked seniors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These and other ex-members of Yogi Bhajan’s organization say they aren’t surprised by events unfolding now, six years after his death. Legal disputes threaten to splinter the community. Allegations of the yogi’s past wrongdoing are resurfacing. And the future of the Sikh organization’s businesses are in question.

The outcome will ripple far beyond the religious group, whose companies have become intertwined with the local economy and business community.

In Multnomah County Circuit Court, the group’s religious leaders are suing the group’s business leaders over control of the community’s multimillion dollar businesses, including Golden Temple natural foods in Eugene and Akal Security in New Mexico.

“Organizations/cults that have charismatic leaders and their followings, once their charismatic leader dies, this is generally the kind of thing that occurs,” Premka Khalsa said.

“It’s the meltdown of a cult,” said Kamalla Kaur, who spent nearly 20 years in 3HO, and now runs an Internet forum for ex-members. “They actually kept it together longer than we expected.”

Steven Hassan, a Massachusetts-based author, counselor and former leader of the Moon cult in the 1970s, said he has counseled about two dozen former 3HO members, including leaders, over the years.

“The group, from my point of view, was always about power and money,” he said. “(Yogi) Bhajan is the consummate … cult leader. By not specifying someone to take over, there often are these kinds of political battles and meltdowns — people basically being greedy like Yogi Bhajan was and wanting more of a slice for themselves.”

Attorney John McGrory, who represents the religious leaders in the Multnomah case, said his clients strongly disagree with the description of their organization as a cult. They “believe very strongly that it’s a religion,” he said. “They practice and follow it, and they are ministers.” The proof, he said, is in the thousands of adherents who still practice it.

McGrory said the real source of the discord in the community appears to be that the assets Yogi Bhajan built up over the years are being taken for private use, with the blessing of the managers the yogi appointed to safeguard them.

Gary Roberts, attorney for the business leaders, has said they’ve done nothing wrong and have acted in the interests of the Sikh community.

When a founder of an organization, or the head of a family, passes away, disputes among successors are common, said Krishna Singh Khalsa, a Eugene Sikh for 40 years.

“There’s nothing spiritual or charismatic or cultlike about that,” he said. “It’s simply where interests clash.”

Religious leaders voice concerns

A year before he died, Yogi Bhajan established the “Unto Infinity” board to oversee the network of businesses, property and educational and spiritual nonprofits. Members include Golden Temple CEO Kartar Singh Khalsa and three of the yogi’s former secretaries: Sopurkh Kaur Khalsa, Siri Karm Kaur Khalsa, and Peraim Kaur Khalsa. Kartar Khalsa and Peraim Khalsa are domestic partners.

In the years leading up to the Multnomah lawsuit, the group’s religious leaders expressed concern that the business leaders, the Unto Infinity members, had abandoned the group’s orthodox beliefs, which include not cutting one’s hair, eating a vegetarian diet and abstaining from alcohol.

In court documents, the religious leaders allege that the Unto Infinity members acknowledged in 2008 that they no longer practiced those core beliefs.

Unto Infinity members did not respond to Register-Guard interview requests. But in March 2009, when the Khalsa Council, an international group of Sikh ministers, asked them whether they had cut their hair, were no longer vegetarians, and drank alcohol, the business leaders responded by letter, according to the Khalsa Council.

The letter said, among other things: “The questions raised are irrelevant to our roles and responsibilities in the organization. We are not the religious leaders of the organization; we were given administrative and financial authority and responsibility.”

The Unto Infinity members wrote that they had made many sacrifices while the yogi was alive and that now they’re applying “more kindness into our personal lives.”

“We have learned the importance of factoring back into our lives more joy and balance as we continue to serve this mission for the rest of our way home,” they wrote.

The Unto Infinity members wrote that if the religious authorities decided to narrowly define what a Sikh Dharma minister is, “we may not continue to qualify.”

However, they noted, “many current ministers in Sikh Dharma have broken their Sikh or minister vows, marital vows, and the laws of our country and have remained ministers,” adding that that had been true even while Yogi Bhajan was alive.

Watching the business leaders back away from the group’s religious practices, some former members said, reminds them of what they experienced when they decided to leave the group.

“You go through stages of discovery of how you gave away your power and were deceived,” Premka Khalsa said.

