Yogi Bhajan has told this story a few times in lectures that I have seen. He describes how the mantra Guru Guru Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru came to him. Here’s an excerpt from a lecture in the Master’s Touch series, (TCH 25-12 7/27/1997) which was oriented toward teaching and developing teachers. (full transcript it below the video.) Have a look:
Student: What are the effects of the mantra ‘Guru Guru, Wahe Guru Guru, Ram Das Guru’ and how does this mantra serve us as teachers of Kundalini yoga?
Yogi Bhajan: It serves on the spot, it has no delay payment system. You know, this mantra came like this. I was caught once and somebody said,
“What is your mantra?”
I said, “Wahe Guru”
He say, “That’s (the mantra) of every Sikh, that’s fine.”
It is the mantra of the Tresha Guru, Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, God generates, organizes and delivers and that’s their mantra. So I was very sharp in answering.
He said, “But you love Guru Ram Das.”
I said, “I do.”
“But he has not given you personally, mantra.”
I said, “I have all the Bani of The Guru, I have Siri Guru Granth, Shabad Guru, what do I need for?”
He said, “No, no, this, then he started quoting scripture.”
I said, “Go to hell. Let us see what happens.”
The next day I got up, I sat on the altar and I was chanting with monotone, with the navel force, ‘Wahe Guru.’ Our altar started burning. So actually three four days altar burned. Krishna was on altar duty, she was very upset.
I said, “Don’t worry about it.”
So one day when, I think fourth day, I was sitting there and I saw light.
I thought, “My God, altar is burning again.”
So I open my eyes, brought myself to senses and there sat Guru Ram Das, right in presence, the way I know him. I was not sure. I was thinking I am having a vision. That’s okay, it happens many time, big deal. Then I took my hand and I tried to cross through it. I thought it was just a subtle body, I can, hand, hand didn’t move. So I took this (Yogi Bhajan shows his opposite hand moving) and tried with that. It didn’t move either. It stuck with a physical body.
And that bundle of light said, “I know you are very doubtful, but I have to give you mantra.”
I said, “Yes, lord.”
And he said, “What were you chanting right now?”
I said, “I was not chanting ‘Wahe Guru,’ I was chanting ‘Guru, Guru, Wahe Guru, Guru Ram Das Guru’.”
He said, “Be blessed. You will have many students and many great people will come out of your tongue. ‘Sarasthi. deri tote-li sasthi bhajan.’ On your tongue sits the knowledge and the blessing of the universe. But whosoever shall be student will be considered master.”
And then thing disappeared. That’s what it is. And it works when I am in a dire pain, which I am most of the time, because I, I am left and right, I just chant it. It’s fine.