UrbanTurbanGuy

I'm just a common person, but I'll offer you my crude understanding.

Book Review: Confessions of an American Sikh: Locked up in India, corrupt cops & my escape from a “New Age” tantric yoga cult!”

On the night before Christmas Eve, I saw Gursant Singh’s post on a friends Facebook wall mentioning: FREE on Kindle for 4 days : “Confessions of an American Sikh: Locked up in India, corrupt cops & my escape from a “New Age” tantric yoga cult!

My work computer had crashed & I had 4 days off. I said why not & started reading. I could not keep this book down Believe me, I am a slow, painfully slow reader, who can not read without humming the words.  But, there was no way I could put this book down. I was finally done on Christmas night!

Others may not find it as gripping as it was for me. For me it was too close to home since I too like Gursant have had experience in life when I was walking down the spiritual path & was fooled but charlatans or misdirected by really earnest innocent fellows who were lost like me.

So here is the Good, bad & ugly from the book:
Good:
Gursant Singh does an excellent job of baring his past & his mindset. It is fascinating to read his slow & steady process of unwrapping the layers of misconception & magical illusion he had regarding Sikhi, Kundalini Yoga & Yogi Bhajan.

It is a difficult task for people in this day and age to come out & say, I was living in a mistaken dreamland for 30 years. It takes Guts.

Bad:
I felt it that it went into too much detail during his Rishikesh period, could have done without a chapter or two. Instead I would have liked to read more about how about how he actually stetted his scores once he was back in the USA, what prompted him to write the book, how did he find his wife etc.

Another thing, Gursant seems to have a very Ptriarchical & male dominant mindset in most of the book. In the journey to becoming free of the “men are from mars” ideology of 3HO I was hoping to see a change in his expectation of a male dominant universe.
Ugly:
Reading some parts feels like Gursant actually combined the deed & the doer as one. It is good to to keep them separate, that is how we can move forward. He seems to be incapable forgiving his fellows followers of Yogi Bhajan.  Good or bad, what is done is done.

@Gursant Singh: Hope those like you can take a unifying star & help others walk across the chasm between 3HO & Sikhi, instead of creating a barrier by the very strong stands that you stake against your former friends. This way you may not be able to share what you have learnt.

@3HO people who have forsaken Gursant: I would really like to someone among the group having a real discussion on the points the Gursant raises about the difference between Sikhi & Yoga, instead of just ad hominem arguments that I have seen till now.

Lastly, it is a must read for anyone interested in how cults work from the inside, how the Indian police system sucks & how you can escape from it if you are not an Indian citizen. :)

2 comments
KaranDiviner
KaranDiviner

Read this book before you book your flight to India.

Charan Singh
Charan Singh

Some Comments: @Gursant Singh, @3HO

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When I read the episode of Rishikesh in "Confessions of an American Sikh", It provided me a better insight into the Vedic  Yoga culture centers. I also felt the big difference between the general YOGA cult and Sikhi. It also became crystal clear that how Sikh's Gurmukh yoga is different than the general Vedic Yoga cult.

 

Many can confuse the feeling of the Gursant's Male dominating mindset with his longing for a wife who can stand with him and understand him and the Sikhi. I can clearly hear the cries of Gursant Singh. left me pondering upon the events in his past 3HO culture or his personal life which inculcated these feelings in Gursant Singh at the very first place. May be, he got so submerged (blinded) in the false charismatic affect of the Harbhajan Yogi, terrible past marriages (which were just based upon the order of Harbhajan Yogi), No kids from previous marriages, His previous wives may be so independent or dominating in the nature, Ignorance of the real Sikhi Culture. There can be number of factors. Also, Harbhajan Yogi's  wife was a role model for Gursant's quest for finding a Sikh wife.

 

I think it is more important to ponder upon the events which lead him to India. I can also see the Gursant's commitment  for his would be wife and equal commitment he was looking for. He definitely deserved a Sikh wife who can stick with him and he can stick with her. With whom he can raise his kids and his own family. We should not ignore these factors. Otherwise he seems to be a dominant person.  

 

Everybody mixes the deed and the doers parts in different phases of his/her life. I appreciates Gursant's connecting with the GURU and GOD when he was languishing in the jails for 2 months in Amritsar and remember . There is no doubt that Gursant Singh is still a very learnt Sikh. I am sure that he is better than me.

 

I would conclude that

Whatever has happened.......has happened.

 

The GURU (GOD) himself led Gursant into the homeland and put him in the trouble.

The GURU himself helped him to escape the Yoga Cult.

The GURU himself blessed him with the right understanding of Sikhi.

The GURU himself helped him to escape India

We don't know what GURU has planned for Gursant's future?

 

Some 3HO cult members rant that Gursant was bad. But they do not understand that when TRUE GURU blesses a soul, TRUE GURU does not look at your bad deeds. He just blesses the soul.