A Bricoleur is a Tinkerer
What do you do if you find out your competition is selling a better product? Selling love beads to hippies is a finite proposition because you have to keep importing more product. Pimping yoga teachers is infinite because you can give yoga lessons all day long with much less of a re-occurring capital outlay. Indian customs officer Yogi Bhajan came to Los Angeles to sell incense and patchouli oil but he ended up selling yoga instead. Phillipe Deslippe’s research paper embedded as a pdf file below, From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The Construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga offers the theory that Yogi Bhajan was a bricoleur. Yogi Bhajan made up his version of the mystical kundalini yoga with whatever he had available. Not only did he make the whole thing up but he constantly re-wrote his own history and changed who his his teachers were retroactively.
Tinker, Tailor, Candlestick Maker
Yogi Bhajan constantly refined and adapted his his own history. Mr. Deslippe also posits elements of my current argument against Bhajanism: Yogi Bhajan’s followers continue the deception started all those years ago in Los Angeles when he began his charade.
The late-Sixties were an incredible boom time for Eastern spiritual teachers in the West. For someone like Yogi Bhajan, charismatic, physically imposing, and offering the secrets of the mythical and dangerous kundalini energy, Los Angeles in 1969 was the right place at the right time. While Yogi Bhajan’s initial plans in America were to sell items to Hippies as part of an import/export business (fitting for a customs officer), he quickly made yoga his business.(19) There seemed to be no limits to his growth among Hippies as a teacher in his own right, and with an almost franchise-like pattern, Yogi Bhajan offered an accelerated teacher training program consisting of only a few weeks, and then quickly dispatched his newly minted teachers across the country to open satellite 3HO ashrams. Soon, there were Kundalini Yoga teachers in a rapidly expanding list of college towns and major cities. From Maharaj to Mahan Tantric: The Construction of Yogi Bhajan’s Kundalini Yoga, page 7.
I actually learned a lot from bricoleur Mr. Bhajan. Kundalini as bricolaged by Yogi Bhajan has it’s benefits, but the whole truth should be known.