Friday, August 28, 2009

Friendliness and Friendship

Differentiating 'friendship' from 'friendliness', the former being mean,
selfish and even like raw mutton (borrowing the words from Osho?), Suki
Sivam on July 5th again gave his usual type of talk on Sun T.V. After
quoting from the life of Buddha, who never had any 'friend' but had
friendliness towards everything, he concluded that everyone should have
friendliness than friendship.

But to my consolation on July 12th in Vijay T.V. in a programme 'Neeya
Nana,' Gopinath led the lively discussion (rather debate and friendly fight)
about the GREATNESS of friendship.

We all need idealism in life as it motivates us to rise from our limited and
narrow perspective of life and try to achieve more than what we can actually
do. It is like raising the bar to achieve greater height. However, real life
cannot be lived based on idealism alone. Because without gaining from real
life experience, all idealism will remain mere talk.

Friendliness is an ideal but friendship is very important even to be able to
talk about that idealism. Friendship is based on relationship which needs to
be cultivated and nurtured. As human beings any noble idealism could be
effective when it is implemented based on relationship. For example, we can
be friendly with everyone, but to carry on with it, we need personal
relationships with others. However we like, we cannot have friendship with
animals or even with nature, because they cannot reciprocate our
relationship to further develop it. Whereas we can be friendly towards them.

For example, Suki Sivam shared the experience of a Swamiji (Ram Theerth?)
who went to England on a ship without knowing anyone there. On his voyage
when one Englishman asked him where he was going to stay in England etc. he
answered 'I don't know'. Later in the course of the talk when the Englishman
asked who is the friend that he knows in England, that Swamiji said that he
is standing in front of him. And when he turned back, he didn't see anyone.
To make the story short, Swamiji said that he is that friend and finally
stayed with him in England. After saying this Suki Sivam said that as that
Swamiji (like Buddha) had friendliness with everyone, he easily became a
friend with that stranger.

But my question is: what happened after that visit? In our life we meet
several people and move with them in a friendly way. But we soon forget them
in our life. What happened to those school and college friends with whom we
even ate off of one plate? But real friendship is not like that, as it is
based on relationship. Friendship, like all other relationships, demands
personal commitment, whereas friendliness like any other idealism can
inspire and motivate but can remain only an idealism if it is not
implemented through friendship. Without a friend, friendship will remain
merely a concept and without friendship friendliness will remain mere
idealism. Friendliness and Friendship is like 'rta' and dharma. Rta is the
macro-cosmic order whereas dharma is the micro-cosmic order. And following
dharma (duty) is essential for the maintenance of rta (cosmic). Most
literature glorifies 'friend' and 'friendship' and not 'friendliness.' So
for me 'Friendship' is more important and valuable than the noble idealism
of 'Friendliness'. Therefore have real friends and develop deep personal
relationships with them through friendship. Otherwise our life will remain
barren without bringing any fruit as human beings.

Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, July 13, 2009

No comments: