Part IISCA 821-823. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in New York on 21 February 1996.
Question: Recently you said we should strengthen our friendships.Sri Chinmoy: God is our only Friend — that is absolutely true. Again, we believe in God's existence inside everybody. Naturally we will feel our affinity, our oneness with some people more than with the rest of the world. Inside a scorpion, there is God. But I am not asking you to make friends with a scorpion. The scorpion will bite you again and again. But I am begging the disciples to establish friendships on a human level.
Sometimes I tell you to establish your friendship with someone because you have a special connection with that person from a previous incarnation and I want you to maintain that friendship. Then no matter how much you suffer in the hands of that person, please try to keep the friendship alive.
In some cases, people do not want to show their oneness. They feel that they are infinitely superior and their friend is inferior. In other cases, both sides are eager to serve the Supreme in me. Your friendship with one girl is extraordinary. It is more than friendship. It is like twin sisters. Your connection with her is unique. I see that inside her heart, she is for you and inside your heart, you are for her. This is how friendship can develop into complete oneness — oneness of the heart, oneness of the soul, oneness of the life. When two of my disciples are friends, it helps me. It is like a tree. If I shake the tree, all the branches move together.
On the earthly level, we need friends. Sometimes you are depressed or frustrated. That is the time for your friend to lift you up. Again, your friend can be down and you can be the one to lift her up. At that time, she will count on you so much and you will count on her. When you need a friend, you are not going to find a new person to confide in. You may feel that friendship is based upon sacrifice. But I wish to say that there is no such thing as sacrifice where there is love. Again, when you do not feel love, at least through sacrifice you can establish love.
On the human level, friendship is absolutely necessary. At the same time, you have to know that inside the heart of your friend is the real Friend, the only Friend — the Supreme. The Supreme is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. But on the human level, if He tells us that He will be able to help us via somebody, or He will be able to help somebody else via us, then we have to take Him seriously.
True friendship is very rare, but it does exist. I cherish those people who are true friends. When I deal with them, it is like dealing with one person instead of two. Each of my disciples should take a few people to be their human friends. I am not asking you to have the whole world as your friend — far from it. Only two or three real friends are needed. Even if you have only one friend, it helps considerably.
Friendship is based on forgiveness. Today if your friend has done something wrong, you have to forgive her immediately by thinking that you could have made the same mistake. If she has been nasty to you today, you have to forgive her immediately. Tomorrow you may be in the same position — you could be nasty to her. So if you forgive her when she is nasty, then if a day comes when you are equally nasty, she will forgive you. Good qualities eventually come forward. Good qualities will not remain dormant forever and forever. Unfortunately, good qualities take more time to come to the fore than bad qualities. Hostile forces come forward to attack us more quickly than the divine forces. The divine forces will eventually be victorious, but in the meantime, the undivine forces make us feel that they have conquered us.
I always feel the supreme need for friendship. The Absolute Supreme is our only Friend, but He tells us on the earthly level, for earthly purposes, we need one or two individuals with whom we can share our sufferings and our joys. As soon as we share our suffering, it is gone. As soon as we share our joy, it doubles. Our sadness is a heavy load. If somebody comes to share it with us, it reduces the burden. If you are carrying twenty pounds on your shoulder and if your friend comes and takes ten pounds from you, then together you can walk along easily. But if you do not tell the person about your suffering, then you are carrying the whole twenty pounds by yourself.
Again, when you have some good news, immediately it becomes like a Russian doll. Inside one piece, you see two, three, four, five, six more. When there is happy news, it is multiplied. When there is sadness, it is shared. So in every way friendship has a very special role to play on earth.