One of the names of Parama Puruśa is “Jagata-bandhu”. Why is He called Jagatabandhu? In the Saḿskrta language the word “jagata” has been derived from the root word “gam”. “Gam” means to go, to move. “Jagata” means that which is moving or going, that is, “jagata” has motion inherent in its nature. “To go” or “to move” is the main aspect of the matter. Everything in this universe is in motion. Nothing is stationary. Even the Pole Star (Dhruvatárá) is not static. Everything is circling around, and that is why the universe is known as “jagata”. And Parama Puruśa is the bandhu (friend) of this jagata.
What is the meaning of “bandhu”? In Samskrta, the meaning of the word “bandhu” is “to bind”. Bandhu indicates that person or entity who cannot stand separation. Parama Puruśa or Saguńa Brahma is closely and intimately connected with this expressed world, or jagata. He is pervasively connected with every individual entity, be it a living being or a crude object. He is also linked through and through with the universe as a whole. In other words, He is indissolubly and inextricably involved (ota prota) with everything. Therefore, He is the only bandhu of this universe. The rest of your bandhus in the physical world are not your eternal friends. Though they are with you now, a day will soon come when they will go away; they will be separated from you. When you depart from this world, these friends will accompany or carry your dead body. But how far will they accompany you? They will accompany your body up to the cremation ground or the burning ghat. Having gone so far, at the most they will return to their own dwelling places. So they are not your real bandhu. There is a shloka in Saḿskrta:
Atyágasahano bandhu sadaevánumatah suhrd;
Eka kryaḿ bhavenmitraḿ samapráńáh sakhásmrtah.
He who loves so much that he can never sustain the grief of separation, is known as “bandhu”. In this sense, nobody can have any bandhu in this world. Only that Jagatabandhu – that Parama Puruśa – can be your bandhu. No one else is your bandhu. Only He is your real friend.
“Sadaevánumatah suhrd.” The meaning of this is that where there is no difference of opinion – where there is no conflict of ideas and ideals with a particular person – that person is called “suhrd”. In this world you also cannot have any suhrd, for differences of opinion will always arise, even within the family among brother and sister, among father and mother, and among husband and wife. So neither in the family nor in society will you find a suhrd.
“Eka kryam bhavenmitram.” One who is engaged in the same line or profession with others, such a person is known in Saḿskrta as “mitram”; the English synonym is “colleague”. In this world you will find so many colleagues. Two physicians are mitram, that is, they are colleagues; so are two lawyers. But these colleagues will remain associated with you only as long as you are physically alive and exist in the world. When you die – discard your body – when your psychic entity and your body separate – then all those colleagues will no longer be with you to give you company. Only as long as your mind remains within your body structure will they remain with you. So, while you may have some colleagues or mitram in this world, they are not your eternal friends.
In Samskrta, when the word “mitram” is used in neuter gender the meaning of the word is “colleague”, and where it is used in the masculine sense the meaning is “the sun”.
“Samapráńáh sakhá smrtah”. Where love and devotion are so overwhelming that it appears as if there is only one entity in two bodies, such a pair of persons is known as “sakhá”. The bhakta, the devotee, is the sakhá of Parama Puruśa, because the bhakta can never think of him or herself as a separate entity from Him. Here he or she altogether forgets that he or she is separated from God. That is why Parama Puruśa is also a sakhá to His bhaktas and the bhakta is the sakhá of Parama Puruśa. For that reason Arjuna addressed Krśńa as his sakhá in the Giitá, and Lord Krśńa, too, addressed Arjuna as His sakhá.
You should also know – you should remember this truth – that the only well-wisher that you have in this universe, the only mitram, the only sakhá, is Parama Puruśa, or that Infinite Entity. So it is your duty to strengthen the hand of your only bandhu in every sphere of your life.
16 December 1978, Calcutta