Keep Good Association

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
speaking online to devotees in Colombia
22 September 2019, Kolkata, part 1

 

It is very nice to meet you all, I am very happy and very grateful to see you all.

Devotees: How are you? Is everything ok?

Yes, I am ok, I am always ok. I want to be a devotee, that is only my desire. I want to be a servant of devotees, and I am always at your service.

অপি চেৎ সুদুরাচারো ভজতে মামনন্যভাক্ ।
সাধুরেব স মন্তব্যঃ সম্যগ্ব্যবসিতো হি সঃ ॥

api chet suduracharo, bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah, samyag vyavasito hi sah

"If even a very sinful person serves Me exclusively with devotion, he should be regarded as saintly, for his resolve is perfect."

ক্ষিপ্রং ভবতি ধর্ম্মাত্মা শশ্বচ্ছান্তিং নিগচ্ছতি ।
কৌন্তেয় প্রতিজানীহি ন মে ভক্তঃ প্রণশ্যতি ॥

ksipram bhavati dharmatma, sasvach-chhantim nigachchhati
kaunteya pratijanihi, na me bhaktah pranasyati

[1] "He swiftly becomes a person of virtuous practices and attains constant peace. O son of Kunti, declare to the world that My devotee is never vanquished!"
[2] "O son of Kunti, declare to the world that My devotee is never vanquished. One who declares this swiftly becomes virtuous and attains eternal joy."

(Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 9.30-31)

Actually, if a very fallen soul, a very low-cast person, who has done so many bad things previously, can surrender to the Lord, Krishna removes all his offences and accepts his service.

You must always keep good association. Even if somebody is doing pious activity or any good works—if they are not a devotee, always avoid their association. On the other hand,

ক্তেন ভক্তিযোগেন ভজতো মাসকৃন্মুনেঃ ।
কামা হৃদয্যা নশ্যন্তি সর্ব্বে ময়ি হৃদি স্থিতে ॥

proktena bhakti-yogena bhajato masakrn muneh
kama hrdayya nasyanti sarve mayi hrdi sthite

"When an intelligent person engages constantly in worshiping Me through loving devotional service as described by Me, his heart becomes firmly situated in Me. Thus all material desires within the heart are destroyed."

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.20.29)

Somebody can be a great sinner, somebody may be doing some wrongful works but if this person is a devotee, you can accept their association.

Moreover, Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu composed Sri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu and there he writes a very good sloka about it,

বরং হুতবহজ্বালা-পঞ্জরান্তর্ব্যবস্থিতিঃ ।
ন শৌরিচিন্তাবিমুখজনসম্বাস বৈশসম্ ॥

baram hutavaha-jvala, panjarantar-vyavasthitih
na sauri-chinta-vimukha, jana-samvasa-vaisasam

"One should endure the pain of being locked in a cage surrounded by blazing fire, rather than keep the distressing association of persons averse to Krishna consciousness."

What is the meaning of this sloka? If somebody ties you up with a rope and throws you into fire, you can tolerate this, but the association of a non-devotee is much more harmful to your life than that—such association is unbearable.

 

 

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Poison-Free Service
'You do Vaishnav seva and become proud, 'I am spending money', 'I am doing this', 'I am doing that'—this kind of mentality can come, but our mood should be, 'I am not doing anything', 'I cannot do anything.''

 

Thakura vaisnava-gana
'O worshippable Vaisnavas, I offer you this prayer. I am very fallen and misbehaved. Destiny has immersed me in the fearsome ocean of material existence. Please grab me by the hair and pull me to the shore.'
ঠাকুর বৈষ্ণবগণ

If you do something wrong for your Guru's service, no problem; but we are doing
wrong, we are doing offence for our own enjoyment!

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