Amaresh Rajaratnam

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How to build better relationships - Born a Hindu

Posted by Kirubashini.K on August 29, 2013 at 12:20 AM


In life, our attitude depends on our inner altitude (depth). People should be respected and trusted, and not suspected.


'Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.' We should behave in the same manner in which we want others to behave with us. Since I do not like others to lie to me. I too should not lie to others. This becomes the basis of all relationships. Be it professional or personal. Living in harmony with people is always difficult. Some find it easier to deal with animals or machines, since they are to a great extent predictable. There are two types of people - those who 'have' difficulties and those who 'are' difficult. In work places too there are two types of people - those who work and those who take the credit. This strains personal relations. A man asked the hotel receptionist. "Do you have a room where I can 'put up' with my wife?" Many couples only 'put up' with each other. Some are 'living together', some can't even 'live together' and yet others cannot live 'with' each other or 'without' each other! Strange and difficult are humans and human relationships! However we cannot avoid either. What should then be our attitude whilst dealing with people?



Some people start their relationship with suspicion. They look upon everything that the other person does with doubt. They mistrust others till proved trustworthy. Relations become difficult and strained if one is put to test and has to prove oneself all the time. One would become tense, unnatural and self -conscious and can never act spontaneously with suspicious people. It would become difficult if the law believed that all accused are guilty [Ill proven innocent. Also, a doubting Thomas is never happy. One who is always suspicious destroys himself. When we trust others we invoke the goodness in them, In case they prove untrustworthy, we learn to be more cautious. Our experience however should not make us mistrust all. It should make us more alert so that we do not get cheated or fooled. We look up to people who have qualities we value. If I value money. I respect the rich. We can always find something we value in others if We look deep enough and so, learn to respect all. Respect and trust form a firm foundation for all relationships.

When we see faults in others, it shakes our respect and trust. How should we deal with it? ‘One should be strict with one's own faults, but be tender toward Others' (faults)


We should take strict care (SC) of ourselves and tender loving care (TLC) of others. But we behave the opposite way. We are tender towards our own faults and harsh in judging others. More often than not we justify our faults by saying, 'To err is human.' We consider our mistakes and misdeeds minor and easily forgive Ourselves. Because of this justifying, self-indulgent and self-forgiving attitude we never change or improve. We should not be indulgent towards our negative traits, should deeply regret our wrong doings, be firm in exercising self-control and uncompromising in following values. We should thus take 'strict care' of ourselves. A desire for Khera (a sweet dish made of milk) arose in the mind of Samartha Ramadasa as he sat for meditation. He ordered for several pots of it and kept drinking it despite vomiting it several times, saying, "You wanted it, so drink it." Such revulsion was created within, that the desire never disturbed him thereafter.

We want others to overlook our short comings and forgive our wrong doings. However we do not do the same for them. Realising our own imperfections, we should be tender towards their faults. Even if we are perfect in many respects, we should still be large hearted and kind towards the imperfections of others. Is love governed by rules? If there is mutual love and trust, then rules and regulations are not needed. In its absence also, they are not needed, because they don’t work.



A dictator passed a law that everyone should love and respect him. They showed their love by bowing before him and giving him gifts. The priest commanded everyone to 'Love thy neighbour'. A man changed his house in order to follow the commandment! We cannot love or trust another by command or rules. Love happens when we identify. In the world some rules are formed and written and some are unwritten. When love rules, there is harmony and no formal rules are needed. In a close-knit family there are unwritten rules like ‘each takes care of the other when sick, supporting each other financially and emotionally or helping in doing household chores.' A husband told his wife, "Let us eat out today." The wife said, "You think I am tired of cooking?" The husband replied, "No, but I am tired of washing the dishes." Unwritten rules based on Love and trust are strong. Half a century back there were many villages and small towns in India where people never locked their houses or vehicles.

A person is more likely to be faithful despite temptation so as not to betray the trust of a loved one. He may have cheated more easily if the trust of the loved one was not involved. We find that laws are made, agreements and treatises are signed. constitutions are formed, rules are formalized, job profiles are specified, support is pledged, help is sanctioned and deals are authorized. Agreements for distribution of property after divorce are signed even before marriage! However when love and trust is lost, these agreements do not work and there is strain and strife.

What creates 'forever' relationships? If the basis for any relationship is worldly then it is binding but if it is spiritual then it is liberating.



A worldly relationship, be it with objects or beings, is based on material benefit. The girl asked the boy, "Do you love me because my father is going to give me a lot of money" "Certainly not," said the boy, "I will love you even If your mother gives it!" The relationship breaks when the benefit ceases. A boy declared that he loved the girl because of her beautiful hair. When she lost her hair, his love got lost! When the relationship is spiritual, It is strong and lasting.

God appeared before His great devotee. Prahlad and killed his father who was torturing him. He told Prahlad to ask for a boon. Prahlad said. "O Lord! Beholding You is the greatest attainment. I love You for Your own sake. I do not desire anything from You." When the Lord insisted, he said. "May I have no worldly desire, ever." When my intentions are noble. I do not ask, "What did I get by serving the society?" Instead I ask. "Did society benefit from My service?" Some form a worldly relationship even with God. Gurus and spiritual organizations. There is no inner unfoldment and such relationships too cause pain and can break. A man lost faith in God when his desire for promotion was not fulfilled. Another disowned the Guru who he felt did not respect him enough. Some become members of spiritual organizations for gaining respect in society, post of president or to get free accommodation in their centres all over the world. They feel pained when they do not get the expected respect or when the position or benefit is withdrawn. When we forge a spiritual relationship with worldly objects they become means of inner unfoldment and liberation. Money by itself is not binding. It can become a means to serve the society. The house can be used for honoring great people, hosting guests and holding satangs.

The Self in me is the Self in all. Then, is not everyone like myself? As mentioned earlier, should I not be to them as I would have them be to me? One should look upon people as one's own Self, but do not consider them to be like oneself. One should not impose one's ideas of joy, sorrow, and soon, on others. Give them freedom.


The self in me is indeed the self in all. Therefore we should treat MI as oneself. I desire to be happy, respected, loved and forgiven by all. So I should, in turn, make others happy, respect, love and forgive all. However it takes all types to make the world. Variety is the spice of life. The quality of our mind, intentions, attitudes, likes, dislikes and beliefs differ. ‘Each person has a different way of thinking and different opinions about things'. Understanding this, we should not impose our likes, dislikes and beliefs on others. I may like classical music, others may not. One has a right to live according to one's beliefs as long as it does not harm others. I may be spiritual. I cannot expect all to be so. Another may be an atheist or a ritualist. If I insist that all should be like me, I become rigid, a fanatic or a dictator. I cannot consider myself superior, my opinions alone as right, my way as the only way and my words as gospel truth. We cannot say, "Do it my way or hit the highway." Each of us has the freedom to be as we wish. Also my mind itself is constantly changing. How can others keep changing their thoughts and behavior to suit my mind? Why should they? We should respect others' right to their thoughts, behavior and lifestyle. We should 'agree to disagree' and 'live and let live'. Only then can there be harmony in relationships.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - Swami Tejomayananda -

Learn to speak softly, always words of love and affection, then friends multiply. In short, the ability to love and express it in action are the requirements in gathering more and more friends. In fact, ‘Love in Action’ is the heart of all religions.”

“Forgiveness is the fragrance, which crushed Tulasi leaves on the fingers that crushed them in a thoughtless act!”


Categories: Hinduism Topics

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