Free to befriend and free to offend

Acharya Prashant
5 min readAug 27, 2021

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Question (Q): Sir, in the morning, we were listening to Kabir. So, there was one of the doha which said, “Na kahu se dosti, na kahu se bair” (Neither friendship nor enmity with anyone at all). Usually, when you listen to it, it feels similar to what you also say that a real man would be dishonest. I probably felt that this is what is being said. He would not be the same always.

Acharya Prashant (AP): His friendship would be Real. It would not be a carry-over from the past. Similarly, if he offers resistance or resentment to something, even that would be Real; born by the fact of the moment, not carried ahead as a tradition.

Why do you oppose people of that particular country? Because traditionally they are our rivals — his resentment would not be like this. Yes, he would support a few things; yes, he would oppose a few things. To somebody, he would say kind words; to somebody, he might say harsh words. But, all of that would be as per the situation, as per the realization, not as per tradition. That is what is meant when Kabir says, “Na kaahu se dosti, na kaahu se bair”.

That doesn’t mean that Kabir is incapable of friendliness; and of course, it doesn’t mean that he is incapable of resistance. Kabir, in fact, resisted like nobody else! Sitting in the center of orthodoxy, he resisted stale, harmful, dogmatic beliefs coming from all communities. He made enemies from all sides, he did not discriminate.

And when you are prepared to make an enemy of everybody, it only means that you have found a Real friend. When you are in the company of your Real friend then you can easily afford to have as many enemies as the enemies would like.

And Kabir was truly a friend; you cannot find a better friend than Kabir. He says, “Na kaahu se dosti,” he says, “No friendliness with anybody,” but you cannot get a better friend than Kabir. Provided, you are not obstinately sticking to your beliefs and concepts, then Kabir cannot be a friend, he is a destroyer.

It is such a strange thing: when you try to be friends, then you become the worst enemy possible. A wise man has said that “Husband and wives are intimate enemies”. A wife finds no worse enemy than…

Acharya Prashant