Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa
1929 – 2023
In Loving Memory
Mukhia Sardarni Sahiba Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa, known lovingly to so many as “Shakti”, passed away peacefully in her home on November 8th, 2023 at age 94.
Throughout her life, Shakti Parwha Kaur studied spirituality. She met many of the swamis and Eastern masters who came through Los Angeles. In 1966 she embarked on her global “grand tour” and visited many more gurus, saints, holy men and women, and spiritual teachers. In 1968 Shakti Parwha Kaur met Yogi Bhajan at the East West Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California, and became his first student in the U.S. Soon after, she became a Kundalini Yoga teacher and continued teaching until her retirement.
Shakti Parwha Kaur was one of the founders of 3HO International and is known as the “Mother of 3HO”. In 1973 she was ordained as a minister of Sikh Dharma and given the honorable title of Mukhia Sardarni Sahiba. She was a member of the Khalsa Council, held executive offices in both Sikh Dharma and the 3HO International, was Executive Secretary to Yogi Bhajan and served as a facilitator for White Tantric Yoga courses.
Author and co-author of four books, she is especially well-known for Kundalini Yoga: The Flow of Eternal Power, a simple guide for both new students and seasoned practitioners. She specialized in teaching new students and created “A Tool Kit for Teaching Beginners Kundalini Yoga”, that is widely used in teacher training courses around the world. For over 30 years she produced the 3HO newsletter, “The Science of Keeping Up”. She was a member of the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA) and edited the inspiring “Kundalini Rising” and “Prosperity Paths” newsletters. She was a contributing editor for “Aquarian Times” magazine and produced several Public Access Cable TV shows called “Shakti’s Show: All About Kundalini Yoga”.
In addition to her love of writing and reading, Shakti Parwha Kaur created intricate tile mosaics. She was an avid moviegoer and known for her youthful exuberance, lighthearted humor, poetry, and puns, and her tendency to burst into song. She frequently played her keyboard and sang during Kirtan programs at Guru Ram Das Ashram in Los Angeles, and recorded her first CD, “Lord of Miracles”, in 2002.
She was a champion of morning Sadhana, dedicating the early hours before dawn each day to yoga and meditation in a group. She attended daily, and in her devotion made sure the Sadhana was done impeccably.
Shakti Parwha Kaur was born on June 19, 1929, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Jacob and Fanny Garon. She had two older brothers, Myron and Theodore. In 1943 she and her mother moved to Los Angeles to be near her brother Theodore, who was serving in the war effort. There she attended Hollywood High School and graduated as the class Valedictorian, having been chosen to speak at the graduation after writing an outstanding paper reasoning why teachers ought to be better paid. While in high school, she herself served the war effort by participating in “The 4/4 Plan” which allowed students to attend school for four hours and work for four hours. She attended Santa Monica Community College and the University of California Los Angeles, leaving school to be married. In 1949 she gave birth to her son, James. After her marriage ended, she raised James as a single mother. James passed away in 1998 at age 49. She is survived by her nephew, Peter Garon.
Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa lives on through her legacy and in the hearts of all her spiritual sons and daughters around the world.
Memorial Program – How you can participate
When: November 9, 2023 through November 24, 2023
Mornings (LIVE: 8am PT/ 9am MT / 10am CT / 11 am ET) (approx. 45 minutes)
Evenings (recording of that morning) 6pm PT/ 7pm MT / 8pm CT / 9PM ET
Where: Online. Join via Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83990820560?pwd=fvVV0MxNhZoQoRGU2snYQlEDBffDVM.1
Meeting ID: 839 9082 0560
How to participate: Open to all. Chant, pray, mediate, be with community
When: Saturday, November 18, 9:30am-12:30pm
Where: Hollywood Forever Funeral Home and Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038
How to participate: in person or on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84720326071?pwd=gToO3dnOpkVhlMzIdC1Gesb1gMXWqA.1
When: Saturday, November 18.
1:30pm Lunch Langar in the Guru Ram Das Ashram Guru’s Langar Hall
2:30pm Kirtan Program in the Gurdwara. Zoom Link to participate online: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85067977173?pwd=QTSVxaSgk5oniE8j4XgjjJ5ezaUo0i.1
3:30pm Stories from your experiences with Shakti Parwha Kaur, with cupcakes and tea
Where: Guru Ram Das Ashram, 1620 Preuss Road, Los Angeles, CA 90035
How to participate: In person (& stay tuned for possible livestream link here)
When: Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 6pm PT/ 7pm MT / 8pm CT / 9PM ET (approx. 60 min)
Where: Online – Join via Zoom link:
How to participate: Open to all. Chant, pray, mediate, be with community.