“Once the person who is defining your reality — the charismatic leader — once he’s not there continuing to enforce the beliefs, then your eyes start to open,” she said. “You see things in a different way, and it can be disillusioning.”

Premka Khalsa said that’s especially true for the yogi’s secretaries, such as herself, who sacrificed much of their lives to serve him.

“I met him at 25,” she said. “I was 41 by the time I left, so my life of family, child bearing and (being) productive in the world, that whole piece was gone. Nothing was put into Social Security, and I walked out with the clothes on my back.”

The women in his inner circle “were denied having a personal relationship with any other men,” she added. “Some of us wanted to get married and have children, but we got sidetracked into agreeing to forego that with the intention of serving something bigger than us. Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice.”

Flaws noted by former members

The group’s publications and Web sites praise Yogi Bhajan as an advocate for world peace and as a spiritual teacher who has helped improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

A resolution passed by Congress in 2005 after his death recognized the yogi as “a wise teacher and mentor, an outstanding pioneer, a champion of peace and a compassionate human being.”

But Yogi Bhajan also had flaws, former members said.

“He was a phenomenal yoga teacher, a phenomenal spiritual man,” said Guru Bir Khalsa, the former “lifetime minister” who left the group after 18 years. But the yogi “sabotaged his own dream,” he said.

Imposing at 6 foot 3 inches and 250 pounds, Yogi Bhajan claimed humility, but had a weakness for expensive jewelry, luxury cars and custom-designed robes, former members said.

“He was a big dichotomy,” Premka Khalsa said. “He was tremendously charismatic. It just drew you in. You felt held and you felt loved and you felt embraced and felt part of something that was magnificent and bigger than you, and always yummy.”

“On the other side, he could be devastatingly harsh and make decisions that seemed so contrary to what he would preach and teach,” she said.

“He was all about power and he became a victim of that experience,” she said.

Lawsuits on assaults, inheritance

With his long white beard, white turban and white robes, Yogi Bhajan advocated for world peace, founding an annual Peace Prayer Day in 1985. But his saintly public image contrasted starkly with his private behavior, Premka Khalsa and other former secretaries said.

In her 1986 lawsuit, Premka Khalsa alleged that Yogi Bhajan repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her from November 1968 to November 1984.

McGrory, the religious leaders’ attorney, said his clients deny all the allegations in Premka Khalsa’s lawsuit, which “were never verified or substantiated.”

In court papers, she alleged that the yogi was sexually involved with various female followers, and that he ordered her to coordinate his sexual liaisons, including orgies, with other secretaries, which she refused to do.

The head of Yogi Bhajan’s administration, and an editor and writer for his publications, Premka Khalsa said she worked on average 10 hours a day, five days a week. She alleged that she was paid $375 a month — only in her last three years with the group.

“It was another part of how he kept us bound,” she said. “We didn’t have independent resources. He had a fleet of cars — one of which was mine to drive. And he had properties to live on, but they weren’t mine. You had few independent resources, so it made it hard to live out on (your) own. He did that with lots of people.”

Premka Khalsa alleged in her lawsuit that Yogi Bhajan called her “his spiritual wife, destined to serve mankind by serving him in a conjugal capacity.” He said if she did so, he “would care for her for all of her natural life,” she alleged.

When Yogi Bhajan died in 2004, his wife Bibiji Inderjit was to inherit half of their community property, and he designated that his half go to Staff Endowment, a trust to support 15 female administrative assistants. To receive her share, each assistant had to live in accordance with the yogi’s teachings and the Sikh Dharma Order, according to court documents. If she didn’t, her interest would be cut to 2 percent, the court papers said.

Among the trust beneficiaries are Guru Amrit Kaur Khalsa, a plaintiff, and Sopurkh Khalsa, a defendant, in the Multnomah clash between the religious and business leaders, according to court papers.

McGrory said his clients deny that the Staff Endowment was in return for anything relating to Premka Khalsa’s allegations.

Yogi Bhajan’s estate still isn’t settled. In legal proceedings in New Mexico, the yogi’s widow argues that she was not aware of large gifts and expenditures her husband made while he was alive, and she wants an accounting of them, which could result in a determination that she is entitled to more of the remaining estate, said Surjit Soni, the widow’s attorney.

He said the yogi’s widow “does not begrudge or resist in any shape or form the bequest of Yogi Bhajan to his assistants … We just have to figure out what’s hers and what’s his and move on down the road.”

Soni declined to comment on the sexual abuse allegations.

Responding to the unpaid labor allegations, he said that many people volunteered their time to build the organization.

“It started with little or no sources of income and took the effort of a lot in the community lovingly coming together to provide their services,” he said. “They were doing it voluntarily. Nobody held a gun to their head.”

Another sexual abuse case against Yogi Bhajan, also settled out of court, was filed by the younger sister of Guru Amrit Khalsa, one of the yogi’s long-time secretaries.

Today, Guru Amrit Khalsa is one of the group’s two chief religious authorities, as well as one of the religious leaders suing Golden Temple CEO Kartar Khalsa and other business leaders.

Through McGrory, her attorney, she denied all allegations in her sister’s complaint.

The Register-Guard’s policy is not to name sexual abuse victims without their permission. Guru Amrit Khalsa’s sister’s whereabouts are not known, and she could not be reached for this story.

In court documents, she alleged that Guru Amrit Khalsa began trying to “entice” her into Yogi Bhajan’s organization when she was 11, and succeeded when she was 14.

She said she was with the group from 1975 to 1985. In her 1986 lawsuit, she alleged that starting in 1978, Yogi Bhajan repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted her.

The lawsuit alleged that the yogi was sexually involved with Guru Amrit Khalsa, as well as various other members of his administrative staff.

Guru Amrit Khalsa’s sister also alleged that Yogi Bhajan did not compensate her for skin and hair care products and snack foods she had developed and turned over to him in 1983 and 1984, after he had promised her an ownership stake or other payment.

“Truth is your identity”

The allegations in these lawsuits contrast with the public image of 3HO Sikhs in Eugene, who are widely regarded as devout, hard workers who have built a successful company that is a cornerstone of the natural foods industry here.

Firsthand knowledge of the abuse was confined to the yogi’s inner circle, Premka Khalsa and other former members said.

“The Eugene community, in general, is innocent and quite well intentioned,” she said.

Premka Khalsa said she sued Yogi Bhajan to try to expose what she called his lies and force him to change his behavior.

“The greeting we all have is Sat Nam, ‘Truth is your identity,’ and I wanted him to stop lying,” she said.

Premka Khalsa said she also wanted the rest of the community to know about the abuse, and she wanted to lend credibility to the complaint filed by Guru Amrit Khalsa’s sister because she said she was appalled by how badly she had been treated.

The suits were settled for undisclosed amounts, and they didn’t surface again until Guru Bir Khalsa, who had become disillusioned after learning of the group’s ties to telemarketing fraud, retrieved them from the archives of a New Mexico courthouse and put copies on the Internet in 2002.

“Sikh means seeker of truth and therefore I was just a seeker of truth,” he said. “The reason I wanted to put those documents on the Internet was to just turn the light on in the closet.”

“Yogi Bhajan had a dark side, and I think a lot of people don’t want to see it because of what that means about him,” Guru Bir Khalsa said. “I know, for myself, I wasn’t ready and didn’t want to see it. It’s kind of tough when you think you’ve invested as much as you have into something.”

Most of the former members quoted in this article asked to be referred to by the names they were using at the time they were part of the Sikh community.

“You go through stages of discovery of how you gave away your power and were

Golden Temple Loses Tea to Bibiji By Kamalla Rose Kaur, Special to Sikh News Network

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Friday, October 21, 2011, 18:15 (3740 days ago) @ Gursant Singh

Golden Temple Loses Tea to Bibiji

By Kamalla Rose Kaur, Special to Sikh News Network
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 | 10:11 pm

Inderjit Kaur Puri, Yogi Bhajan's wife, won the ownership rights to 'Yogi Tea,' 'Yogi' and the anything with his name and likeness, in arbitration of her lawsuit against Golden Temple of Oregon, which has to re-brand its popular products by 2012.
Photo Source: evitamins.com
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Inderjit Kaur Puri, widow of the late religious leader Yogi Harbhajan Singh Khalsa, is now the proud owner of the trademarks ‘Yogi’ and ‘Yogi Tea,’ and she is not licensing them back to Golden Temple of Oregon, the Eugene food company that partially funds his nonprofit organizations, including the religious organizations, Sikh Dharma International and 3HO (Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization), a group that teaches Kundalini yoga.

