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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Who is a True Friend?



Bhagawan says that worldly friendship is like a ship that may sink at any time in the ocean. God alone is our true friend, for He is interested in our true welfare. He is absolutely selfless and goes to any extent to ensure our well being. In this posting Bhagawan speaks about true friendship. He first defines true friendship, goes on to explain how to make good friends, and finally in a very logical way, makes His point that God alone can fit into the category of a true friend of man.

There are six Discourse excerpts presented in this posting. These are taken from Divine Discourses given by Bhagawan in the years 1996 and 2004. 

Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the Clip, Year-Month-Date of the Audio Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan's message.  

1. True Friendship Defined-2.01-1996 July 08

A True Friend should be with us at all times
What is friendship? A true friend is one who is with you at times of difficulties, in times of sorrows, worries, and problems, without ever leaving you and follows you just like your shadow. When the tank is full of water, frogs gather there in thousands. But when the tank is dry, not even one frog is seen there. So too, when we are in good position and authority, and our times are favourable, all people gather around us. But when situations worsen and reach a nadir, when circumstances are adverse and negative, people turn away from us. This is not true friendship. A true friend should be with us at all times – in times of both joy and sorrow, profit and loss. That is why, “Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are”. Based on our company we shape ourselves accordingly. Therefore, even if we have to take some time, we need to enquire and join good company.



2. True Friendship-How to make Good Friends-1.54-1996 July 08

Hello Hello - Goodbye Goodbye
Therefore, we have to take time, recognize a good friend and then make friendship with them. It is a mistake to take someone as a friend merely by they saying hello and you saying hello. Before making a friend, we need to know their background correctly. How are their habits, their behaviour and their discipline? What type of people are they mixing with, what type of company are they moving with? If they are mixing with bad company, do not even look at their face. If they say hello, say goodbye and leave them. Such friendship will put us into danger. However, the today’s students on account of modern education consider everybody as their friend. This is not true friendship. These are all passing clouds, and one never knows when they will leave us. Such friendship should be limited to “hello, hello, how are you, how are you and goodbye and goodbye”.



3. True Friendship-How to make Good Friends-Character-1.20-1996 July 08

The above apart, at this age, character and virtues are very important for students. Without character, one is equivalent to a lifeless being. Never make friends with ones who have no character. Such people will have neither individual character nor social character. Without social character, how can one expect them to have national character? Therefore, individual character is very important to start with. Unwavering mind and steady looks are very important and have to be developed. If for everything one oscillates like the pendulum of a clock, we should not even look at their face. They are very bad boys. Never make friends with such bad boys. If you do, you too will turn bad at the end. Therefore, make every effort to have good friends.



4. True Friendship-Unity of Thought Word and Deed-1.32-1996 July 08

Unity of Thought, Word and Deed
It is important to have the right type of relationships. You do not need to hate anyone. But you need to choose a friend very carefully. Rather than having a fool as a friend, it is better not to have any friend at all. Who is the right friend to choose? The one having Trikarna Shuddhi – purity and unity of thought, word and deed - Manas Ekam, Vachas Ekam Karmanyekam. Choose such a friend. Never allow a person having one thought, speaking a different word and doing something else altogether, to even come close to you. In Vedantic language, Manas Anyat, Vachas Anyat, Karmananyat Duratmanam – the one without purity and unity of thought, word and deed is a wicked person. The one with unity of thought word and deed is a true man. The proper study of mankind is man.



5. God alone is the true friend-1.35-1996 June 27

God alone is your true friend
What do we mean by friendship? It is not merely greeting each other by saying hello-hello. It is a preparedness to work unitedly in any situation and circumstance and in any scenario. If we enquire correctly, this type of friendship is not to be found anywhere in the world. Suhrut Bhavamu – good friend – who is the good friend in this world? God alone is the true friend! Be it your mother, father, wife, husband, or son – all of them love you, but there is some trace of selfishness and self-interest. God alone loves you with no iota of selfishness or self-interest. He does not expect anything in return for His friendship. He does not receive anything from anyone. He only gives and gives but never takes.



6. God alone is the true friend-1.29-2004 October 17

We say he is my friend. Who is your friend? There is only one friend. God alone is your friend! You must consider Him as your true friend. Such a true friend will never cheat you in any way. In some situations, you doubt Him, but God, being your true friend, never doubts you! These changes are in you but not in God. God always has Ekatma Bhavam - one feeling only. Have such a non-dual God as your true friend. Thereafter, everybody you see in this world will become your friend. In fact, you have no enemy at all in this world. Where is the second one? Only if there is a second being, you can call him your enemy. There is no second person at all. All are like passing clouds.



A Short Quiz

Who is a true friend?

What due diligence do we need to exercise before we choose someone as our friend?

How should we relate to those who try to be our friends but who themselves are in bad company?

What are the three types of character that Bhagawan talks about with respect to friends?

What is individual character according to Bhagawan?

Who is a bad boy according to Bhagawan? What would be the result of developing friendship with bad boys?

Give the Vedantic dictum regarding unity of thought, word and deed that describes a noble man and a wicked man?

Why is God alone the true friend of man?

What would be the result of developing friendship with God who is essentially non-dual?

Why does Bhagawan say that we truly have no enemy in this world?

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