Auspicious – definition: promising success, favorable; fortunate, prosperous
Companion – definition: one that keeps company with another; one that accompanies another; one that is closely connected with something similar
For Buddhists, the Sangha are spiritual friends, and their importance is explained in the Upaddha Sutta.
“Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, ‘This is half of the holy life, Lord – admirable friendship.’ The Buddha replied, ‘Don’t say that… Admirable friendship is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk [or anyone else] has admirable people as friends… he can be expected to develop and pursue the Noble Eightfold Path. …
And through this line of reasoning one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life: It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth have gained release from birth, that beings subject to aging have gained release from aging, that beings subject to death have gained release from death, that beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair have gained release from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life.”
The Sangha will be meeting as part of the Dalai Lama Foundation Study Circle Montreal on a biweekly basis beginning Thursday March 12th.