‘Bibiji,’ as she is popularly known, won her lawsuit against the food company on July 29. Her complaint was first filed in the US District Court, Central District of California on February 5, 2010, and ended on June 9, 2010, with an order to arbitrate. The arbitration landed at the Arbitration Service of Portland, Oregon, in January 2011, and ended in a favorable decision for Bibiji.

Sikhs on the Yogi's Dharma

“We feel shame over how Yogi Bhajan conned young people,” said Harmander Singh of Sikhs of England, coach of Fauja Singh, the 100-year-old world record marathon runner, and London's ‘Sikhs In The City' team. “We Sikhs live by the principles of remembering God, working hard and sharing with others. Nowhere is there any promotion of… tantra and yoga gimmicks in the Sikh scriptures.”

Yet Yogi Bhajan was given the title ‘Siri Singh Sahib’ by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1971, and awarded the rare honorific title of ‘Panth Rattan,’ or Jewel of the Sikh Nation, in 1999 at Anandpur Sahib. His wife also was awarded the ‘Panth Rattan’ in 2005 at Takht Patna Sahib.

According to the World Sikh Council – America Region, a coalition of 47 gurdwaras and Sikh organizations, Yogi Bhajan told one of its members: “Sikhs of India had fulfilled their mission by preserving the Divine Word, Siri Guru Granth Sahib, for three centuries; that the Guru had now come to America; that, henceforth, Sikhism would spread from here to the rest of the world; and that he was not interested in Sikhs from India… These (and other) claims by Sardar Harbhajan Singh were resented by many Sikhs and took some of the gloss off the work he had done.”

Born into the Uppal family on January 22, 1935, in Wazirabad, Gujranwala District, now in West Pakistan, Bibiji married her husband in Delhi, in 1954, and had three children.

According to 3HOhistory.com, her husband, also known as Yogi Bhajan, immigrated to Canada in 1968 and settled in Los Angeles to teach Kundalini and White Tantric yogas to the hippie counterculture of California and New Mexico. His family soon followed.

“…(The couple) created a new culture of Sikhi as founded by Guru Nanak, the first Guru of the Sikhs,” the Web site says.

Although the community kept the outward appearance of Sikhs, the bana of beard and dastaar, and now calls itself ‘Sikh' Dharma,’ many of its practices, such as faith-based yoga, contradict the fundamental teachings of the Sikh faith, and has perturbed many Sikhs of Indian origin.


But in his new dharma, the yogi had found his calling. Capitalization quickly followed.

According to the arbitration documents, Yogi Bhajan was known for serving an herbal tea at his Kundalini yoga classes. It became known as Yogi Tea. As the community expanded and built ashrams throughout the United States, it was common for yoga teachers to serve Yogi Tea at yoga classes.

Yogi Bhajan encouraged his followers to support themselves by establishing businesses that employed members of his dharma. Among their early businesses was the Golden Temple Conscious Cookery Restaurants, which served Yogi Tea.

The Golden Temple Tea Company was formed in the early 1980s by three of the yogi’s followers. It began doing business as the Yogi Tea Company by selling prepackaged Yogi Tea to Golden Temple restaurants and to Golden Temple Natural Foods Stores, another new business. The company grew to eventually include natural food products, and reorganized as Yogi G.

The three original founders then donated the company to Sikh Dharma International, a non-profit corporation controlled by Yogi Bhajan. In the early 1990s, Yogi G merged into Golden Temple of Oregon, a cereal and baked-goods company, which also was donated to the dharma.

Golden Temple then sold its baked-goods business in May 2010 to Hearthside Food Solutions of Illinois for $71 million, but continues to make Yogi Tea from its factories in Ohio and Europe.

In 2009, sales of Yogi Tea exceeded $27million, the document says.


Yogi Bhajan initially gave Golden Temple a verbal license to the Yogi Tea recipe, and formalized a written agreement in 1993 with a trademark license. In July 2004, Golden Temple received a new trademark license from Yogi Bhajan and Bibiji’s joint living trust. The company was given rights to use his name, likeness and signature as trademarks to sell tea, cereal and herbal products.

Kartar Singh Khalsa, president of Golden Temple, told the court that the license was “devised to provide Yogi Bhajan a stream of income in the form of royalties, a portion of which Yogi Bhajan would use to fund his non-profits,” the document says.

