“I trust that He is getting friends and also been approached for friendship. I trust that He has auspicious friends and that His friends are giving Him first priority.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.18)
कच्चिन्मित्राणि लभते मित्रैश्चाप्यभिगम्यते।
कच्चित्कल्याणमित्त्रश्च मित्रत्त्रैश्चापि पुरस्कृतः।।
kaccinmitrāṇi labhate mitraiścāpyabhigamyate।
kaccitkalyāṇamittraśca mitrattraiścāpi puraskṛtaḥ।।
Parents today take pictures and post them online. Perhaps they print them out and save to a sort of album, something to look back on later. The event marks more than just a beginning for a single year; it is the start of a lifetime’s journey of education, with its accompanying discipline, attention to duty, focus on time, and responsibility.
The event is the first day of school. Some children shed intense tears of anguish, fear, and separation anxiety. Others are fine with the few hours in a new environment. Some children actually thrive, right from the beginning. They can make friends anywhere.
Shastra describes the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be atmarama. This means “satisfied in the self.” Imagine if the electricity went off for several days. No transportation nearby. No lights to show the way, and no television to provide entertainment.
It would be difficult to shift into that situation so abruptly. Someone who is at peace internally, who can create pleasant thoughts, who can remember blissful events from the past, can survive without issue. They may even welcome the sudden stop to the madness, as they see it. Finally, some peace and quiet.
Though God does not require external stimulation in order to be at peace, He can make friends anywhere and everywhere. Proof is in the experiences for the avatara of Shri Rama. During one portion of the narrative, Rama’s wife asks if her husband has been making friends, if He has been approached for alliances, and are these friends auspicious.
She understood that such relationships are vital for a leader. Countries that have been allies for a long time try to maintain that relationship, as there is strength in numbers. Shri Rama’s case was peculiar in that He was intentionally punished to be by Himself in the forest. The term was to last fourteen years.
No outside force can interfere with the dealings of the Supreme Lord and His devotees. God can find new friends if others are taken away from Him. Rama can find an army through aligning with forest-dwellers known as Vanaras.
In that place, Rama finds the best of the Vanaras, Hanuman, who then becomes the most dedicated servant. Kaikeyi took away the royal army in Ayodhya, but a single Hanuman was more than enough to account for the deficiency.
The friendships are also indicative of kindness. Though He needs nothing, the Supreme Lord is willing to welcome me. There are no hard feelings over my having forgotten Him for countless lifetimes. There is no price to pay as punishment for the foolish transgression of turning away from the spiritual culture. As soon as I make the desire known, in full sincerity, there is a great reunion: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
When devotion demonstrating,
A reunion celebrating.
God always rooting for me,
But my eyes not ready to see.
As best friend everyone to call,
No matter how deep to fall.
Like Rama in forest Vanaras finding,
Of His kind disposition reminding.