Friends stand for each other – Shri Ram and Sugriv

Shri Ram and Lakshman come searching for Sugriv and through Hanuman takes them to meet Sugriv. Although the friendship is beneficial to both, Sugriv very humbly says that it is not Shri Ram who needs Sugriv’s help, but the opposite. Sugriv finds himself blessed by the presence of Shri Ram and says that he now feels secure because of the friendship extended by Shri Ram. When there is humility and unconditional acceptance of each other in friendship, it becomes a lifetime bond. The friendship of Shri Ram and Sugriv is the personification of such a lifetime friendship.

Sugriv was the son of Rikshraj, the king of Kishkinda and the brother of Bali. It once happens that Riksharaj dips into a pond, and unknowingly transforms into a woman. Both Dev Raj Indr and Surya Dev get attracted to her and thus Bali was born as the son of Dev Raj Indr and Sugriv as the son of Surya Dev. Sugriv was married to Ruma whom he loved very dearly. Surya Dev later requests Hanuman to be with his son as he knew that Hanuman’s guidance would always guide and protect Sugriv. Hanuman does so and since then both live together as constant companions. When Bali banishes Sugriv from Kishkinda and snatches Ruma away from him, Sugriv leaves to Rishymuk Mountain along with his ministers and friends, Hanuman, Nal, Neel and the wise Jamvant, the king of bears.

When Shri Ram and Lakhsman approach Sugriv for friendship, Hanuman advises Sugriv to accept the friendship of Shri Ram. Hanuman is not only a minister here, but also a teacher to Sugriv. It is only a teacher who can visualise what is the right path to be followed and also narrate to the student to implement it too. Hence Sugriv readily agrees to Hanuman’s advice. Shri Ram is very happy but, being the compassionate one, makes it very clear that this friendship is just not the sake of a mutual benefit of each other, but based on the pure and unconditional nature of friendship and this gesture wins the heart of Sugriv.

Any vow or promise in front of the sacred fire is considered to be the most auspicious one. Hence, Hanuman lits a fire and Shri Ram and Sugriv promise each other to be together in all times. Shri Ram promises Sugriv that he would kill Bali and restore his kingdom back to him. Sugriv too promises that no matter he becomes king or not, he would do all his best and find out about Mata Sita, fight Ravan and get her back. The natural trait of selfless friendship is followed by both to keep their troubles behind and promise to stand for each other’s happiness.

The friendship with Sugriv denotes the first successful step towards Shri Ram’s mission. Although the two brothers did not have a clue where to start searching for Mata Sita, yet they do not lose hope and fighting all odds, reach Rishyamuk. From this point, the search for Mata Sita was not only by the two brothers, but it becomes the search by a huge vast army of Vanars. Such is the power of faith and confidence. It shows the way to move ahead and friendship helps in achieving it.

Friendship without any selfish motive always emerges victorious and that’s what happens to Shri Ram and Sugriv when they stood for each other.