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Confessions of an American Sikh: Locked up in India, corrupt cops & my escape from a "New Age" tantric yoga cult! [Paperback]

Gursant Singh
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Dec 2012
Arriving in India to get his teeth fixed, Gursant Singh decides he needs a Punjabi wife and becomes embroiled with Dadaji, Amritsar’s notorious marriage broker. When their search for the perfect bride gets them both thrown into Amritsar’s Central Jail, Gursant has to look deep within himself and question everything he has been taught about the Sikh path - Sikhi. Gursant’s encounters with crooked lawyers, corrupt cops and the enigmatic Indian legal system lead him from the radiant spirituality of Amritsar’s Golden Temple, through labyrinthine back streets, chaotic lawyers' offices and the Amritsar Police station to the tranquility of an isolated yoga ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas. On the way, we meet an exotic cast of characters. Some venal and manipulating, others compassionate and generous; all of whom bring to life the contradictions, idiosyncrasies and excitement of 21st Century India. Gursant chronicles his adventures in a fast-moving, warts-and-all style to give the reader a searingly honest picture of his own spiritual loss of innocence. 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. India can be fun, entertaining and spiritually inspiring; at the same time it can be harsh and unforgiving, especially if you fall foul of the law, as I did. The spiritual path of the seeker can provide endless inspiration and satisfaction. But, like India, it can bring you face to face with your deepest fears and weaknesses. It is my fervent hope that others will learn from my mistakes and perhaps deepen their own spiritual experience by reading about what I had to go through. Thus this book is the story of my spiritual coming of age; my loss of innocence, if you will. I wish to offer my deepest gratitude to Akal Purkh, Waheguru, the Creator and Sustainer of the incredible universe in which we live. Let me also give thanks to Guru Nanak Sahib and his nine illustrious human successors. It is the grace of Guru Nanak that brought me to his teachings and it was his kindness that enabled me to find the true path of Sikhi. Finally I humbly offer obeisance to Siri Guru Granth Sahib, the word of God and living Guru for all Sikhs. Gursant Singh


Product details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (13 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481172751
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481172752
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 739,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

I was given the name Guru Sant Singh Khalsa by Yogi Bhajan. The experiences you will read about in "Confessions of an American Sikh" led me to understand that this name inflated my ego and was detrimental to my spiritual progress. I now use the name Gursant Singh and that is the name I have used as the author of this book. Since my name was Guru Sant Singh Khalsa when all the events in the book took place I have kept that name in the text of the book "Confessions of an American Sikh" outlines my reasons for joining Yogi Bhajan’s sect of Sikhism, wearing a turban and all white clothes. As of 2009 I left Yogi Bhajan’s group I now only follow Siri Guru Granth Sahib. First I’ll share some background before you read "Confessions of an American Sikh" which should help you understand my thinking and life. I grew up with strong Christian values of living an honest life and a strong belief in one God. You can see me in photographs on my website at age 12 participating in a Christian church camp. My mother is a devoted Christian and always has been since her childhood days growing up on a mid-west farm, being baptized at and attending the country church every Sunday. My brother and I attended Sunday school, summer bible school for kids, church camps and even Wednesday evening church services sometimes. I do have to say that my father had some tendencies towards being an aggressive salesman but he rarely, if ever crossed the line into fraud or manipulation of others to make money. My dad’s motto was to try and make all buyers happy and provided extensive service and warranties after they purchased their mobile home from him. He was also a committed Christian and served as a Deacon in the Church of Christ on Town Avenue in Pomona California. Thinking that I would like to be a counselor, I drove to Los Angeles where I was determined to ask Yogi Bhajan who I now considered to be my “spiritual teacher” what I should do as a career. Much to my dismay when I shared with Yogi Bhajan my desire to be a counselor, Yogi Bhajan said, “How are you going to make any money, go over to GRD (3HO telemarketing boiler phone room) and work under Hari Jiwan, he’ll teach you how to make money.” So with all the greatest faith and enthusiasm, I worked and studiously observed all the practices of my mentors Hari Jiwan and Baba Singh who lead the infamous 3HO toner bandits. All the stories that followed and more are recorded in "Confessions of an American Sikh"

