Sagun Nirgun

34: Friendship

In the Shrimad Bhagavadgita, the Lord says, “‘maitrah karuṇah |’ I love those who are friendly and kind.” Friendship involves compassion, kindness. That is why Lord Buddha states that “True friendship and compassion are the key to a successful life.” Similarly, Patanjali Muni described friendship-compassion as “the source of real happiness.” These quotes reveal and enforce the importance of friendship in our lives.

‘Friendship’ means ‘affection.’ Friendship relies on trust and confidence. Let us look at a story. There are two friends. Another person whispers “nothing” in one of the friend’s ear. Seeing this the other friend asked him, “What did the person say?” The first friend replies, “Nothing.” Despite being told the truth, the second friend thought his friend was lying and grew increasingly suspicious. This led to a rift in their ‘friendship.’ Thus, in order to be a true friend, one must avoid arguments and any financial transactions and be truthful and loving.

Friends share similar interests. For example, the deer is friends with the deer cows with the cows and intellectual people like to mingle with the like-minded. Hence, one should make friends with those that enhance our good qualities. Let us look at some examples. The moon is a friend of the sea. On a full moon day, the ocean water rejoices in the moon’s companionship and we see a high tide. The sweetness in the sugarcane increases from the top to the bottom. Similarly, ‘friendship’ with the right people not only increases the trust but the interactions also are a pleasure.

Friend is the one who helps us overcome our ego. Our parents are our friends since they are our well-wishers. A ‘friend’ is selfless, faithful, a pleasurable companion. Talking to a friend is pleasing to the mind. A loyal friend guides us, advises us, keeps our secrets, discloses only our virtues, and is always there in a time of need. Here is an example. The cuckoo loves the mango tree like a friend. If the tree does not bear fruit, the cuckoo becomes sad. Thinking of the mango, the cuckoo keeps looking for the mango tree, but it does not settle for any other fruit.

In summary, friendship is an inspiration. In today’s time, everyone should try and follow God’s message and develop friendship and compassion.


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