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Yogi joins Mother Teresa, Pope in US list

Press Trust of India

Posted: May 10, 2005 at 1644 hrs IST

The passage of a unanimous resolution by US Congress last month honouring the late Yogi Bhajan, a popular Sikh religious leader in the United States, is being celebrated this week at the Capitol.

Sri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, also known as Yogi Bhajan, died on October 6, 2004. In the history of the US Congress, his admirers point out, only a handful of spiritual leaders have ever inspired a joint resolution from US Congress honouring their life and work. They include Martin Luther King, Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

On April 5 and April 6, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate respectively passed a joint resolution praising the life and work of Yogi Bhajan. The resolution read, in part: "the (US) Congress-(1) recognizes that the teachings of Yogi Bhajan about Sikhism and yoga, and the businesses formed under his inspiration, improved the personal, political, spiritual, and professional relations between citizens of the United States and the citizens of India; (2) recognizes the legendary compassion, wisdom, kindness, and courage of Yogi Bhajan, and his wealth of accomplishments on behalf of the sikh community..." and (3) extends its condolences to Inderjit Kaur, the wife of Yogi Bhajan, his three children and five grandchildren, and to Sikh and 3 HO communities around the nation and the world upon the death of yogi Bhajan..."

The House resolution, which passed by a voice-recorded vote of 405 - 0, was sponsored by US representative Tom Udall.

The Senate resolution was passed by unanimous consent. It was sponsored by US Senators Jeff Bingaman and Pete Domenici and co-sponsored by John Cornyn.

"Whatever your faith, Yogi Bhajan had the right words, the right lesson, the right message," Udall said on April 5. "He spoke to us all. He inspired us. Around the world he was a powerful voice for peace. I am pleased that he has been honoured by Congress today."

"Yogi Bhajan was the beloved spiritual leader of thousands of western Sikhs," Bingaman said."This congressional resolution recognizes his distinguished life and the importance of his teachings."

"This is a lasting tribute to an influential spiritual leader who contributed greatly to the promotion of peace. Yogi Bhajan was an inspirational figure and a proud legacy for new Mexicans who remember his hopeful message and practice his teachings of humanity," Domenici said. The passing of Yogi Bhajan last October was a loss not only to the Sikh-American community but to the entire nation," said US representative Earl Blumenauer.

Yogi Bhajan died on October 6, 2004. A master of kundalini yoga and the Siri Singh Sahib (chief religious administrative authority) of Sikh dharma international, Yogi Bhajan spent his life teaching and improving the lives of thousands through his teachings on yoga and Sikh dharma. It was through his efforts that Sikh dharma became a tax-exempt, recognized religion in the United States. In addition, Yogi Bhajan founded the 3 HO (healthy, happy, holy) organization. With over 300 centers in 35 cities, 3 HO uses kundalini yoga to help people improve their physical well-being and deepen their spiritual awareness.

"I'd Like to thank the US Congress, and especially representative Tom Udall, Senator Jeff Bingaman and Senator Pete Domenici, for such an honour," said Inderjit Kaur, wife of the late Yogi Bhajan. "We feel very honored and touched by the resolution. We're grateful the US Congress has recognized him."

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