Just days before Yogi Bhajan’s death in October 2004, another agreement extended Golden Temple’s license from 10 years to 75 years.

According to the trust, the royalties were now to be split, with 50 percent going to his wife and the other 50 percent going to his Administrative Trust, with Yogi Bhajan’s 15 personal staff members as its beneficiaries.


In Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Puri v. Golden Temple of Oregon, Bibiji sued Golden Temple when, in late 2008, the company stopped printing Yogi Bhajan's name, likeness and messages on its products, thereby denying Bibiji and his personal staff of 15 single Caucasian women their royalties.

But the company continued to use ‘Yogi Tea,’ and introduced another brand called ‘Yogi.’

Golden Temple was the owner of a number of trademarks, including ‘Yogi Tea’ for tea, acquired in 1996 and ‘Yogi’ for tea, cereal and granola, acquired in 2008.

Bibiji contended that even though Yogi Bhajan was never an owner, manager or director of the businesses, he had full control over all of the businesses and was the owner of all the trademarks. Businesses were donated to him at his request, and he even designated their managers. He installed Kartar Khalsa as head of Golden Temple. And, with his approval, the company used Yogi Bhajan to promote its brand, often using the phrase: ‘The Yogi behind Yogi Tea is Yogi Bhajan.’

Bibiji claimed that ‘Yogi Tea’ and ‘Yogi’ constituted the ‘name and likeness’ terms in the 2004 agreement, and were subject to royalty payment.


The arbitration panel concluded this summer that Yogi Bhajan invented Yogi Tea, and was the “Central Management Authority” of his empire. Use of his name and likeness by Golden Temple created trademark rights in Yogi Bhajan’s name and likeness.

He was the owner and the single source of origin for the family of trademarks produced from his name and likeness, including ‘Yogi Tea’ and ‘Yogi,’ the panel said. Upon his death, those trademark ownership rights passed to his heirs, Bibiji and the adult children: Ranbir Singh Bhai, Kamaljit Kaur Kohli and Kulbir Singh Puri.

Golden Temple will have to rename its well-established ‘Yogi’ brand by January 1, 2012, a significant business risk, because Bibiji has opted not to license the trademarks back to the company.

“Indeed it does not appear to be in the best interests of the owners of the trademarks to license (Golden Temple), which has proven itself to be disloyal and dishonest licensee, having breached its contracts with Yogi Bhajan and Bibiji, laid false claim to the trademarks and registered the trademarks in its own name in express violation of its obligations under the license agreement,” said Surjit P. Soni, Bibiji’s lawyer and nephew, in a statement to the arbitration panel.”

"Bibiji has already received offers to license the trademarks from other parties, which are much more favorable than the now terminated (Golden Temple) license, and Bibiji continues to field other licensing candidates.”

Golden Temple also is ordered to pay damages to Bibiji for trademark infringement, including royalties form Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011, plus damages. The estimated value from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 is $1,644,605. The rest has not yet been determined.

Bibiji will receive half of that value, in accordance with the trust. The other half is in dispute in a 2007 New Mexico case, Khalsa vs. Puri. The complaint was filed by Sopurkh Kaur Khalsa, Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa and Ek Ong Kar Kaur Khalsa, the trustees of the Administrative Trust that Yogi Bhajan created for his beneficiaries, the 15 personal assistants.

A trial is yet to be set “to determine what portion must be reallocated to Bibiji because of Yogi Bhajan’s discretionary dispositions of community property assets without Bibiji’s knowledge or consent,” Soni said in statement to the arbitration panel.

“One hundred percent of what remains could go to Bibiji,” he told SikhNN. His longtime assistants could end up with nothing.


Meanwhile, on Oct. 13, 2011, Hearthside filed a lawsuit against Bibiji in the Oregon District Court, in Portland, for trademark infringement. Hearthside is the largest privately owned bakery in the United States. After its acquisition of Golden Temple’s cereal division in 2009, it became the owner of the ‘Peace Cereal’ and ‘Golden Temple’ trademarks used for various baked products. It also was an authorized user of the ‘Yogi’ trademark for cereal and granola snacks, until Bibiji won her lawsuit.

According to the complaint, Bibiji has demanded that Hearthside enter a licensing agreement for use of the ‘Peace,’ ‘Golden Temple,’ and ‘Yogi’ trademarks or remove the names from its products, or she would file a lawsuit against the company.

Negotiations have failed.

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