Wednesday, September 9, 2009

friendship - easier made than kept - सर्वथा सुकरं मित्रं दुष्करं परिपालनम् ।

It is easy to make friends, difficult to nurture.

sarvathā sukaram mitram duṣhkaram paripālanam |
sarvathA sukaraM mitraM, duShkaraM paripAlanaM |
सर्वथा सुकरं मित्रं दुष्करं परिपालनम् । (रामायण - किष्किन्धा काण्ड ३२-७)

How we love to make friends! That is what humanity is all about- connecting to other people! If social networking is any indication, our worth sometimes is measured by how many friends we have in our circle.

But we are talking about carrying the responsibility of being a friend. Of keeping tab, helping when needed and remembering and fulfilling the promises we make.

When we are in need, we say, "You indeed are my friend" for a friend in need is a friend indeed. I think should be 'A friend in deed is a friend indeed.'

Once the favor is done, we have smooth sailing again; we tend to slowly forget the importance of that help, in time. Maybe it starts to fade how someone helped us in our time of need.

In Rāmāyaṇa (रामायण , rAmAyaNa = The Travail of Rāma) - the first masterpiece of a story with fully developed characters, plot and all nine rasa (रस = mood in literature, like happy, sad, love, fear, ...), with no precedence in Indian literature to it. In that sense, it was a trendsetter, a best-seller forever, ever since it appeared on the "Vārāṇasī (वाराणसी, vArANasI = the oldest continuous living city of the world) best seller list" in the remote past.

Rāma helped Sugrīva (सुग्रीव, sugrIva = One with beautiful neck) the vānara (वानर, vAnara = maybe human, human like) king, to end his exile and get his wife back by the only possible way - killing Vālī (वाली, vAlI) who had banished Sugrīva and kept his wife. Rāma-Sugrīva friendship is a classic example of "types of friendships" where it is mutually beneficial and each comes to it for some help from the other, maybe because they are in similar situation.

When Sugrīva got the kingdom, Rāma told him that after the four months of rain, we will plan to attack Rāvaṇa (रावण, rAvaNa = one who made everyone cry in horror), for rain is not season to wage a war.

But even after the rains were over, Sugrīva, in his new found power and authority, forgot his vow and kept enjoying. Then Rāma sent his younger brother Lakṣhmaṇa (लक्ष्मण, lakShmaNa) to remind Sugrīva. Lakṣhmaṇa twangs his mighty bow from the city gates itself and Hanumān warns a worried Sugrīva - reminding sugreeva of his friendship vow..

So true, it is easy to make friends. But to keep it! That is a different ball game altogether.

This is also a line you could easily find as a status line on FB, on a car bumper sticker, but it was first said in Rāmāyaṇa.

Salutations to the foremost of seers, the ādi-kavi (आदिकवि, Adi-kavi = foremost poet seer), Vālmīki (वाल्मीकि, vAlmIki = seer of the epic Rāmāyaṇa).

And now the language aspects of the shloka -

सर्वथा = sarvathA = always
सुकरं = sukaraM = easy (su-) done/to do (karaM, NOT karma)
मित्रं = mitraM = friend[ship]
दुष्करं = duShkaraM = difficult (duH) + done/to do (karaM)
परिपालनम् = pari_pAlanaM = nurturing, fostering

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1 comment:

  1. Good site realy...I have learnt a lot
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