Faithful friends | Sunday Observer

Faithful friends

21 March, 2021

In any language such as Sinhala , English , Chinese and Japanese we find more words that denote ‘Friends ‘ because the word ‘Friend’ has been instilled even to our blood stream. Undoubtedly, faithful friends unlike the flattering ones, are believed to increase our happiness in prosperity and diminish our misery in adversity.

Standpoint of Buddhist teaching:

Regarded from the aspect of Buddhism it can be pointed out that The Exalted One broadens our view about the friends by mentioning three types of friends.

01. The one who will render you help

02. The one who will participate in your happiness and woe with the same feelings as his own

03. The one who will cause the advancement of your prosperity.

04. The one who will ever have compassion towards you.

In addition , the way that the faithful friends help his beloved friends has been simply explained by Lord Buddha in this manner.

01. On the occasion of any delay he will safeguard his friend.

02. He will protect the property of his friend without allowing anyone to conceal.

03. He will console his friend in any calamitous situation.

04. When there emerges any occasion to appeal for help the faithful friend gives more than what is required by his friend.

Moreover in these ways do the faithful friends participate in the friend’s woe and weal with the same feelings.

01. He will confide to him all his secrets.

02. He will not divulge any secrets confided in him.

03. He will not forsake his friend whenever any calamity befalls.

04. He will even consent to sacrifice his life for the sake of his friend.

In these four ways will the faithful friends cause the advancement of his friends’ prosperity.

01. He will dissuade you from committing sinful actions.

02. He will establish you in the performance of meritorious deeds.

03. He will cause you to hear good teachings that have been unheard of before.

04. He will point out to you the path leading to heaven.

In these ways do the faithful friends show compassion towards his friends.

01. He will sympathise with his friends at the time of adversity.

02. He will rejoice at your welfare.

03. He will dissuade others from enumerating the bad qualities of his friend.

04. He will praise the person who will extol the good qualities of his friend.

Lord Buddha after explaining the way of treating one’s own friend , has taught the right way of distinguishing the evil hearted ones.

01. The one who comes to you empty handed with the intention of taking away something

02. The one who treats you with words.

03. The one who tells you things kindly but wishes you evil at heart.

04. The one who will associate with the intent to ruin your wealth.

The given explanations about friends enable anyone to choose the faithful friends among a thousand of pretended friends and prosper their own lives.

The aspect of literature: Of all the poems penned by writers about friends and friendship Shakespearean poems and plays are thought to have touched even the salient areas of friendships unfathomed by the ordinary writers. Speaking of Shakespeare’s poems about friends , what comes to anyone’s mind is none other than these lines;

Every one that flatters thee
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind
Faithful friends are hard to find:
Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;

But if store of crowns be scant, No man will supply thy want.

These lines portray that those who stand with us even in our adversity are the faithful ones while those who treat us only with words are the pretend friends. The third line implies that it requires a certain effort to find out the faithful friends as they are rare like the gems among millions of stones. Moreover , the well known saying ‘ A friend in need is a friend indeed ‘ derived from the play titled The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare implies that the good friend always stands by our side even when a calamity befalls us. In this play Antonio is found helping Bassanio even at the expense of his own life. The play titled Othello on the contrary , portrays the evil hearted friend’s true nature through the character ‘ Iago’ who is often placed in the company of other Shakespearen notables such as Richard 3, ; Don John ‘ and ‘King Lear’. However, the character ‘ Iago’ , takes advantages of his friend Othelo’s weakness. However, what is very clear is that we have to retain the good friends and avoid the pretended ones’ company for the betterment of our lives. Faithful friends as inseparable as fragrance to the flowers , elegance to the petals and tune to the song are hard to find indeed.