|Writings: Book Excerpts|
The Glory of Friendship
Friendship is an extraordinary state of consciousness. Everywhere in the realm of sentient creatures, beings can be found who simply live and let others live; but friendship is rare.
Whenever the sense of friendship dawns, it is like the light of the sun that fills the heart of the earth early in the morning. Friendship shines in the ring of consciousness as the most precious jewel. It fills the heart of a human being, though he does not know how it happens. It can be compared with the sense that dawns in a gardener when, after seven years of labour, all his plants bear fruit.
Then, wherever one is, he or she is fulfilled. No scarcity, poverty, weakness, deprivation, or loneliness is found around the being who is fortunate enough to unfold the sense of friendship. For that being, the sun, though insentient, appears to be daily bringing a message of brightness, love, and joy. The moon, though insentient, talks to him. The stars twinkling in the sky, hanging far away, appear to be his playmates.
Wherever he goes, he finds a great sense of Oneness with every thing and every form. He walks through the forest, and every single plant is his friend. The birds chirp, and he hears their sweet songs being sung for him. He looks at the river and hears it saying to him, "Never stop, never stop; continue on and on along the path of human life." He climbs the high mountains, and on the way he hears the waterfalls whispering, "How beautiful you are! How loving and bright your eyes are! I have fallen in love with you. Come on, stay for a while. Rest, drink me to the full, and quench your thirst. Life is a long journey, no doubt, but by your efforts and actions you have been able to understand where you have come from, where you are going, how much you should work and how much you should rest, and, after a pause of perfect peace, how much you should again give yourself to others. Your presence is good luck for the earth."
When he walks on the earth, the earth caresses him at every step, kissing his feet as a mother kisses her own child, because the earth feels that her eternal friend is walking upon her. He is a friend to all distances, so nothing is far away from him; everything feels just at arm's length. And the idea of reaching the ultimate goal is very, very friendly to him: it draws him on, inviting him as the magnet invites an iron filing.
While moving in the world he does not stop acting, drinking, eating, breathing, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. He is a friend to all the objects of the senses, and a friend to the senses as well. For him, the mind is his nearest and dearest companion, and the intellect is his wise guide. For him, the ego is his motive force, the power by which he experiences everything, and which has enabled him to reach, so soon, the stage of fulfillment.
He thinks, and he feels wonderful because all the thoughts want his company and invite him to their homes. Every emotion is his cherished, beloved company, with whom he can pass a number of days without ever wondering where to go, where to move, or where to stay. He sleeps well, he dreams well. All the figures of his dreams are so pleasing to him that every night, before he sleeps, he waits to meet them, as if he knows, "Tonight this particular visitor will come, and that other friend will go." For him, the appearances and disappearances of figures, forms, and phenomena are the swings in the cradle of his life. One comes, one goes; but he is eternally seated.
Every morning he wakes up with a great sense of joy, a sweet smile on his lips, a wonderful feeling of softness on his forehead, and in his being a tingling sensation of the arrival of his waking consciousness, with his hands full of all the gifts and offerings to be presented to him throughout the day. For him, life is a great celebration. He is carefree, he is worriless, he entertains no doubts, he faces no problems. For him, the worry about finding some solution is a thing of the past.
He interacts with all people, knowing them as his dearest friends, as if they all together are telling him, "Worry not, fear not. Never feeling any sense of separation. You must come and be with me." For him, every door of acquaintance is open, everybody's heart is open, everybody's mind is a playground. He talks to people, and he smiles and enjoys. He hears them, and feels great satisfaction. The whole world for him is one big canvas of love. His success dances along with him. His life plays a symphony of harmony, with a grand orchestra made up of his ideas, his thoughts, all his expressions, and his actions.
Such is the glory of friendship. The beauty and joy of it is that this can be attained, and one can be accepted as a friend by the whole universe. Then, the clouds rain down at his wish; the sun withdraws its heat and creates a cooling umbrella of clouds, for him. When he meditates, time stops. When he moves, time emerges again out of its own being, as a tortoise's head emerges from its shell. Space remains forever ready to envelop him in its infinitely large arms.
Wherever he goes, he feels secure, because he has developed friendship with death. Amaram Hum, Madhuram Hum: I am immortal, I am blissful. Death sings along with him, so he knows, "Death and I are one." So he utters the mantr, " I am immortal, I am blissful. Amaram Hum, Madhuram Hum."