Skip to main content

Sage Tiruvalluvar's golden advice on how friendship affects your life

Ruzbeh N Bharucha's latest book, ICE with Very Unusual Spirits, is a book that I have absolutely enjoyed reading. While reading every chapter, I began to contemplate a lot on the friendships in my life, as the book blends in some of the most valuable teachings of Sage Tiruvalluvar and Sai Baba of Shirdi. The essence of the book revolves around true friendship and how it can make us not just more human but it can make us divine beings too.




As human beings, we thrive on friendship. These days, I've started wondering, ''Is there real friendship out there?'' From experiences that span four decades now (yeah, I am that old!), I am beginning to wonder about the authenticity of most ''friendships.'' [Do read: How to Console a Friend who Lost her Spouse]

A friend whom we knew since childhood days invites us home for dinner but when we visit, we don't get served dinner, but popcorn. Our mistake? We arrived in an auto, instead of a taxi (it is a different story that our taxi had broken down half way and we took an auto that was available!). They probably worried that they had refugees in their home. This is perhaps the biggest test of friendship - how money, social standing and ''prestige'' affect the quality of friendships, how true are we to our friends and the very pillar of friendship?

I have shared this experience in full detail so do read this here!

Look back at your life. You may have had amazing friends in school and gradually the quality of friendship may have changed once you reach other milestones in life. Do this for yourself. Examine the quality of your friendships with simple pointers. This is not a negative exercise to judge your friends - it is a test of self-awareness. Look within for answers, do not judge, just understand the depth of each relationship, focus on what needs to be repaired. The Sage says very clearly that we should not judge or hate or hold resentment towards others.




I hold no anger or resentment to the friends who called me for dinner and didn't serve it - it taught me to be careful about whose invitations to accept and how to be more practical while accepting invitations while visiting cities. This exericse will  reveal a lot and change your life altogether but consider it an investment for your personal growth and happiness - remember, don't judge yourself or friends - it is about testing your self-awareness:

1. Do your friends mock you, judge your choices (it could be your weight, the clothes you wear, your faith, your family, etc) and make you feel that you are not good enough?

2. Do they always stand by you, giving you their honest feedback with love, but ultimately, they support what you love to do?

3. Do they ditch you when you are no longer useful to them? 

4. Do your friends message you only when they want things done for themselves?

5. Do your friends stop talking to you because you have different political and religious views which you express on social media? 

Remember, ask yourself too whether you are guilty of any of the above towards your friends.

Find ways to strengthen the quality of friendship in your connections too. Keep in mind that our expectations are the reason why we tend to feel disappointed in relationships. Time to expect less from friends?


                                              [Image: Penguin Books]

Remember, our circle of friends are usually those who make us feel good and happy about ourselves. They may have different lifestyles and cultural backgrounds but they are the ones we look up to, confide in and share things with when we are happy, or when we are in distress or when we need to get advice or celebrate something that is personal, professional or simply emotional. 

[Most Popular Post: Jodhpur Travel: Ring in the New Year]

Ultimately, the most important question is this - how do your friends make you feel? 

Do share your thoughts with me. You can connect with me on Twitter and on Indiblogger.

Comments

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered that I would receive such online abuse for writing this or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience or a perspective, not to insult others.  My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to abuse me because our journeys are entirely different narratives. My life and yours are not the same at any given point of time.

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.A new book 'Ants among Elephants' written by Sujatha Gidla, who writes about herself as being born 'an untouchable in India' teaches you everything you probably want to know abo…

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

Balanced diet for ladies: Eat according to your body’s age

Experts say that as years roll by, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients decline, so it is even more important to formulate a balanced diet and eat according to one’s age.

The following age-specific information (excluding the details given under ‘Expectant Mothers’) is a summary from an article I read in the popular UK food magazine called Delicious and the article is titled “Eat your age: Wise up to your changing needs.” It is written by Anna Montague and published in  March 2011. 

[READ: Why Salad is Good for you ]


FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Balanced Diet during Teen Years Iron deficiency is seen as a predominant condition in most teenage girls and this trend is increasing. Teenage girls are not getting enough iron from their diet.

