“When the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased with the living entity because of his devotional service, one becomes a pandita and does not make distinctions between enemies, friends and himself. Intelligently, he then thinks, ‘Every one of us is an eternal servant of God, and therefore we are not different from one another.’” (Prahlada Maharaja, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.12)
स यदानुव्रतः पुंसां
अन्य एष तथान्यो ’हम्
sa yadānuvrataḥ puṁsāṁ
anya eṣa tathānyo ’ham
1. They are nice to us
This is perhaps the easiest way to develop fondness for another person. As an example, on a trip to the post office things turn stressful rather quickly. The newborn child is with you. It should be a simple process. In and out. File some paperwork and be done with the affair.
The problem is that the child is not accustomed to leaving the home and meeting new people. While you are standing in line, they start crying. This is the loudest you have ever heard them scream. The intensity surpasses that of when they bump their head or want a specific toy that they can’t have.
Trying your hardest to endure the situation, you get called up to the counter. The person there could not be nicer. They are understanding; they have children of their own. They help you get through, limiting the time spent crying by the baby.
Of course you will have a positive opinion of such a person. They say that a little kindness goes a long way. Hold the door open for someone approaching. Help a person in need. Give warnings to danger. From that behavior maybe there is hope that the entire society has not collapsed into chaos and madness.
2. They share the same interests
This is the easiest way to make friends. Enjoy playing a particular sport? Do you follow the professional athletes? Do you look for tips and offer advice to others? Are you in need of a playing partner?
Find someone who shares the same interest and there is bound to be a relationship. The nature of that relationship is equality. On the same level due to the interest, with no established superiority or requirement of offering reverence. Through that friendship other shared interests may develop.
3. They don’t yell
An extension of the kindness aspect, a person who doesn’t get angry is preferable in most situations. One exception might be with a boss who wants their employee to get a specific task done on time. That employee is relying on outside vendors to deliver. The boss needs the employee to apply pressure on the vendors, and part of that application may require the use of a stern tone.
If someone doesn’t yell, it means that they are calm in demeanor. They can then think more clearly. They are not swayed by the ups and downs of life. One minute you are flying high and the next you are in trouble. As there is constant fluctuation, better to stay above.
4. They are clean
Another trip into the city. This is to attend an important program. On top of the mess with the underground train system, there is a large volume of travelers today. Just your luck that the person sitting next to you smells terrible. It is some kind of food, though they are not eating anything at the moment. It must be what they cook at home. An unbearable odor of garlic, onions and meat, you tell yourself, “I hate this person.”
On the other side is the person who stays clean. They have external cleanliness from following good hygiene and internal cleanliness by not using foul language and avoiding situations that negatively affect the mind. The clean person’s association is preferable, as they are not an undue burden on others.
5. They are quiet
This is the hidden truth behind the popular affection for domesticated animals. The cat and the dog cannot talk. They can communicate desires for eating, sleeping, evacuating and the like, but there are no words exchanged. This allows for affection to flow more smoothly. There is no lingering memory of the harsh words a person once spoke. There is no grudge held over a verbal offense from years ago.
Silence is on the side of godliness, as is cleanliness. One should not speak more than is required, and they should not utter nonsense. Such a person’s association will be appreciated in most situations. This is one of the easiest ways to get respect from others.
The Sanskrit phrase atmavan manyate jagat describes that a person tends to think that others are like them. If I have trouble understanding a specific language, probably others are the same way. If I have to cheat in order to win office in a local election, I tend to think that the other side has a similar reliance.
The concept extends to preference and to friendship. It is only natural to have a positive assessment of someone I think to be just like me. It’s an extension of the false ego, ahankara, where I consider my viewpoints and way of life to be superior.
Prahlada Maharaja reveals the secret for attaining universal brotherhood. If I am prone to liking others who are similar to me, I actually have a link to every other person. This is because we are all spirit soul, atma, on the inside. The principle extends to the animal community, as well, including the non-moving species.
Every spirit soul is meant to be an eternal servant of the Supreme Lord. That service is always evident, even if forgetfulness of the purpose is manifest at present. That is to say everyone is always a servant of Bhagavan, but sometimes that service is only towards the shadow or rear portion. Such service goes by terms like atheism and agnosticism.
The devotee serves the front portion, or God in the complete realization. Such a person then sees clearly, and as a result they give up temporary and conditional distinctions like friend and enemy. They understand that everyone is connected to Krishna, and so there is no reason for making judgments off of external factors.
Not many words to say,
Someone acting my way.
A common interest to share,
Of proper behavior aware.
From these causes blooming affection,
But wise not this exclusive direction.
Prahlada sharing with all the equality feeling,
That everyone servant of Bhagavan revealing.
Categories: the five