Ask a Hindu: Remaining Friends Forever
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Commentary by Himani Agrawal
Are there any rules, customs or traditions in the Hindu religion or culture that specify you “must” remain friends with someone who has been helpful to you, no matter what? I first met my good friend over 15 years ago when he immigrated from Bhutan, and I was happy to help him assimilate into the U.S. and with his many college exams to achieve his bachelor’s degree. He is wonderful, and I am lucky to know him. But that was long ago and lately I sense that he feels very resentful with me, or bored and irritated, yet he pursues our friendship as if he were compelled or mandated by some external force.
Is it possible that, as a Hindu, he is forbidden to ever tell me he no longer wishes to be friends, even if that is his true feeling?
Thank you for your question. We often find ourselves at crossroads in relationships. At these crucial times Dharma (cosmic laws) could be a wonderful guide to determine which path to take.
If someone helped you in any way, you should always have a gratitude towards that person. Never do anything to harm them in words or action, to wish them well.
Having said that, it does not translate into not leading a life of your own. You may or may not be in the same friend circle. It should be based on similar interest not on obligations.
Gratitude and friendship are two different things.
Hope this answers your question.
These are the personal views of the writer.
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Himani Agrawal is the president of the Spokane Hindu Temple and Cultural Center. She has a master’s degree in Business Administration from India. She is well traveled and has lived on three different continents. Through her travels and personal experiences, she has developed understanding and respect for different faiths. She believes that communities strengthen when they share each other’s culture.