Who are your real friends? From Austria 7/21/13
Topic: Who are your real friends? from Austria. 21/07/13
Receive all my affection from Austria. Just starting this visit to Europe.
We were traveling by car from Germany. Today I share with you a topic called: Who are your real friends?
This question accompanies us all during our lifetime, due to this fact many may not pay attention to the issue itself. Sakha in Sanskrit means friend.
We can understand the concept of "friend" in two ways I please ask you to apply the criterion of discrimination in it. The first way to understand it: "A friend in need is a friend indeed", this means that a true friend is always there when needed. The second is "a friend without need is a friend indeed", this is even deeper and that is to say a friend never expects anything from us, but is always there to help. That is the criterion of a true relationship.
Going further, we can apply various criteria in our relationship with God: "A friend in need is a friend indeed" and it is completely like that, for God is always there when we need Him, He gives us everything we need: the air we breathe, the food that sustains us, the nature around us, etc..
He even gives us free will to make our own decisions. God is completely "a friend in need." Now think about the second statement: "a friend without need is a friend indeed." Well, here the question is: are we really qualified to call ourselves "friends of God"? Are we able to be faithful to God, to be with Him even if it is assumed that we "do not need" from Him, just because He's our friend? That's a good question about our relationship with God. And, unfortunately, the answer is that we are not such good friends of God, but rather we are friends of God only when it suits us or we need something. At that point we think: "Yeah, yeah, God, please help me and get me out of this, I'm here for you."
But ... when danger is finished this thought comes, "Phew, this was difficult, bug luckily it has ended, now I can continue to enjoy"
Our relationship with God is not the most friendly to say, even worse, if we are friends of God, and He has been very friendly with us, why do we give so much trouble and ill-treatment to our brothers and sisters? Then it is just us living with humans, but failing to appreciate them. It is an amazing attitude that we must take towards our brothers and sisters, because if you really want to be friends of God, then we must be friends of His sons and daughters, or do you think that there is another way to be?
It is contradictory to say: I am a friend of God, I love God, but hate anyone who gets in my way and goes against my own lust, my anger, my ambition or anything like that. Just think of a time when many animals are tortured just for fun, do you have something in mind? Or lets speak about other more terrible things such as the alleged "scientific evidence in animals" or animals stripped of their skins so humans can look luxurious in their furs. Imagine this:
An animal has beautiful skin by the desire of God and that beautiful skin is taken from him for your "sweet will" (yours) and after that you call yourself "a friend of God."
Does it make sense? Is that religious?
So, who are our true friends? The first thing we have to think about is to become qualified to be friends with others. Friendship and relationship to God and His creation is very important, and that is "supposedly" what religion teaches. You can say something like: "I follow a religion that teaches me species-ism, where I can like my own kind, but any other kind can be abused and mistreated by me or say, "I follow a religion that is ethnocentric, where all persons belonging to my ethnic group are wonderful, but those who do not, lose all rights and can be abused and removed from freedom, etc.. Is this within the parameters of common sense?
No, if we consider human rights, animal rights, the rights of Mother Nature. To speak of rights is basic, we do not even begin to speak about friendship. Rights is something that someone has, which belongs to the department of laws and if it is not respected it is required. But, in friendship and love we do not need to talk about rights. Why? Because in friendship and love the concept of "rights" is automatically included.
Put it this way: the right to welfare, which sounds very popular today. We have the "welfare training", "diet for wellness," including the "Guru for your welfare" welfare, welfare and well-being everywhere, my dear. But what happens to the welfare of your brothers and sisters? Do you not think that the number one question related to welfare is: Are you worried about the welfare of all those around you? Do they have the same right to welfare?
We belong to a completely hypocritical society where everything is based on self-interest to some extent. In my own selfish interest. A society where my friendships are based only upon those that fit my personal needs. If someone does not agree with it, sorry to say but they cease to have rights and so people today make war against those who are not suited to their interests.
War is not a very encouraging word, I would rather like to avoid talking about it, because wars are related to prisoners, the concentration camps and all that is terrifying in the world. Again Imagine: thousands of people gathered in one place because they are prisoners of war who knows who invented this because of their own interests.
