There are many relationships which are predestined by the Almighty in our life, But friendship is the only relation where the choice of making friends is given to Man. This is where one’s personality, character and wisdom is proved as the choice of friends would lead the man either to success or doom, depending upon the people he selects to be as friends. This clarity is seen very aptly in Ramayan where Shri Ram chose his friends on the basis of Dharma and pure love and Ravan on the other hand was biased on the dictates of power and strength and hence, they were none who could be called as his true friends.
Shri Ram accepts a friend as how he is and never wants them to change for him. While accepting Nishad Raj Guh’s simple hospitality, Shri Ram shows the important aspect of acceptance and respect in friendship. But whomever Ravan chose as his friend was first to accept his superiority and Ravan never accepted them for what they were. He forced on a condition that they do things as he pleases as Ravan never accepted anybody against his favour.
Although Shri Ram had the choice of choosing Bali as his friend which would make things easier for him to get back Mata Sita, he yet chose to be Sugriv’s friend supporting Dharma. The friendship of Ravan with Bali was more for a sage guard reason for Ravan as Bali was powerful and it would help Ravan, This action of Ravan is more an agreement and a treaty, than friendship.
When Sugriv forgets his word, Shri Ram sends a warning through Lakshman reminding Sugriv of his promise. Only a true friend guides when walking on a wrong path by good advice. Shri Ram does the same and corrects Sugriv. But Ravan is advised by his ministers and friends not to give back Mata Sita with great arrogance and pride, and do not warn him of the impending danger.
The greatest attribute of a friend is to forgive the mistakes of the other. After becoming the king of Kishkinda, Sugriv is lost in pleasures. When Lakshman comes and warns him, Sugriv realises his mistake and seeks forgiveness of Shri Ram. But, Shri Ram simply says that to err is human and a true friend always forgives. With this kind gesture of Shri Ram, Sugriv totally devoted himself and his whole army in getting back Mata Sita to Shri Ram.
Ravan goes against all the friendly advices given by Marich, Visbhishan, Kumbhakarn who as true friends and companions asked him not to hinder Dharma. With this, he loses the trust and devotion of his people. While Marich chose to die in the hands of Shri Ram than Ravan, Vibhishan left Ravan for good and Kumbhakarn sacrificed his life for the people of Lanka. By not accepting his mistakes, Ravan committed the greatest mistake of his life.
Ramayan proves how important it is to have good and righteous people as friends in life, who would stand together in times of joys and sorrows, unlike the ones who stick in happiness and escape in difficulties. Choice of friendship is the choice of success and failure for man in life.