I HAVE a friend—a very near and dear one. She is regal, refined; she is understanding and fully devoted. She has made a place for herself very near to my heart, displacing all others. But none grudges the seat allotted to her as she is always silent and unimposing. She is so surrendered to my feelings that if I hug her to my bosom in front of one and all, she would neither protest nor feel shy nor show any sign of resistance. With all her emotions closed up, she would lie quietly, feeling the warmth of my heart. She is a darling.
She is quiet, so very quiet that, in all these years of our friendship, I have never heard her utter a word! So quiet and calm is she! You may be wondering then how she could be a friend. Well, our friendship is in silence and the friendship comes closer and closer as the silence grows deeper and deeper.
She has that rare quality of being very understanding which comes from wisdom and indeed she is wise. If for some reason or other I am disturbed and annoyed and for days I don't even look at her, she is there quietly waiting—no murmur or protest of any kind at my negligence. Waiting patiently till I come back to her and open up. Lo! there she is, giving me the exact words which soothe my revolting spirit and pull me out of turmoil. Isn't she a devoted and loving friend?
She is a poet. So often when I am with her, she opens a window to the beauty and grandeur of the world to starry nights and dew-drops on lotus leaves, to "the wind-stirred grass-lands winking in the sun" and points out to me how "pale waters ran like glimmering threads of pearl" and when I am solitary how "The moments came with ecstasy on their wings" and with their magic spell make me feel
The blue sea's chant, the rivulet's wandering voice
Are murmurs falling from the Eternal's harp.
She is my guide too. Although I think I am her boss because I can do whatever I like with her—take up other friends and pack her off—but in my heart I know it is she who has a tight and right hold on me. She will never call me back but I will, willingly or not, go back surely to her, rely on her and depend on her guidance through the turbulent times, her words echoing in my mind even if she is miles away from me. She has a telepathic insight of my being and has an invisible and invincible hold on me. Isn't she a reliable and loyal guide?
She is a philosopher. Giving me the clue to the origin of creation:
The first writhings of the cosmic serpent Force
Uncoiled from the mystic ring of Matter's trance;
It raised its head in the warm air of life.
She tells me:
All that transpires on earth and all beyond
Are parts of an illimitable plan
The One keeps in his heart and knows alone.
And when I find the happenings all turbulent, confusing and misleading, my philosopher-friend tells me that even in the seeming aimlessness there is a purpose and a divine plan.
She is a Guru, a Yogi, a Rishi and a visionary all blended together. Nothing can disturb her in this world. She has the knowledge of man's inner being and of the universal forces. How with care, slowly but steadily she moves me towards the goal she has set for me (I thinking I am her superior because I can pack her off or shut her up at my own sweet will). Not hurrying as I may revolt. Never, never abandoning me if I am slow and not up to her expectation. She waits patiently and sadly, I am sure (though as a Yogi nothing can disturb her, my heart says it hurts her) she laughs at my stupidity. So much she has guided, been a constant companion and given herself and yet I am hesitant, doubtful or lethargic. She waits and when I wake up to my stupidity and blame myself for hurting so close a friend and am penitent and look up to her, there she is waiting and, not saying a single word, she shows me the path to follow. And when she finds me all ready and eager to follow her will she nearly picks me up and pushes on ahead perhaps to catch up with the time lost. Isn't she an all-compassionate forgiving and vigilant Guru?
That is my friend, my guide, my guru in life. You may be tempted to snatch her away from me and make her yours. Impossible. She would not leave me nor will I let her go. But she can be a universal friend. A friend and a guide to every human being. Fully, totally giving herself to each one as she has given herself to me, guiding according to each individual's needs and capacity. The One Supreme dividing into many, for she herself is universal, eternal and infinite.
She is The Lord's supreme creation, perfect SAVITRI.