And thinking of prisoners, what happens to the 65 billion animals that are confiscated in cells in the meat industry? They are deprived of water, food, suffering and jailed ... And why? Only because of the selfish desire of someone who decided to take away the freedom that God gave them.
Very likely that these people say they wanted to be friends of God. Yet, they deny animals a place to live, a natural environment, their own families, and confine them in squalid cells. All this for one reason: human greed. It is a very severe situation, since we are talking about rights: humans, animals, nature. Again: rights are something natural, something that should be respected on its own. Moreover, we are talking about true friendship, because to proudly claim to be "friendly", but to who are you really a friend, and who are your real friends?
Anyone involved with the abuse of others, either directly or indirectly is responsible for the suffering of a living entity. It's a very expensive bill. Like it or not you are signing that bill. Even if you say: I never knew, I will not be responsible for this, yet you will receive that bill.
That's what the famous British singer Paul McCartney said that the horrible holocaust of the Nazis in Germany is as bad as the current holocaust which the animals are subjected to in different industries that use them. Or even worse, as Germans in general, they did not know what was going on or if they knew they had to remain silent from fear that they would do the same to them, however now we are all aware of what happens to animals and we have the facility to boycott the Holocaust, no one is coming to shoot you so show yourself against it.
You, as a human being have rights, you can protest against ill treatment and not just protest, but consistently live and act against it, clearing your support or use of anything that is related to the mistreatment of others. No one who is involved in the mistreatment of animals can be called a "friend of the animals" or say "they love animals", much less that he is following the teachings of God, who is the Father of all animals. Whoever mistreats animals or is a part of their ill-treatment does not love nature or the Creator of it, someone so selfishly just loves their own palate, their stomach and genitals. Such a person is the worst enemy of Mother Earth and responsible of the current environmental situation.
I protest against it, against the behavior of those ignorant people who abuse others. Even so, we continue to offer our friendship to them so they can too come out of that ignorance, because we hate the sin but not the sinner. That is the right approach for a friend, because what we are promoting is true friendship, not irrational hatred. We even say we love the sinner, because we really want to see change in the world, and see change in people and a change for themselves, a change for future generations.
As the saying goes: "help me when I least deserve it, because it will be when I need it."
Because, let me tell you one thing, my dear friends (and I call you my friends because I consider myself as your friend) that people who are related to the mistreatment of animals, humans or the exploitation of natural resources are the poorest of the poor in the world. They are the first who should receive emergency aid, the most urgent attention. Just as in war, the paramedics have to identify the worst cases to give priority and attention, in the same way in Kali Yuga, after the devastation caused by the bomb of selfishness and exploitation, the spiritual paramedics seek cases that are most grave in nature, the "lost cases" and there you will find all the traffickers, the corrupted, the exploiters of the Earth, the animal abusers, the owners of alcohol companies, politicians, deceivers, etc.. They are still our brothers and sisters, human beings like us and they are as bad as we might become.
But fortunately for us and them, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to shed boundless mercy upon all. No matter how sinful we are. No matter how many living beings we have mistreated. Mercy is there, Srila Prabhupada even brought that mercy to us, the lowest of the low. God himself, the best friend of all of us, came personally to deliver His Divine friendship and teach us by example what it means to provide for the welfare of others. Divine Friendship and solidarity for all those who are suffering in the world, the abused and the abusers.
In English the devotees say that the spiritual life is not just "joy" (fun) but "jay" (victory celebration of the battle against illusion). Our mission is to follow the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada, who was a real fighter in the battle against illusion and a true friend who does not expect anything in return. He is the embodiment of mercy without restraint, shakti avesa avatar of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. A revolutionary protector to animals and nature. An example of simple living and high thinking.
Mahatma Gandhi said: "Be the change you want to see in the world" that we must implement: to become agents of change, agents to fight against illusion. With these words I leave you today, my dear friends of the soul. I wish you all the best in this process to become true friends of all, to aspire some day to become faithful to God, without expecting anything from him.
All my love to you.
Jay Srila Prabhupada!
Your always wisher,
Swami B. A. Paramadvaiti.