"Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul." (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.17)Download this episode (right click and save)
Friends are made among equals. That is one of the meanings to friendship. It is not a relationship between a guru and a disciple. It is not supposed to be a father and a son, as then there is one side with weight and another lacking it. One side is the authority and the other who approaches authority and learns from it. The famous bow-warrior Arjuna himself had this issue, as he approached his friend when having doubts about one of the biggest decisions of his life.
“I have in the past addressed You as ‘O Krishna,’ ‘O Yadava,’ ‘O my friend,’ without knowing Your glories. Please forgive whatever I may have done in madness or in love. I have dishonored You many times while relaxing or while lying on the same bed or eating together, sometimes alone and sometimes in front of many friends. Please excuse me for all my offenses.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.41-42)
In that case the friend turned into the guru for a brief period. Arjuna regretted referring to the guru with friendly terms in the past, but in fact there was no need. That guru is the best friend of every living entity, when the definition is taken as “well-wisher.” He brings to the devotee the relationship they most prefer with the Divine.
1. He is inside of every person as the Supersoul
I may have a best friend. In some cases, more than one person might view me as their best friend, which makes selecting a best man at a Christian-style wedding difficult. Despite how popular I may be, I can’t be everyone’s best friend. It is not a character defect. It is not that I must choose sides. Rather, I can’t know every single person. It is simply impossible.
The Supreme Lord accomplishes omnipresence without effort. He automatically expands into the Supersoul to reside within the heart of every living creature. He is inside of me right now. The same person, who has four-hands in His transcendental form of Narayana, is there inside of you as well. In His original form He is all-attractive. Known as Krishna, He is the greatest well-wisher of every living entity. He is the good friend to Arjuna and also his cousin.
2. He witnesses everything but does not interfere
In the Bhagavad-gita we learn that the Supersoul is the overseer and the permitter. Known as Paramatma, the Supreme Lord in this expansion sees everything that goes on. No one actually gets away with a crime. If the guilty have escaped the strong arm of the law, it means that their punishment in karma is slated to arrive at a later time.
“Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.23)
The results to action manifest through the sanction of Paramatma. In material life, God does not make judgments. The initial turn away from devotional service is already there; proof is through birth in the material world. Whether a person ascends or descends, enjoys in this way or that, as long as they are away from service to God the person, they are essentially in the same situation. Supersoul witnesses everything, but He does not interfere with decisions.
3. The bad guys are spared from further pain
The punishment for sinful deeds arrives at the appropriate time, like the flowers that blossom on the trees. Krishna said these words Himself one time in His incarnation of Rama. The words were spoken to a person who had gotten away with murdering and eating the most innocent adults in society, the priestly class.
Even this punishment is beneficial. It is another way that God wishes well for people. The punishment maintains fairness and it also prevents further pain and suffering for the guilty. In Khara’s case, he got liberation since he died at the hands of Rama. Others descend to lower species in the next life, but they are never forever condemned. They get to work their way back through the evolution of species, which is nothing more than the individual spirit soul trading up in terms of bodies in successive lifetimes.
4. He gives everyone what they want
The ever well-wisher is a friend, not an owner. As a friend, there is independence. If my friend simply agreed with everything I said and had no mind of their own, the relationship would have little value. In the same way, the Supreme Lord rewards the devotees accordingly. As they surrender unto Him, He delivers.
“All of them - as they surrender unto Me - I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.11)
Some desire a mood of equality, where friendship is established. Others love God so much that they desire to be His caretaker. Others want more intimate association, while some prefer to worship from a distance. The best friend of every living entity brings to each person exactly what they desire. He does not try to change them. Even to the materialists, only when they are ready for something more does He send the Divine mercy.
5. His words benefit every single person
The Bhagavad-gita was delivered on the battlefield of Kurukshetra to Arjuna, the leading fighter for the Pandava side. It seems in this situation that Krishna has drawn lines, between the good and the bad. He is the charioteer for one side, which means that He favors them.
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.29)
He is by default neutral, but anyone who renders service unto Him becomes a friend. It is something like taking advantage of electricity that runs through the neighborhood. Every house gets it, but unless things are plugged into the electrical outlets, the electricity is not used. Those who serve God in a mood of devotion essentially tap into the Divine mercy that is already available to everyone.
Though Krishna prefers Arjuna due to the loving devotion, the words of the Bhagavad-gita benefit everyone. They are just as relevant to the Kauravas as they are to the Pandavas. They save the asuras just as much as they rescue the pious. In this way every person hasn’t got far to go to find the best companion. They simply need look within, to the Supersoul, whose form is revealed by the spiritual guide to be the Almighty in His full attractiveness.
To find best friend to confide,
Not far, in your heart to reside.
There in everyone else too,
Witnessing acts from me and you.
Impartial, in decisions not to interfere,
There to help when wanting picture clear.
Despite on Arjuna’s side in war to stand,
Benefit to all those words to understand.