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Success in Relationships

By Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa

An exchange takes place—a communication of looks, words, touch, even fragrance—a connection is made, subtle or overt. A relationship has begun. Just as the secret of success in Real Estate is “Location, Location, Location,” in relationships it’s “Communication, Communication, Communication.”

The challenge is to remember that although we are all “homo sapiens,” males and females of this species usually have vastly different expectations, attitudes, and abilities when it comes to communicating. Understanding and respecting the other person’s perspective, even if you don’t agree, and being willing to listen are essential if you want a harmonious relationship—with anyone!

“Familiarity breeds contempt.” How do we speak to each other? Is our language rude? Would we speak the same way to a guest in our home as we do to family members? How kind, how graceful is our speech? Words can be WMDs—or at least Weapons of Individual Destruction—if we’re not careful.

Yogi Bhajan used to say, “Manners make the man.” The tone of voice we use and even our body language influence the impact of every word we speak. Being conscious, careful, and kind with the words we choose to say goes a long way toward keeping relationships smooth.

Some people seem to thrive on conflict, others don’t. Remember one of Yogi Bhajan’s rules for the Age of Aquarius: “The Other Person is You.” Put yourself in the other person’s place, and then you’ll know how to communicate.

Let’s step back for a moment, and find that moment in time when we established a relationship with an “other.” Between you and me, him and her, we and they, there is an inherent tension, a pull and an attraction, because all polarities exist in a state of tension. To balance the kind and amount of tension, to bring harmony (ergo: happiness), requires communication. But there’s one more thing that factors into any relationship we choose: successful relationships are built on a foundation of Commitment.

If you remember Yogi Bhajan’s “Seven Steps to Happiness,”[1] you know that happiness starts with Commitment. Whether it’s to your marriage vows, or loyalty to an employer, a friend, or family members, or to nurturing and raising a child, success begins with the intention, the integrity, the determination to “keep up” with the relationship. Commitment. So simple, and yet often so difficult!

In April of 1991, Yogi Bhajan spoke to the Khalsa Council about wisdom in relationships—it became the following poem:

Relationships Defined*

When relationships break, when relationships fail

We suffer and agonize, rant and rail.


“How could it happen? Who is to blame?”

We live in misery, loneliness and pain.

Limited egos are bound to conflict

Egos destroy relationships quick.


For any relationship to be a success

Certain conditions have to be met

Wisdom is the Base.

The relationship starts here.

Without wisdom, disaster is near.

Love is the Sustainer,

It serves to maintain,

Overcomes adversity, sorrow and pain.

Love is giving 100 percent

Not “yours or mine” or “what will I get?”

Selfless Service comes next,

to nurture and grow.

Relationships thrive when both people know

Without thought of reward, pleasure or gain

Each gives to the other over and over again.

Selfless Service comes out of Wisdom

The Cycle is done

When separate entities truly are one --

That’s Relationship!

Only the wise understand the above.

It takes Wisdom to Serve and Wisdom to Love.


Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa was Yogi Bhajan’s first student in the United States. He gave her the title of Divine Mother of 3HO.She has been teaching Kundalini Yoga since 1969. She is the author of Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power; Kundalini Postures and Poetry; and Marriage on the Spiritual Path: Mastering the Highest Yoga. She is a frequent movie-goer in the City of Angels.





[1] Commitment, character, dignity, divinity, grace, sacrifice, happiness

* “Relationships Defined” Copyright 1991 Yogi Bhajan

Copyright © YB Teachings LLC 2006