Friendship amongst Vaisnavas

Webster’s dictionary defines friendship as a state of being friends or affection arising from mutual esteem and goodwill. Please note the words mutual esteem and goodwill. Nectar of Instruction mentions six loving exchanges which should exist between or among devotees (NOI 4), and one of these is to reveal one’s mind in confidence. At this point I’ll like to take the liberty to say one doesn’t reveal one’s mind in confidence to someone who is inimical, envious or not a friend.
For those who question this statement, Lord Krsna clearly mentions that He spoke the Gita to Arjuna, basically for two reasons: He was his friend and not envious of the Lord. So where am I heading with all of these? Many a times devotees go through tough times, depressions, material setbacks like marriage issues, finances etc, spiritual setbacks such as deviations, temporary backslides (which sometimes end up in permanent backslides, by backslide I mean “bloop”), and during these times they usually say “No one even asked how I was”. Now one might say whose fault is it if people dont have friends? Instead of asking this question, the real factor here is why can’t devotees have healthy, real friendships within the movement? The answer varies, however without a doubt it is almost impossible to foster real friendship in an atmosphere where there is competition, backbitting, envy, and malice. How can there be real friendship when it almost seems like the next devotee is just trying to see you “fall down” to prove his own “advancement”.
Many vaisnavas might try to act as of this doesnt matter, and even try to justify this callousness by slinging “scripture” in your face, but do not be deceived, for if friendship wasn’t important it wont be among the five rasa’s or mood in serving the lord, if friendship wasn’t important Lord Krsna himself wouldn’t have been at grief at Sudama’s situation when they met, if friendship wasn’t important Krsna wouldn’t have spoken the Gita to Arjuna.
What is the use of trying to cultivate Sakhya rasa, or the mood of serving the Lord as a friend when you don’t have one real friend here, i.e you are not even a true friend here to a fellow vaisnava. Why do many devotees feel comfortable revealing their minds to so-called “karmi” friends instead of devotees? Why do vaisnava’s find it difficult to reveal their minds in confidence when going through spiritual setbacks? Simple, they do not feel a genuine level of trust or friendship within the community.
In brief, ask yourself today; what kind of friend am I? Do I thrive on my fellow vaisnava’s setback? Do I secretly feel happy whenever I see they are in distress? Do I reveal in public, matters revealed to me in confidence by another devotee? Most importantly, Would I want to be friends with me if I were someone else? Friends are like a real gem, hard to find but acquintances are never short in supply. I’ll love to have your feedback and insights on this, please feel welcome to leave a comment below.


7 Replies to “Friendship amongst Vaisnavas”

  1. Hare Krsna Yamuna Jivan prabhuji
    Well, I really like that you put out such a topic.
    It is important that we are emotionaly stabile and being friends among each-other – devotees. We will get enthusiasm throught that, and love in community as well. As said, how can we develop lovely friendship with Krsna if we can’t even be friends with each other.
    Our heart should be soft, humble and full of compasion.
    Please publish more articles like that or. tell us sources where we can read more about such things.
    hopefully the talk wil open 😀

    Hare Krsna
    Jay Gauranga

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this very much. It opens up the most important aspect of social life- a genuine friendship. It is a large subject for a whole lotta seminars and workshops to be made and shared amongst people in order to have a strong and healthy, inspiring relationships and finally, a good self-sustainable healthy society. There’s alot of self-work to be made on my side in order for me to actually be on a position from which I can really and gladly say yes, I would be a friend to myself if I were someone else. But even now, I would be a friend to myself, if I were someone else. I love myself man. I would help myself to be a better friend to me. It’s a work in progress. Jay Gauranga!


  3. Beautiful text!! So many good points…
    This envy od other persons and enjoying to see them have a setback (so we can feel better about ourselves, that we are not so bad and that other have problems too) is a major problem, in my opinion. It exists in material relationships (work, sports associations, neighbours…) as well as in spiritual relationships (devotees). Just as much.
    It is not easy to erradicate, it goes straight from some dark spots in our hearts and also touches the questions of our already common feelings of inferiority and lack of self-confidence.
    But maybe Krishna can purify us and clean our hearts from this disease.
    Otherwise, who in the world would like to have a friend, a “friend”, that takes joy in seeing you going back in life or suffer? I surely would’t.
    But we are usually like this, that’s why there are so few real friends in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

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