Episode 52: Pritam Hari Kaur (Joined in 1981, Hamburg, Germany; 1987 moved to Johannesburg, South Africa)

Episode 52: Pritam Hari Kaur (Joined in 1981, Hamburg, Germany; 1987 moved to Johannesburg, South Africa)

Pritam Hari Kaur born in Germany and grew up in Indonesia and Spain, of German post-war parents who wanted nothing better than to head out into fresh and new horizons.

After being kicked out of her house by father and step-mom at 19 years old, she felt orphaned, and eventually met Yogi Bhajan in 1981 at age 21; fully embraced the ashram lifestyle.

Comforted under YB’s tutelage and guidance at the European regional center in Hamburg. She was the European Regional Secretary from 1981 - 1987, co-organized the Annual Yoga Festival in France, the European Tantric Yoga Events and YB’s visits, as well as traveled to New Mexico every year during this time frame 81 - 87.

In 1986 he asked her if she wanted to join his staff in Espanola, NM. She declined with much sadness at the time, knowing that she would literally combust if she was there 24/7. YB introduced and arranged her marriage to Har Bhajan from South Africa and sent her to “develop” the area there in 1987.

In 1997, YB sent an African American ‘Khalsa’ to South Africa, a Sikh Dharma Minister, purportedly to support the ‘mission’. This teacher was a sex offender addict and seduced (women) in the name of “counseling” and moon center healing” people under the banner of KY, right under our noses at the ashram and on his “duty” as a minister of SD. They brought this to YB’s attention at Solstice two years later (1999), and ensured the man didn't come back; and that he was NOT sent onward to another African country, Mozambique, which YB had wanted to do.

Apparently, EPS, the ethics bureau, was created after this major and tragic scandal that never actually got recognized, reconciled, or resolved. It was said at the time that YB 'corrected' the man. However, the abusive transgressions were not conclusively dealt with via counseling and rehabilitation, being left in limbo for two decades beyond the original offenses.

At the time, the South African Ashram moved on and did the best they could to continue focusing on teaching, growing their community and sharing the Yogic lifestyle. Their son Hari Bhajan left for school in India in 1999 at the age of 10.

In 2004 when YB passed away, she went into deep grief. During this process she began taking a serious look at her own spiritual life and mental, emotional health. She noticed that despite decades of sadhana and so many tantrics and daily yoga, she was a high functioning depressive with little capacity for happiness, which made her feel flawed and ashamed.

At this time, she started very deliberately working with herself to undo her own numbness and pain. She began to feel very different, not chasing elusive goals and keying herself up in spiritual bypass as a routine way of being. Her relationship with yogi bhajan came to feel settled and at peace.

When the ‘Premka book’ came out in 2020, she already had some emotional tools for the complexity of it all, the abuses that were being revealed, despite the occasional sense of dissociation or disbelief.

She’s in a place where she still loves yoga and also holds the voices of the many persons who were harmed in her heart. There continue to be many local discussions around this and it remains an ongoing topic of transparency within our community.

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