Friendship – An Overlapping of Life

After a certain age, friends tend to take a back seat while other relationships become important in our life. Sadhguru tells us that friendship is a bond that goes beyond mere give-and-take, it is in fact an overlapping of life.

In this age of social media, the possibilities to reach and connect with people across the world have multiplied in an unprecedented manner. Add friends at the click of a button, keep them updated with your latest tweets or quickly build a following on your blog – the networking options are almost limitless. As the number of our virtual friends and followers multiply, have you ever wondered, how much of it is really “real?” What does friendship actually mean to you?

Today, Sadhguru tells us what friendship means to him.

Sadhguru: I made my first friend at the age of three or four, after they sent me to school. I built such a bond with him, he was more than anything else to me. I still remember his name. I am sure he doesn't.

I had a wide variety of friends, hundreds of friends all over the place, but that’s different. I am talking about the bond that I built with real friends – I always thought it was absolute. But over a period of time, with the experience of life, I realized there are very few people who see friendship like that. Most people see friendship as context-oriented. When you are in school, you have one kind of friend. When school is over, you just drop them and pick college friends. When college is over, professional friends, and whatever else. That's how people look at friendship. I've not been able to look at it like that. I am not disgruntled, but it has been a learning experience about human nature.

My need for friendship was never too much but the moment I formed a friendship, I always thought it was for good and in every way absolute. I've found good friends here and there, but even for them, as life situations change, their needs and their focus on the friendship changes. For me it never changes.

I wouldn't say it is heartbreaking, but definitely it is disappointing that most people cannot form deep relationships in their lives. They can form relationships only according to their needs; they cannot form relationships beyond their needs. A relationship just for the sake of relationship, that is not there in most people. They form a relationship when they need it; when they don't need it, they break it.

For me, friendship is not an advantageous transaction or give-and-take, for me friendship is a certain overlapping of life.

I am a little bit of a fool in such matters. Even now if I meet an old school friend, I still approach him the way I knew him at that time. But he is somewhere else, no longer the way he was. Probably they move on with life and I don't. I have always stayed a little outside of it. I valued life that way, so I always kept it that way. I think it continues to be so even today.

I think life has been phenomenally generous with me. When I say generous, I am not talking about material things but the way life treats me wherever I go, the way it opens up for me without any effort. The life process is willing to open up all its secrets to me probably because of the bonding that I form with whatever I sit with. Even if I am in touch with a simple inanimate thing, I form a certain relationship with it. For example if I look at what Mysore means to me, I have a very deep bonding with that place simply because I spent a large part of my growing-up period there. I am not looking at it emotionally or sentimentally as people normally would. It is just the level of involvement I had with the land, the trees, the hills, with everything around. Lots of things have changed in the last 30 years, but still I can see so many places that I walked upon, how deeply I looked at things, and the billion questions that I asked at a billion different places in Mysore. It forms a very different kind of bond which brought me to a certain level of quest within myself.

For me, Mysore means a billion questions and at the same time an incredible answer too. Friendships also meant the same thing for me. Those few moments that I shared with someone, not necessarily just in terms of emotion – I was really not emotional about anyone in that sense – but somehow knowingly or unknowingly, moments of sharing were moments of uniting and becoming one in some way. I never saw sharing as giving and taking; I always saw sharing as two lives overlapping each other. I did not see friendship as an advantageous or useful thing, something that will help you live better or whatever else.

Even now when I travel around the world and meet all kinds of people, I don't network with them, I don't keep their phone numbers, I don't try to contact them, but I share something very deep with them in those few moments of being together and many of them do share that with me too. But my sense of that sharing is a permanent process while I see that for most people, it is a passing process.

Probably my idea of friendship is too old-fashioned, or I don't know if it was ever in fashion. Maybe it is a little silly, maybe it is not socially savvy, but in terms of life, I think my ability to bond with anything or anyone deeply – whether it is a tree, a place that I sat upon, a piece of land, a rock or people – has in many ways been the key which has opened up dimensions of life and nature to me.

So, for me, friendship is not an advantageous transaction or give-and-take, for me friendship is a certain overlapping of life.

