Datta maata 28: Understand that friendships are temporary

In the book, ‘Datta darshanam’, there is a story about Bhadrasheela, who was the son of a sage. He had the memory of his previous birth. Since his childhood, that child used to stay alone. He never played with children of his age. If he was called upon by somebody, he would cry by uttering ‘Sri hari! Sri hari!’It was very strange for the people around. However, the reason for not playing with other children was not lack of interest but it was because he knew his previous birth. Hence, he disliked mingling with anybody.

Coming to the story of normal human beings – Our minds are always attracted towards the friendship of some or the other because of our existence in a society. We never like to be alone. Why do we befriend others? Why Bhadrasheela did not befriend anybody? The reason is that we do not know about our previous births. As soon as we are born, we see a world and consider this world to be everything because we do not know anything else. As we grow up in this life, we have many necessities. To fulfill those, we show affection towards few for our own selfishness. We love some others even if that is not required. This is our state of confusion.

Bhadrasheela not only knew about this world but also had the memory of his previous birth. He knew very well about the impacts of selfishness in his previous birth. Because he had abundant experiences, he understood that there are no benefits with such friendships. As a result, he never developed any special affection towards any individual.

A child travelling in a train befriends the neighbors. This is the train friendship. The depth of the friendship is so much that he cannot leave his friend even after the journey ends. The elders however know that such friendships are of no use and hence they simply pass time by chit chatting with the neighbors but they do not develop any deep friendship. The situation of Bhadrasheela is analogous to the friendships of the elders during journey. He had the knowledge of witnessing the journey of the soul from one body to another. Hence, he never developed any affection or love on anybody. Even though, we do not have the memory of our previous birth like Bhadrasheela, we have the faith on the scriptures that tell us that there are previous births. As this faith builds up in us, we too acquire the mental state that Bhadrasheela had. Just like we travel from one place to another, we travel from one body to another.

In this journey, none of your relatives, friends or passersby shares your sins or merits. That is not at all possible. You are always alone. Hence, you must live with detachment by doing your duty and putting in efforts to reach God. You must remember this very well.

Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!

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