Check the status of your Friendship!

A friend is one who stands to share your every touch of grief and care...

And though your need be great or small, his strength is yours throughout it all...

No matter what your dream may be... He prays your triumph soon to see...

There is no wish your tongue can tell... But what it is your friend's as well...


Let's say, one gets a friend who fulfill all the facets as expressed in the lines by the poet. Characterised with these traits, can we assure that friendship to be the 'true friendship'? Surprisingly, no! Reason being,the purpose for which this sharing is done... the objective for the accomplishment of which one pours his strengths... the dream which one aspires to turn into reality... and, the wish which one aspires to fulfill- these matter the most! It is primarily the direction and the intention behind one's goal that decides the cadre of friendship! Yes, friendship has categories. As Buddha says, one can be Kalyan Mitta (the good friend) or a Papa Mitta (the evil friend). In modern parlance, this bifurcation can be stated as animal friendship, human friendship and divine friendship. When the purpose for which one associates with the other as a friend is ill-willed, it is characterised as 'animal friendship'. The fate of such a friendship is nothing but disaster at the individual as well as the societal level. When one extends a helping hand to his comrade for the attainment of worldly aspirations or goals, that association is called 'human friendship'. Undoubtedly, a human friendship scales much higher than the animal friendship in all respects; in fact, the two can not be compared with each other on any ground. However, further ascending on the scale of importance as well as richness, the highest at all levels  is 'divine friendship', wherein the companions help each other to accomplish the 'real' aim of life, i.e. inner enlightenment.


It is clearly stated in the Dhammapada- Na bhaje papake mitte-na bhaje puridadhame, bhajetha mitta kalyane-bhajetha purisuttame_ "Do not keep company with evil friends or those who are mean. Associate with the good and bold friends." Simultaneously, Buddha also advises us-eka cariyam dalham kariya-natthi balo sahayaka-that, it is better and wiser to lead a lonely life if we fail to find a decent friend. However, never should we accept the company of a fool.
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One can witness the fate met by the friends- Benito Mussolini and starace as is evident on the pages of history.
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"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light"
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DIVINE FRIENDSHIP


This category can be further classified into Horizontal and Vertical friendship.
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To ruminate on the three categories of friendship in toto by referring to the examples from history and apply a check on ourselves with respect to the purpose behind our associations... Read the complete article in April edition of English Akhand Gyan monthly magazine.

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