Finding good friends is harder now because conversations are becoming texting, insecurities and jealousy are more frequent, arguments become phone calls and feelings are becoming subliminal messages, breaking relationships come easily and trust is very hard to come by. If you are confused and can’t figure out which friends you should stick to and whom to let go of, take the help of the Sigalovada Sutta by Buddha.
Buddha’s teachings are profound and have been guiding people for years about how to live a good life. His sutras are full of wisdom and many people across the globe still apply today. Not just peace, righteousness, and karma, but Buddha has also given us valuable advice on friends and friendships we make and qualities of true friends.
In this blog, I will discuss four friends that we meet and should seek – taken from Sigalovada Sutta
The helper friend always protects you when you are in danger or vulnerable or in any other task. Helper type friend can be a refuge when you are afraid or heedless. He or she will try to provide you with more than what you request.
Such friends also protect your wealth and stop you from losing money. Give you the best guidance and show you the right path when you are lost or acting carelessly.
The helper friend will always be by your side through thick and thin, without expecting anything in return. They are givers, not takers.
The Enduring Friend
An enduring friend is one who shares their secrets with you and guards your secrets closely. On the other hand, a fake or a toxic friend will take advantage of your life’s deepest secrets and conspire against you. Even if they have promised to maintain confidentiality, they will leak your personal details to a third person. So, stay away from such friends as they can always cause you harm.
An enduring friend never abandons you even if you have hit the rock bottom of your life and is even ready to die for you. There are fake friends who stand by your side as long as you are strong and powerful and have status and money. They want to experience comfort and luxury at your cost and dump you when you have no penny left.
If you have an enduring friend, you can always count on them. They will never judge you but stand by your side through every event in your life. When making new friends, always check how they treat other people who are lower or higher in status than them. How they treat the lowliest people is an indication how they would treat you when you too are in the same position.
Friends who are classified as mentors always restrain you from indulging in wrong actions, guide you to do good deeds, tell you what you ought to know (even if it is unpleasant) and show you the path to the samsaric heavens.
Like a good teacher or parent, they will teach you through love, kindness, their own actions and compassion. They will speak the truth and share information backed up by scientific evidence. And deal with you patiently. They are straightforward and help you gain a complete picture of the situation by sharing their knowledge and perspective on things. By taking their wise advice you can avoid waste of time making mistakes and learning lessons.
They can set a good example demonstrating trustworthiness and integrity, other friends will too learn from them.
The Compassionate Friend
A compassionate friend is one who –
- Never rejoice in your misfortune or laugh at you when you fall down.
- Is genuinely happy for your good fortune
- Prevent those who speak ill of you
- Encourage those who praise your good qualities
These are the 4 types of friends you should seek and cherish according to Buddha. And if you think anyone in your friend circle doesn’t have these qualities of a helper, compassionate, enduring and mentor friend, then let them go.
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