200gm of low fat yoghurt every dayLean meat, fish, pulses and eggsDried fruitsLeafy vegetablesFresh fruitsSay no to sugary drinksHaving a daily sufficient calcium intake is important for girls as it is like having ‘bone in the bank’ for the future.
Balanced…

Mumbai Police Movie Review: Prithviraj breaks the typical 'hero' mold, challenges sexual stereotyping

Exploring a completely different dimension in his latest film Mumbai Police, Director Rosshan Anddrews delivers a fast-paced, thriller film after his award winning fims such as Udayananu Tharam, Notebook and others.



To flesh out the script written by Boby Sanjay, Rosshan Anddrews ropes in actors such as Prithviraj, Rahman and Jayasurya to portray three police officers: Antony Moses, Farhan and Aryan respectively.
The story begins with a phone call that Antony Moses (starring Prithviraj) makes to Farhan (starring Rahman) saying that he has solved the murder mystery of Aryan (starring Jayasurya). Just as he says this, there is an accident and Antony Moses loses his memory. From then, Farhan's attempt is to take Antony through people and places that are likely to trigger his memory so that they can solve the murder of their close friend and colleague Aryan. A series of events happen, almost hurtling us towards it.
And I am taking the liberty to hand out trophies for the following:
'M…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?

Many people ask me this question, ''Does Maha Mrityunjaya mantra work?''. Mantras always work but the problem is that we are often not open to believing this.  The query about whether the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra works comes in different forms, sometimes by email, in the comments section or in person. Most people are curious, some are interested but few are committed to sincerely want the answer.



I am just an ordinary seeker on the spiritual path but my experiences have taught me valuable lessons and I am sharing this with you so that it helps your spiritual progress.
From what I have learned from my grandmother, who was a devout Shiva Bhakt throughout her life, the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra is a powerful mantra that has ancient sounds which provides an aura of protection to those who chant it with faith regularly and it triggers powerful energies to remove sufferings and diseases. This is why Hindus believe that the one who chants the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra will be blesse…

Anju Sundarikal Malayalam Movie Review: Dulquar Salman in full throttle, Fahadh Faasil disappoints

Anju Sundarikal, as the title suggests 'Five Beautiful Women,' is a poignant anthology of five short films that celebrate five female protagonists and their tumultous lives. These five films play on different themes and emotions, and on the whole, it is an interesting anthology.

Anju Sundarikal - Sethulakshmi The first film, Sethulakshmi, is a heart-wrenching portrayal of sexual abuse of a small girl whose hobby is to collect newspaper clippings of newly wed couples from newspapers and she embarks on getting a similar photograph taken of herself with her best buddy from school. What appears as an innocent wish is the honeytrap that leads the little girl to understand the meaning of fear. 
Each scene in Sethulakshmi seemed to tear into my heart, particularly in a scene where the photographer's hands and glance linger a tad too obscenely on the innocent, unsuspecting girl whose eyes are filled with fear. There is another scene where she is so frightened that she curls up at the…

Five Practical Tips from Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

We are all busy with our personal and professional lives. Conflicts, contradictions and problems are a part of both realities. We deal with it in our own way, depending on our values, perspective and emotional state. Each to his own. How you react to a personal complaint/insult may be different from another person's reaction to the same. 

How you handle conflict will be different from what another person does. Some people talk to friends to resolve a situation. How you talk to those who may be socially or economically beneath you also speaks volumes about the person that you are. 


We spend so much time reacting to what others tell us, criticize us.  Don't these kind of statements ring a bell?

"Look at her dress. She must have spend a fortune on it. Wonder where the money comes from."

"She said my hairstyle is not suiting me. She's so mean and jealous."

"He said he's got a Merc. He's not even a graduate. He must be smuggling."

"He has f…

Significance of Gayatri Mantra: Can ladies chant the Gayatri mantra?

Like all working mothers, there is no "ME" time once I wake up. But I chant the Gayatri mantra almost all the time - while I am making the morning tea, washing the dishes, putting the clothes to wash, whatever chores I am doing I chant the Gayatri along with it. The good thing is that it fills me with amazing, joyous energy. Laughable as it may sound to many of you, the energy sounds that form the base of the Gayatri Mantra are believed to provide a powerful aura of protection to those who chant it regularly. 

Now, it always amazes me when I get queries from women asking, ''Can ladies chant the Gayatri mantra?" and I can't help but ask, "Why do you think women can't chant the Gayatri mantra?" The next question that comes my way frequently is this, ''Can ladies chant the Gayatri mantra during their periods?" and my answer is the same, "Why can't they chant the Gayatri mantra during their periods?"

[MUST-READ: Who can cha…