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2-min read

Happy Friendship Day 2019: 5 Iconic Friends From Indian Mythology

Here's a look at history, diplomacy and mythology this friendship day.

Trending Desk

Updated:August 5, 2019, 7:27 AM IST
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Happy Friendship Day 2019: 5 Iconic Friends From Indian Mythology
Here's a look at history, diplomacy and mythology this friendship day.
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While the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as official International Friendship Day in 2011, some countries like India, celebrate the day dedicated to friendship on the first Sunday of August.

First coined by Joyce Hall in 1919, what started off as an meant for commercial gains and expansion of business propaganda of the gifting industry, was turned into a tradition by the United States Congress following the hostilities of World War I in 1935 and further found voice when the ‘World Friendship Crusade’ was founded in 1958 so as to promote harmony as ‘a culture of peace’, commemorating July 30 as friendship day. This year, India will celebrate Friendship Day on August 4.

However, the concept of friendship is nothing new. Tracing back years and centuries, even popular myths have told tales of immortal friends whose stories have survived the ravages of time and turned into legends and lessons for all and sundry.

Here’s a look at some of those mythical friendships:

Lord Krishna and Sudama:

One of the most famous friendships in Indian mythology, Krishna and Sudama's friendship transcended the boundaries of caste, creed or social status. Sudama was Lord Krishna's classmate and a very close friend. While Lord Krishna was a King, Sudama was an impoverished poor Brahmin. However, this difference did not come in the way of their true friendship.

Lord Rama and Sugriva:

According to Ramayana, the bond between Rama and Sugriva began while Lord Rama was looking for his beloved wife, Sita and it was Lord Hanuman that introduced the two of them. In fact, it was Lord Rama who helped Sugriva reclaim the throne of Kishkinda from his younger brother Vali by driving an arrow through Vali's heart.

Karna and Duryodhana:

Even though legends claim, Duryodhana befriended Karna, the illegitimate child of Kunti and the Sun God who was raised by Suta parents, for his own gains, their friendship did question the conventional mores of the time. At a time when Hastinapur was marred with realities of caste and discrimination, Duryodhan challenged conventions and norms by appointing Karna as the King of Anga amidst a battle between Arjuna and Karna.

Lord Krishna and Arjuna:

Perhaps the most celebrated friendship in Indian mythology, the verse between them at the battle field, as Lord Krishna explains to Arjun about life and death and how everything is predestined, forms the powerful narrative of Srimad Bhagvad Gita. Their relationship also elaborates that mentorship and friendship go hand in hand.

Lord Krishna and Draupadi:

Many trace back the tradition of rakshabandhan to the sakha-sakhi relationship shared between Lord Krishna and Krishnaa or Draupadi. Legends say that Krishna hurt his finger, when he threw the Sudarshan Chakra at Shishupal. Looking at this, Draupadi took a piece from her sari and tied it around Krishna’s finger to prevent it from bleeding. Touched by Draupadi's simple gesture, Krishna vowed to always protect her, a promise he kept when Draupadi was mercilessly disrobed at the royal court.

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