Poem: My Friends

God in His mercy, has favoured me with many precious gifts which I hardly deserve. Among them He has given me friends.
The world is my friend because it is a good instructor in patience, forgiveness and forbearance.
Nature is my friend because in it I see a reflection of the infinite beauty of my Lord.
Old age is my friend because it mellows my passions and deprives me of the tyranny of my senses.
Illness is my friend because it teaches me detachment from the body and how to sympathise with others in similar circumstances.
Learning is my friend because it refines my mind and elevates it from the shallow region of sense objects to the contemplation of the Lord.
The poor are my friends because they give me opportunity to exercise charity.
My foes are my friends because I can practise forgiveness on them.
The birds are my friends because their songs and their sports add to my joy.
Literature is my friend because it teaches me appreciation of abstract beauty.
Falstaff, Iago and Richard the Third are my friends because they teach me to avoid their own way of life.
I have innumerable friends and hardly any enemies.
If there is an enemy, it is my undisciplined mind, and I try to control and teach it.

Hari Prasad Shastri

This article is from the Winter 2023 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.