Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the transcendental Truth, I wish to give a talk on friendship, which is the motto of Texas. Friendship is extremely significant in all phases of our life. Friendship is the bridge between two human beings. Friendship is the bridge between earth and Heaven. Friendship is the bridge between the known and the unknown.
Here on earth we try to establish friendship with our fellow human beings. Sometimes we are successful, sometimes we are not. But even when we are successful, this friendship does not satisfy us completely. Then we go deep within and discover our Eternal Friend, God, the Inner Pilot. God and each individual on earth are eternal friends. But only when we begin to aspire do we come to realise this truth.
There are three types of friendship: animal friendship, human friendship and divine friendship. The friendship that exploits us is animal friendship. The friendship that mutually helps two persons is human friendship. The friendship that unconditionally gives, that gives with no expectation whatsoever, is divine friendship.
Friendship can arise out of necessity and also out of generosity. If two human beings are in the desiring world, their friendship is founded upon necessity. But if one is in the desiring world and the other is in the aspiring world, then we have to know that the friendship of the aspirant is founded upon generosity, while the friendship of the desiring person is based upon necessity.
Desire makes unending demands; its hunger can never be appeased. No matter how much experience or possession is accumulated, still satisfaction does not dawn in the heart of a desiring individual. Aspiration also has an eternal hunger, but when aspiration achieves an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss, it feels a kind of satisfaction. Although an aspirant aims to reach the Highest, the Absolute Pinnacle, although he longs for infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss satisfies his grateful heart. But he knows that today’s achievement is not complete. If he looks forward, or dives deep within, or climbs high, higher, highest, he knows he is bound to be inundated with Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure. At God’s choice Hour, God will give the aspirant infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.
In our ordinary human life we have two friends: fear and doubt. Fear tells us, “Stay inside your body cage, where you are safe. If you come out, the ferocious world tiger will devour you, so don’t come out of the cage of your body.” Doubt tells us that our real friend is our physical mind, the mind that cautions us, that warns us, that tells us that the outer world is a real stranger. Doubt says, “If you allow the outer world to enter into you, it is like dealing with a stranger. At any moment you may be exploited, deserted and destroyed for good. Have no faith in anybody on earth. Expect nothing good from anyone on earth. You are your own saviour, you are your own salvation-you and nobody else. Exist for yourself.
Here we are all seekers, so we shall have faith in God. If it is impossible for us to establish divine faith today, we can start with faith in ourselves. In spite of knowing that we are limited and bound, let us have faith in ourselves. Then this limitation and bondage of ours can be transcended on the strength of our inner cry. But if we have faith in an undivine force, a force that destroys, then in addition to destroying others, we will ourselves be destroyed. A similar thing happens when we have faith only in ourselves. We try to possess others, but before we can actually possess them, we are ourselves possessed. It is only in divine faith that we do not possess. There we just expand-expand our consciousness, expand our reality, expand what we have and what we are. But let us start, if necessary, with faith in ourselves, and then go beyond and attain divine faith. In divine faith we see that there is no end to our journey and achievement. We are in the flow of an ever transcending, ever illumining Reality, which is perfection.
Friendship is harmony, friendship is peace, friendship is bliss. Friendship is harmony. Mutual harmony removes all dark conflicts. Each individual has opinions of his own, but when friendship becomes the connecting link between two persons, all conflicts are removed and they become one.
Friendship is peace. Here, peace means confidence. I have confidence in you and you have confidence in me; our mutual confidence is peace. I shall not speak ill of you or try to ruin you; you will not speak ill of me or try to ruin me. On the contrary, I shall give you what I have: my love, my sympathy, my concern, my compassion, my total support of your cause, and you will do the same for me.
Friendship is bliss. When friendship lasts, it offers bliss. The Kingdom of Heaven is established when love inundates our beings, when the feeling of oneness reigns supreme and there is no sense of separativity. At that time illumining, fulfilling and perfect Perfection dawns in our life of aspiration. Thousands of years ago the Vedic seers offered us the message of bliss.
Anandadd hy eva khalv imani bhutani jayante
From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey’s close, into Delight we retire.
