Do we need a friend in life?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
SarathW
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Re: Do we need a friend in life?

Post by SarathW »

JC938 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:49 pm Hi,

I have no friend. And I sometimes feel like it's bad. Is it healthy to have no friend in life?

Thanks.
Well you got lot of friends in Dhamma Wheel for you!
Especially you got a reply from Ven. Dhammanado.
:D
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Samana_Johann
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Re: Do we need a friend in life?

Post by Samana_Johann »

Okasa Bhante. And in addition, when seeking real friends, e.g. teacher, Brahmans, Samanas, the good to look for the duties in regard of those relations (also found in DN31).


Althought common beloved: the Sublime Buddha, teachers, parents, monks one should not regard Venerable as friend, in comon sense. Such would stay, even alone, as on dwells with a companion.

Seek for living alone and look after those teaching the way.
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Post by sunnat »

Listen here for Ajahn facing aloneness. Number 11 ; https://archive.org/details/StillnessFl ... CAPPED.mp3
SteRo
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Re: Do we need a friend in life?

Post by SteRo »

Dhammanando wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:48 am
SteRo wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:55 pm According to theravada doctrine only admirable friendship is "healthy", i.e. beneficial.
That would depend on what sort of benefit one had in mind. In the Buddha's teachings on friendship in general (e.g., in DN 31 and many discourses in the AN) the characteristics of a good friend that he gives would be descriptors of a much broader range of persons than just one's Buddhist kalyānamittas:
"These four, young householder, should be understood as warm-hearted friends:

(1) he who is a helpmate,
(2) he who is the same in happiness and sorrow,
(3) he who gives good counsel,
(4) he who sympathises.

(1) "In four ways, young householder, should a helpmate be understood as a warm-hearted friend:

(i) he guards the heedless,
(ii) he protects the wealth of the heedless,
(iii) he becomes a refuge when you are in danger,
(iv) when there are commitments he provides you with double the supply needed.

(2) "In four ways, young householder, should one who is the same in happiness and sorrow be understood as a warm-hearted friend:

(i) he reveals his secrets,
(ii) he conceals one's own secrets,
(iii) in misfortune he does not forsake one,
(iv) his life even he sacrifices for one's sake.

(3) "In four ways, young householder, should one who gives good counsel be understood as a warm-hearted friend:

(i) he restrains one from doing evil,
(ii) he encourages one to do good,
(iii) he informs one of what is unknown to oneself,
(iv) he points out the path to heaven.

(4) "In four ways, young householder, should one who sympathises be understood as a warm-hearted friend:

(i) he does not rejoice in one's misfortune,
(ii) he rejoices in one's prosperity,
(iii) he restrains others speaking ill of oneself,
(iv) he praises those who speak well of oneself."

Thus spoke the Exalted One. And when the Master had thus spoken, he spoke yet again:

The friend who is a helpmate,
the friend in happiness and woe,
the friend who gives good counsel,
the friend who sympathises too —
these four as friends the wise behold
and cherish them devotedly
as does a mother her own child.

[...]

"In five ways, young householder, should a clansman minister to his friends and associates as the North:

(i) by liberality,
(ii) by courteous speech,
(iii) by being helpful,
(iv) by being impartial,
(v) by sincerity.

"The friends and associates thus ministered to as the North by a clansman show compassion to him in five ways:

(i) they protect him when he is heedless,
(ii) they protect his property when he is heedless,
(iii) they become a refuge when he is in danger,
(iv) they do not forsake him in his troubles,
(v) they show consideration for his family.

"The friends and associates thus ministered to as the North by a clansman show their compassion towards him in these five ways. Thus is the North covered by him and made safe and secure.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nara.html
Thank you, that's interesting and important to know. My "narrow" interpretation has been caused by ACI mentioning only "abmirable friendship" in its subject listing.
Exhaling अ and inhaling धीः amounts to བྷྲཱུཾ་བི་ཤྭ་བི་ཤུད་དྷེ It's definitely not science but science may provide guidelines nevertheless.
2600htz
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Re: Do we need a friend in life?

Post by 2600htz »

Samana_Johann wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:23 am
2600htz wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:39 pm Hi:

Its not healthy to have no friends.

If you are around a father you develop certain things, if you are around a mother you develop other things. Same with friends, you will share a different side of your personality, that needs to be polished. Of course this doesnt mean you should peak the first person that comes, i mean there is also a learning experience of picking wrong friends and having to cut that relationships.

Regards.
Why shouldn't be "father" or "mother" be not enough, or say a "God" or a teacher. What unhealthy in not having a friend? One who dwells without companion is seen as sage. What's the meaning of a friend for common people? What does one seek to befriend?
Hi:

Because "father" or "mother" dont teach you the same things friends do. One who dwells without companions can be a sage or a fool. The Buddha did say "be your own island", but also "friendship is the whole holy life". Even the disciples who lived like hermits still had friends, they just didnt see them all the time.

At least thats what i think :))

Regards.
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DooDoot
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Re: Do we need a friend in life?

Post by DooDoot »

SteRo wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:55 pm According to theravada doctrine only admirable friendship is "healthy", i.e. beneficial.
In Theravada, an admirable friend is a follower & teacher of the Noble Eightfold Path rather than a follower & preacher of other alien paths, such as "non-path", "Nagarjuna", etc.
When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.
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