The secret of a friend
June 5, 2013 Comments Off on The secret of a friend
The secret of a friend should be kept as one’s own secret; the fault of a friend one should hide as one’s own fault.
Bowl of Saki, June 4, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
A very important thing in character-building is to become conscious of one’s relationship, obligation, and duty to each person in he world, and not to mix that link and connection which is established between oneself and another with a third person. One must consider that everything that is entrusted to one by any person in life is one’s trust, and one must know that to prove true to the confidence of any person in the world is one’s sacred obligation. In this manner a harmonious connection is established with everyone; and it is this harmony which attunes the soul to the infinite. …
Dharma in the language of the Hindus means religion, but the literal meaning of this word is duty. It suggests that one’s relation to every person in the world is one’s religion; and the more conscientiously one follows it, the more keen one proves in following one’s religion. To keep the secret of our friend, our acquaintance, even of someone with whom for a time one has been vexed, is the most sacred obligation. The one who thus realizes his religion would never consider it right to tell another of any harm or hurt he has received from his friend. It is in this way that self-denial is learned; not always by fasting and retiring into the wilderness. … The one who knows what the relation of friendship is between one soul and another, the tenderness of that connection, its delicacy, its beauty, and its sacredness, that one can enjoy life in its fullness, for he is living; and in this manner he must some day communicate with God. For it is the same bridge that connects two souls in the world, which, once built, becomes the path to God.
A friend, in the true sense of the word, is nearer and closer than our own family, relations, neighbors, nation, and race. The secret of the friend should be kept as one’s own secret: the fault of the friend one should hide as one’s own fault; the honor of the friend must be considered as one’s own honor; an enemy of the friend should be regarded as our enemy; a friend of the friend must be considered as our friend. One must not boast of friendship, but must practice it, for the claimants are so often false. In the despair of the friend, consolation must be given; in the poverty of the friend, support is necessary; in the shortcomings of the friend, overlooking is necessary; in the trouble of the friend, help should be given; with the joy of the friend, rejoicing is right.