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6 years 10 months ago


In my life i have come across such people in the name of friendship they utilize you only for their needs because they know that u can get deny them so they misuse . friendship happens from heart where you can share your feelings good or bad without days people all are so materalistic...

7 years 3 months ago

A new perspective.. FRIENDSHIP is a certain overlapping of life.

6 years ago

Sadhguru was your friend nothingness or empty even before you had dhyanalinga project in your hands please share.Namaskaram

7 years 3 months ago

Always Wisdom from Sadhguru

6 years ago

Yes, I do remember all my friends right from my KG classes and could still move with them with the same affection and manner. I miss the lovely mornings, sky, birds,plants and the terrace where I spent most of my time with. Pranams Sadhguru

7 years 3 months ago

This is true, that most people do not experience a deep friendship, without any context. In my personal experience, moving from India to North America, I found relationships build on a fabric of context - be it a common birthplace, workplace, what have you - and, more often than not, with alcohol being the adhesive :) Take away this context, and there is nothing left of that friendship.

What is it that, as children, enables us to form the deepest bond with another human being over something as little as "We share a swing, so we're best friends"? Maybe we lose this ability over time, with all the layers we gather, and all the filters we see people through - this ability to just effortlessly include another person in our lives. Maybe all the masks we have learned to put on never enable us to truly connect with another human being on that level.

5 years 5 months ago

Nameakaram Sadhguru may be my mothers mother bond bothers me sometimes I mean I enjoy it but still sees me as her kid but being married sometimes you know, I couldn't put in words

7 years 3 months ago

You are very right sadhguru.... people confuse friendship with the need... I'm really happy that at least I've lived like you said in terms of friendship... I never change.. never break friendship...

5 years ago

I am the same Sadhguru. Unforunately it led to backstabbings and heart break. I don't really want any close friends anymore. I would love to form such a bond with nature though.

7 years 3 months ago

EXACTLY WHAT WAS WORRYING WHEN I SEE OUR VALUE FOR FRIENDSHIP/ BONDING IS NOT VALUED or VALUED FOR ONLY FOR SOME BENEFITS . and even more worrying is children misguided by the elders who loose their innocence very very early and are brought up in materialistic motive. the bonding is considered as weakness now in society and all relationships are valued only by the returns earned / expected.

the virtue of friendship is basis for the all the relationships . If we can truly bond and be friendly with an entirely unknown person , then we can truly bond with anyone and from meaningful relationships.

"Probably my idea of friendship is too old-fashioned, or I don’t know if it was ever in fashion. Maybe it is a little silly, maybe it is not socially savvy,"

How true sadhguru......

5 years ago

Our father had good friends but they never bought a friendship band and tied nor did they wished friendship to each other. What they shared among each other was Value and feelings and they stood by each other during crisis. This is called BANDHAN
Where there is true relationship there is only feelings and Harmony there is no tagging. Where there is NATAK and NAUTANKI we have to remind each other of FRIENDSHIP and DAY

7 years 3 months ago

I love this post of Sadhguru probably because I can very much relate to it. Like you, I am also very involved when it comes to my friends maybe because I only have a few of them but I am assured that they are the most real friends anyone could have. These are the kind of people who I can say I want to be a part of my life same as I want to be part of their's. More than just a shoulder to cry on, they are people who I have really deep bonds with--no need for too much talk, just the mere presence of each other means a lot already. Genuine, long-lasting friendships are hard to find these days and I am really grateful to have these wonderful people in my life.

7 years 2 months ago

I wish I could make a real friend, but I can't find anyone who's open to that where I live.

7 years ago

Friendship is everything and no one can deny it any circumstances ...True friends are real pearls

7 years ago

Nothing is permanent in life. The life itself is a Drama being enacted on a stage called earth. All that we speak, do, and boast are acts directed by The Omnipotent. Friendship is also a similar one. There is no question for context. Every stage of our friendship is a scene in the drama. Once we bid adieu to the world everything we did disappear with us. So as long as we live let us enjoy the friendship as it comes.
Thamaraikodiyon. alias Padmanabhan.

6 years 11 months ago

Thank you Sadhguru ...