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most certainly the next Best-seller!!! 12 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
Gurusant Singh is painfully honest & refreshingly candid as he regales us with his humorously detailed account of India and his very own journey through life, a major chunk of which was spent in the 3HO cult led by Yogi Bhajan. His writing style is very American, very witty, enthralling, bouncing effortlessly back & forth between his past, present and future and most certainly catering to readers globally. It is a real eye-opener to Eastern Sikhs about Yogi Bhajan and his den of`Gora` Sikhs, to the Yoga students about the futility and commercialization of Yoga, to the non-Sikhs about Sikhism and to the world the rampant corruption in Indian bureaucracy. The current rape protests in India are but the tip of the iceberg!
He gives satirical information about the social evils and sham of a democracy in Indian society, the desperation of Sikhs to re-locate abroad to escape it all, whatever the cost! He was able to feel the pulse of the Sikhs and their unrest to secure a separate homeland for themselves. He describes the lawless torture in Indian jails, where a whole generation of innocent Sikh Youth languishes without any hope of justice for at least next few decades. Had Gursant not made good his escape via Nepal, that would inadvertedly been his fate too. Thanks to his quick lateral thinking.
The author gives inside information of the Yogi Bhajan`s opulent lifestyle, his spell and power over unsuspecting followers who were genuinely searching for the Truth, his shameful abuse of power and authority. He made a mishmash of Hindu & Sikh religions using the external garb of a proud martial race but practicing Hinduism, covertly.Bhajan misled these innocent people into a life of crime in the name of God.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book About Yogi Bhajan on the Market 11 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback
Gursant Singh's recounting of his passage to India and out of a corrupt yoga empire is as enjoyable as it is compelling. This is a story of exploitation -- Gursant's victimization by his fraudulent master, Yogi Bhajan, and his own demoralizing work running scams to prop up the yogi's luxurious lifestyle. It's a quick-paced adventure that describes the ersatz Sikh lifestyle dumped on a clutch of white Americans and the peculiar dangers of the Indian bride trade.
The book revolves around Gursant's quest for a Punjabi marriage partner. His desire to acquire a subservient wife echoes Yogi Bhajan's tantric babble about men and women. If you've endured a Yogi Bhajan "teaching" on sexuality, you'll be dismayed, but not surprised, by his longtime student's view of women. Gursant's role as Bhajan's aide and bodyguard revealed the man his followers refuse to see -- a womanizer and a brute. Yogi Bhajan's round-the-clock use of a dozen female assistants is well-known. Those who question why the self-proclaimed leader of the Sikhs of the Western world required not just a personal harem but an armed security detail will find answers here. Gursant lays out his time among the sleazy operators and criminal hustlers swirling through Yogi Bhajan's Healthy Happy Holy Organization/3HO in some depth -- not enough intricacy for some of us, but doubtless far too much for the old charlatan's remaining devotees.
Fortunately, the book doesn't devolve into a personal Mea Culpa nor does it read like the diary of a starry-eyed seeker. The bizarre mishmash of Eastern aphorisms and yoga postures that Yogi Bhajan concocted made his Sikh Dharma group appealing to a small, lost tribe of the counterculture. Mercifully, Gursant was no hippie and he doesn't write like one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opener 8 Jan 2013
By r singh
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This has certainly opened my eyes to the inside world of these cultists. A very well written,truthful and soul full journey from an American boy to an ambassador of the Sikh faith.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book! 27 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A warts and all Journey narrated in a very humorous and likeable way, giving a valuable insight of Yogi Bhajhan's doctrines and way of life.

This gentleman's faith and resolve are an eye opener. He should be commended on seeing real Sikhism and practising it accordingly.

Really is one the best reads, highly recommended.

Well done Gursant Singh
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest Writing 4 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All i say is that the book is written very honestly and simple language is used keeping target readers in mind. While reading the book, i felt like i am Gursant invisible companion and experiencing all the life events with him. The way the book is written impressed me a lot. The highlight of the book is the chapter where Gursant stands upto Yogi and confronts him about Yogi's intention of snatching his house. when i was reading that incident, i felt so proud of Gursant, that tells you that he was a born sikh who stood up against injustice. all in all, a book worth buying :)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
In this book, Gursant Singh tells his story. We learn about his early life and subsequent association with Yogi Bhajan through flashbacks in the central narrative, an intriguing tale of conspiracy, corruption, bureaucracy, greed, outrageous suggestions and moments of heartbreaking sadness, disappointment and reflection. Gursant is refreshingly candid, telling everything warts and all, and his writing style is engaging and easy to read.
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