Friendship is sweet when it is all harmony.
Friendship is sweeter when it is all peace.
Friendship is sweetest when it is all bliss.
Now, the moment we are awakened, the moment our inner light comes to the fore and awakens us from our ignorance sleep of millennia, we discover that fear and doubt are not our friends at all. Our true friends are courage, indomitable courage, and faith, boundless faith. Our inner courage tells us, “Go out, look around the rest of the world; all of earth’s inhabitants are your friends, your brothers and sisters. If you stay in your physical consciousness, you are binding yourself, you are limiting your possibilities and potentialities. Go out. The world is eagerly awaiting your arrival.” Our dear friend, faith, tells us, “We are all of the same Source and for the same Source, so how can we be afraid of others? The Source is one, but the One wanted to play the game of many. The tree is the Source, and the branches, flowers, leaves and fruits are the many. From the same root we all came into existence, so let us consciously establish our inseparable oneness with all human beings. Let us sing together, dance together and play together. In this way we will please and fulfil the Absolute Supreme with our universal oneness.”
Each individual has faith in something or in someone. We cannot say that someone has no faith at all. This moment he has faith in God, another moment he may have faith in himself and a third moment he may have faith in somebody or in something else. Now, when an individual has faith in God, he is in the world of aspiration and vastness, in the world of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. When he has faith in himself, he is in the world of desire, in the world of possession, limitation, bondage and death. When he has faith in neither God nor himself, then he has faith in destruction-in world destruction or in self destruction. But he always has faith either in God or in himself or in some undivine force.
Friendship is service, the dedicated service we offer to Mother Earth and Father Heaven. When we want to offer our dedicated service to Mother Earth, we pray to the Lord Supreme to grant us a life of ceaseless duration. When we want to offer our dedicated service to Father Heaven, we pray to the Lord Supreme to grant us a life of selfless contribution. With our service, Heaven gets the opportunity to manifest itself here on earth, and earth gets the opportunity to realise the Highest, the Absolute.
In the spiritual life friendship is founded on inner acceptance. A spiritual teacher and a seeker become one on the strength of their inner friendship. The seeker goes to a Master and says, “Master, I love you, I trust you, I give you my life.” The Master immediately says, “My son, I love you, I trust you and I give you my life and also God’s Life.” The disciple says, “Master, I offer you my solemn promise that I shall serve the Supreme in you.” The Master says, “Son, I offer you my solemn promise that unless and until I have taken you to our Father, the Absolute Supreme, I shall not rest. Your promise is just to me, but my promise is to two persons. Here on earth I am promising you that I shall carry you and guide you to the Golden Shores of the Beyond, and the same promise I am making to the Inner Pilot, who is your Master, my Master, the Eternal Master; to Him I am giving the same promise. With your friendship you will give me what you have: Ignorance. With my friendship I will give you what I have and what I am: Wisdom Light. This Wisdom Light the Supreme has granted me out of His infinite Bounty, and this I offer to you. If you think that you are a beggar, then you must know that I am more of a beggar than you. You have to go begging only to one place, but my condition is more deplorable; I have to go to two places. I go to you with folded hands and beg you to give me your ignorance. Then I go to God with folded hands and beg Him to give me His Compassion Light for you. I am the messenger between you and God. This is the friendship that I have established with earth and Heaven. Earth’s pangs and penuries I take to Heaven, to the Eternal Father in Heaven, and from Heaven I bring down Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure for sincere seekers.” This is the eternal friendship between the Master and the disciple.
The Master also says something else to his disciples. He says, “Your Master is not and can never be myself. The real Master is somebody else-the Supreme, the Absolute Supreme.” A spiritual teacher is only an elder brother to humanity. When seekers are aspiring for the Highest, the teacher shows them where the Father is. Once he leads them to the Father, his role is over. And the seeker of today becomes the leader, the teacher of mankind tomorrow. When his time comes, he shows aspiring humanity, his younger brothers and sisters, the same God, the same eternal Friend, the same transcendental Supreme, that his own teacher once showed him.
By: Sri Chinmoy
March 7th, 1974
Southern Methodist University
Student Center, Room 104