-Sigalovada Sutta: A true friend-

Since I'm flying to the UK soon, and I presume the medium of language for dhamma talks there will be in English (Actually I'm pretty sure about this). Hence, let's tune the channel, and switch to an English channel for this post, shall we? Bare with me, as I find that English is more applicable in the UK :)

The other day, I attended a Dhamma Talk by Sister Dr. Chan Kar Yein.
The topic is on ''Sigalovada Sutta: Creating Harmonious Relationship''

To summarise the background of this Sutta:
During the Buddha's time, there was a youth named Sigala, who is very filial to his father. He listens to all the advices that his father gave and will put them into actions. All but except one thing: To listen to the dhamma. Upon the father's deathbed, the father requested that Sigala should prostrate(a full body bow) and worship the 6 directions, as the father foresee that the Buddha will come to Sigala if Sigala does this every morning. Being filial, Sigala thought it was right to uphold his late father's wishes and does it until one day The Buddha came to him.
Lord Buddha then, based on Sigala's point of view, taught him on how a noble one should worship the Six directions.

The 6 diresctions are:
Parents (East)
Teachers (South)
Wife/ spouse (West)
Friends and colleagues (North)
and the two vertical directions as:
Ascetics and Brahmins (Up)
and the Servants or Employees (Down)

Sister Chan Kar Yein went in depth as to how one could create a harmonious relationship according to the Sutta.
And we should take note that there's never an one way relationship, but a mutual one.
So, she talked about:
Husband & Wife
Parents & Children
Friends
Teachers & Students
Employers & employees
Spiritual Teacher & Followers.

Perhaps I could share more on ''Friends'' as choosing a true friend is highly emphasized by the Buddha in this sutta. And then, I'll talk about the ''Teachers & Students'' part, which really did inspire me deeply.

According to the Digha Nikaya: A true friend is one who proves a comrade at your hour of need.
And another saying, When it is dark enough, you will see the stars. At times of bad, you'll know who are the shining bright ones that guides you through the dark :)

False friends are:
1. The robber ( He who thinks of getting but gives a little, and only a friend for his own profit)
2. The Smooth talker ( Good at talking about what is done and what is yet to come; then when you're in need, he makes excuses). To my understanding, we often regard this type of people as tin kosong don't we?
3. The flatterer (He who consents your wrong doing; sing praises to your face and run you down the back) a.k.a the backstabber :(
4. The leader to ruin ( He who encourage you to drink, to gamble and to have night life).. Does Mamak Stall session counts? YES. So do try to minimize on that. It's not always necessary to meet up pass midnight right?

And the True Friends are:
1. The Helping friend ( In times of need, she gives you more than asked for. :)
2. The friend through thick and thin (She confides in you, and keep your secrets; never deserts you in danger)
Sis Chan Kah Yein said, the true friend test, is to tell only ONE friend a secret, then see whether does the whole world knows about it for like after one month. Then you'll know, who your true friends are.
3. The good counselor ( He who stops you upon evil and encourage you to do good)
4. The loving friend ( He sympathize you when you're sad, Rejoice when you're feeling happy. This is mudita. To rejoice at your friend's success without a sense of jealousy is something great to do, and it's something I'm learning to do; Besides, he defends you when others criticize you, and join in the praise when someone praise you)

So, have you got a true friend?
If you can count yours with one hand, then you're actually very fortunate. Really.
If you don't, don't get depressed or start complaining about your friends for not being such true friend.

Something I have to add in is tat, we learn the Buddha Dhamma, not to use it as a tool or ruler of such, to measure others' rights and wrongs.
The correct way is that, to use it as a mirror, to reflect to yourself, in this case, have we been a true friend to the others? Have we fulfill the four criteria of a true friend? And how much effort had we put in in taking care of others' hearts and feelings? We're not perfect, but, do you have the will to be a wholesome being like the Buddha is? I would. Why not you too? :)

So, Start now, start today. And Quoting from Sutta Nipata: Friends are won by giving.
Be one's true friend, and according to the law of attraction, you'll attract good people towards you. It's worth a try. :)

To all friends out there, I share this merits with you. Saddhu :)

5 comments:

aylwin89 said...

hey... true fren..
well jus one question..
haha why for the true fren quality 1 & 2, u use "she" then for 3 & 4 u use "he"? haha

September 21, 2009 at 12:44 AM  
-DaN- said...

Oh wow. I didn't notice that.
U're kinda observant.
Perhaps it's just to create a delicate balance between males and females. Since the Buddha dhamma is applicable to both sexes. :) haha.

September 21, 2009 at 12:47 AM  
Pinkie123 said...

Hey, what a nice passage abt friends! I never know what true friend means until I met some of the important persons in my life who taught me how to be a true friend. Adn it is very true that we shall always remember that the lesson is a mirror to reflect ourselves but not a measure to the others. Recently I have experience this: It is always too easy to point out the shortcoming of others but it is the hardest to even spot the shortcoming of one own self.

I sincerely wish that, all of us will be surrounded by good people and true friends, and meanwhile we ourselves be the true friends for others. ( applicable to wherever we go :). Cheers~

September 21, 2009 at 2:30 AM  
piyasilo said...

Language is not the ultimate barrier that keeps us away from the Dhamma, but our deep-rooted arrogance and ignorance.

Once, a PhD student eagerly asked Ajahn Chah, he came far away from England, so should he learn Thai before he joint a meditation retreat?

Through a translator, Ajahn Chah point his finger to his heart and say:"You only need to learn the language of your heart, not Thai."

September 21, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Cyber~ said...

Althought this is old post, but u remind me of wat a true fren is...n how to become other ppl true fren...is true giving n caring heart that u will get true fren...n always wat u giv u will always get bek what u plant before...tis is my inspiration when i attended quan ying...haha^^

June 10, 2010 at 7:01 PM  

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