Divinity personified friendship: Gayatri Sankar

The bond of friendship has been in existence since time immemorial. As they say friendship knows no barriers of caste, colour or creed; this fact holds true for even the greatest characters from Indian epics. 

Here’s a look at some of the classic specimens of friendship, whose relationship goes beyond devotion! 


Sudama belonged to a very humble and an impoverished family while his childhood friend, Krishna belonged to royal lineage. With time, the two friends lost touch and after years, they meet again at the King’s court in Dwarka.

Lord Krishna, by then had become `Dwarakadish` or the King of Dwarka. One fine day, impoverished Sudama visited Krishna, to seek help from his dear friend on his wife’s insistence and out of exasperation.

Poor Sudama had nothing but flattened rice to offer to Krishna as a token of love. He carried it in piece of cloth and on reaching the palace; he felt he was too insignificant a person in King Krishna’s life. But on seeing Sudama, Krishna instantly recognized him, went running to him like a child and hugged him with love. He made him sit and washed his feet, wiped them with his attire and showered him with limitless love.

On seeing Krishna serving him with devotion, an overwhelmed Sudama forgot all about the purpose of his visit to the palace.

But to his surprise, on his return to his hut, Sudama saw a huge mansion in place of his modest abode and his family living in luxury.

This goes to show that a true friend does not need to bank on words to express. Silence in this case acts as a catalyst to strengthen the pious bond. 


Karan, who happened to be the oldest son of Kunti, was abandoned immediately after his birth by his mother for being born out of wedlock.

Brought up by a charioteer, Karan went on to become one of the finest archers of his times. Once when Guru Dronacharya was testing his students` archery skills, Karan took the initiative to show his prowess and was confident he could outdo Arjun (his half-brother and Drona’s favourite student and a fine archer).

Duryodhan and his brothers cheered for Karan as they could see in him an accomplice, who could help them in their war against the Pandavas. The Kaurava prince befriended Karna and made him the king of Anga to make him equal to Arjun. Duryodhan stood like a pillar through thick and thin for his dear friend Karan.

Known to the world as a magnanimous human, Karan, who could never say ‘no’ to anyone, gave away his life fighting against his brothers for his friend Duryodhan.

Though Duryodhan had malicious intent to get Hastinapur from the Pandavas and indulged in all wrong doings, he did prove to be a classic example of a true friend. 


Sugreeva, the Prince of the vanar (monkey) kingdom of Kishkindha extended a helping hand to Lord Rama, who was earnestly in search of his wife Sita.

In the meanwhile, Rama helped Sugreeva from the treachery of his brother Bali and made him the king of Kishkindha.

The newly crowned king and his army accompanied Rama and his brother Lakshman to the island of Lanka where Sita was kept in custody by Lankesh (Ravan).

Ever ready to give away his life for the Prince duo, Sugreeva rendered faithful service to Rama and Lakshman. Rama and Sugreeva’s friendship grew stronger day by day.



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