Young man, be aware of these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend who endures in good times and bad, the mentor, and the compassionate friend.
The helper can be identified by four things:
- by protecting you when you are vulnerable
- and likewise your wealth
- being a refuge when you are afraid
- and in various tasks providing double what is requested.
The enduring friend can be identified by four things:
- by telling you secrets
- guarding your own secrets closely
- not abandoning you in misfortune
- and even dying for you.
The mentor can be identified by four things:
- by restraining you from wrongdoing
- guiding you towards good actions
- telling you what you ought to know
- and showing you the path to samsaric heavens.
The compassionate friend can be identified by four things:
- by not rejoicing in your misfortune
- delighting in your good fortune
- preventing others from speaking ill of you
- and encouraging others who praise your good qualities.
Taken from the Sigalovada Sutta
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