When: Saturday, December 2, 2023 8am PT / 9am MT / 10am CT / 11am ET (approx. 2 hours)
Where: Livestreamed: Join via Zoom here
How to participate: Online. Open to all. Please join us for this special program to enjoy and honor Shakti’s life and contributions to 3HO and our community.
Remembrance of Shakti Parwha Kaur from the community
In 1995, I had the amazing opportunity to illustrate Shakti Parwha Kaur’s book: The Flow of Eternal Power! She sent me her initial ideas and I did sketches for her approval, and then created linoleum cuts and ink-prints for about 50 final images. It was a family affair: my sister-in-law Guru Raj Kaur designed the book’s layout and Shiva Singh was my illustration consultant, helping me fine-tune everything. The project sort of took over our place for a few months with little piles of linoleum shavings (Shiva Singh said it looked like mice were present) and then we covered tables to ink and print everything! Shakti Parwha Kaur was so delightful to work with; probably my favorite illustration project ever!
In peace and in loving memory,
Shabad Kaur Khalsa
Story of Shakti Parwa Kaur’s Impact on my Life
When I was in graduate school in Toronto, I wrote to the SSSji in 1979, but it was Shakti Parwa Kaur who replied. At the time I was drawn to both Yogananda and to Yogi Bhajan’s teachings and wasn’t sure which one was the right path for me. Shakti had a lot of experience with the SRF group and many other teachers but here’s how she answered me and it changed my life. [One of the major points was the teacher doesn’t choose the student. The student chooses the teacher. To me that made her reply of high integrity.]
Here’s an excerpt from the 2 page letter Shakti wrote me “…in December 1968 , I met Yogi Bhajan. The story of how chanting the ashtang mantra for 1 hour before sunrise every morning for 40 days changed my life, rescued my son(who was 19) is too long to write, but suffice it to say, that once I started practicing Kundalini Yoga, and chanting the Holy Nam, I found no necessity to pursue any of the other practices that had been part of my life. I simply do not and did not need anything else. Yogi Bhajan never told me to discontinue anything…. He merely suggested that I try EK ONG KAR SAT NAM SIRI WHA GURU in addition! I did it and it worked. Neither he –nor do I think he, would tell you which path to follow, he can only share with you what he has to offer and if you want to learn it fine, if not also fine. As a spiritual teacher, he will not exert any undue influence to “capture or run after” disciples. First of all, he doesn’t take “disciples” – second of all, each student who comes is a new burden, an added responsibility, for he, being a True teacher does take on the karma of those who devotedly follow his guidance. 3HO way of life, Kundalini Yoga are not for everyone. Ours is a very demanding path…..
[other paths] cannot offer the dynamic, Aquarian and continuously flowing infinite wisdom that comes to us through our Teacher who is here and NOW on this planet to lead the children of the Aquarian Age. We have been taught hundreds of Kriyas – freely and openly, no secrets, no initiations, no mystery.—because, “where there is mystery, there is no mastery” /(Quote from the Siri Singh Sahib). “
I would extol the virtues of the Siri Singh Sahib as I know him to be — the greatest living teacher on this planet—but what good does that do you? Ou have to experience and know this for yourself.”
It was soon after this letter that I made the decision to immerse myself in Kundalini Yoga and the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan and the rest is history. I will be forever grateful for Shakti Parwa for writing me this honest and sincere letter that led me to a path and a lifestyle that I willingly adopted.
Dr. Krishna Kaur Khalsa
Placerville, CA USA
Shakti Parwa Kaur is in my mind and heart almost nearly every day. I have now been teaching Kundalini yoga for 15 years, but when I first started at Yoga West in 2008, I was only 22. Of course, Shakti Parwa Kaur’s beginners class was one of the first classes I took and her book one of the first books I bought. Her class was so simple and gentle, I could hardly tell if Kundalini yoga would really be powerful enough to help me. But I have never forgotten her singing show tunes, and the importance of her figure in the early 3HO days has always left me with reverence and gratitude. She was a very special person to have been able to hold such a coordinate of purity, grace, love, dedication and devotion. Where would we be without her? It is simply impossible to say. So it is with immense heart that I share how much her memory stays with me and and my honor to mark her blessed life and passing.
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh
My copy of Shakti Parwha’s introductory book on Kundalini yoga is falling apart at the seams, but that’s how you can tell a book is loved. Shakti Parwha’s book has served as a gentle instruction on how to begin to see the manifestation of spirit in everything. I return to its pages often. Kundalini yoga has made it possible for my heart to begin to open.
Sat nam, wahe guru
Love to Shakti Parwha and Yogi Bhajan for sharing their wisdom
Shakti is – was such a great soul! delivered her knowledge with intelligence and, most importantly, humor! I remember a sign on her desk at Yoga West “Be patient with me, God isn’t done with me yet”. She was often called the Mother of Kundalini Yoga and I love her! Akal Akal Akal