Our Mission

LYF Foundation (The Legacy of Yogiji Foundation) is a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for the properties of Yogi Bhajan all around the world. Yogiji was a term of endearment for Yogi Bhajan, whose official title is the Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji. He was a master of Kundalini Yoga, and the spiritual and administrative leader of Sikh Dharma for the Western Hemisphere.

The primary mission of LYF Foundation is to preserve and maintain the properties that Yogi Bhajan developed and protected for future generations, namely Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, Guru Ram Das Puri in New Mexico (where Summer Solstice, Khalsa Youth Camp, and International Women’s Camp are held) and Yogi Bhajan’s Ranch.

Yogi Bhajan was a compassionate and powerful spiritual teacher. One of his most outstanding traits was his open-hearted hospitality. He loved to have people around him, and he made sure there was a graceful space for people to gather. These properties that he started and beautified were specifically designed for meditation, contemplation and prayer, and are places where the public can directly experience Yogi Bhajan’s legacy.

History of the “Mother Ashram”

Yogi Bhajan first came to the United States in 1968, and landed in Los Angeles. He had only been in Los Angeles for six months when he was invited by a group of "Flower Children" to celebrate the 1969 Summer Solstice in New Mexico. From that very first visit, he felt very much at home in "The Land of Enchantment", and knew to establish an ashram there.

On one auspicious rainy day, Yogi Bhajan instructed a forlorn group of students in Santa Fe to drive north “until you find a place where the sun is shining.” The sun rays that broke through the clouds led them to a ranch property in Española. Yogi Bhajan eventually purchased this land and created the Hacienda de Guru Ram Das Ashram, otherwise known as the “Mother Ashram”, on October 22, 1971. He was fond of saying, “God lives everywhere, but His mailing address is Española.”

“We were very happy when we discovered that we had found a jewel when, with God’s will, we founded Hacienda de Guru Ram Das. This was six acres and a house. We were only eleven people, and we could be accommodated very easily. Over the years, we did what we did. Some of us left; some of us fought for it; some stayed. But the hand of God, as destiny took it, worked it out.

"At one point that house which used to hold the Guru was too small for us, so we expanded it. At the time we expanded it, we were thinking, 'My God, we have made such a beautiful big Gurdwara with our own hands, we should be very happy and proud of it.' We put gold on it with our own hands. Lightning came, but it didn’t burst it. Oh, it’s a miracle, miracle, miracle!” - Yogi Bhajan

The property was over six acres with a house and a barn, with a chicken coop where the langar hall is now located. Eventually a small, but lovely Gurdwara was built. A beautiful mural painted was by Ed O'Brian depicting Guru Ram Das, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Yogi Bhajan, honoring the amalgamation of this new Sikh community within the strong Hispanic and Catholic roots of the area.

Growth of the “Mother Ashram”

From 1971-1976, several properties adjoining the Main House were purchased to accommodate the rapid growth of Hacienda de Guru Ram Das. In 1973, Yogi Bhajan purchased the Gold House and the four surrounding acres of property. It became the location for the Khalsa Women’s Training Camp in 1976 (now called International Women’s Camp). This land holds the memory of years of this sacred gathering of women, who for 6-8 weeks every summer gathered here to practice yoga and meditation, pray, live in community, and study directly with Yogi Bhajan.

In the early years, the Gold House was Yogi Bhajan’s primary residence when he came to New Mexico. Many people have since lived in the Gold House, and was used for weddings and other community celebrations before its current incarnation as a house for ashram visitors. As the Ashram grew, many community members moved here and bought properties adjacent to and close by the ashram, making for a geographically cozy and supportive spiritual community in which to live and practice the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and Kundalini Yoga.

The Ranch

Yogi Bhajan purchased a 13-acre ranch across the highway from the “ladies camp” property and it became his personal residence while in New Mexico, now referred to as “The Ranch”.

Yogi Bhajan worked tirelessly to build the Ranch into a world-class outdoor museum for future generations to visit and enjoy. The Ranch presents a colorful display of lawns, fountains, gardens, art objects, and buildings. Many animals call this place home. On his behest, beautiful albino and colored peacocks roam freely on the property, horses and miniature ponies run within the stable area, and ostriches and emus live peacefully in their own large fenced area.

Legacy in Action

Yogi Bhajan dearly loved the Ranch and the other properties that now make up the Hacienda de Guru Ram Das Ashram. All of these properties are now owned and maintained by the Legacy of Yogiji Foundation.

Our ashram hosts people from all over the world, including people attending Summer Solstice, International Women’s Camp, and KRI Teacher Trainings, as well as people who come to visit this sacred and historical land. Our ashram lands currently has a booming greenhouse and garden co-op, and offers a program for people to live, study, and do seva at the ashram through our Seva Sadhana Program.

As stewards of these properties, we are honored to fulfill his wish that all who visit here are welcomed, and the spiritual and physical riches he cultivated on this land are meant to be enjoyed by many generations to come.