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Good Association:
Life Force of Devotees

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
7 August 2002


Good association is necessary, it is essential for our practising life. Good association will give life to us. Chaitanya-charitamrita says,

'সাধুসঙ্গ', 'সাধুসঙ্গ'—সর্ব্বশাস্ত্রে কয় ।
লবমাত্র সাধুসঙ্গে সর্ব্বসিদ্ধি হয় ॥

'sadhu-sanga', 'sadhu-sanga'—sarva sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu sange sarva siddhi haya

"Good association", "good association," all the scriptures keep saying. Only by good association can you get all perfection.

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, 2.22.54)

If you get good association, then there will be no problem in your practising life. Srila Guru Maharaj one day gave a lecture about one story from Srimad Bhagavatam. I can tell it to you now, maybe you already know this story.

One rishi went house to house begging, and he saw a bird in one of the houses.

(You know in some houses they keep birds, they serve birds, and if you teach the bird, the bird can talk also—the bird can say, "Hare Krishna!" or, "Please sit down", etc. Once I went to preach in some village, a Western devotee was with me there. I went to a house, and a man's voice said to me, "Please sit down, please sit down!" I thought, "Nobody is there, who is saying it?" Then I saw there was a bird, and it was saying, "Please, a sadhu (saint) has come, a devotees has come, please give some prasadam!" I was surprised.)

So, one rishi came to that house and the bird said, "Why have you come here? Please get out, get out!" He went to another house and saw there was the same kind of bird in that house, but the bird said, "Please sit down, please sit down!" The sadhu then asked Narad, "Why is it that the bird is the same, but this bird says, 'Get out!' and that bird says, 'Sit down!'?" Narad explained, "Both these birds came from the same place, they lived with two brothers, but one man is good, and the one man is bad. One bird got good association from the good brother and the other bird got bad association from the bad brother."

So, if you are in bad association, if you stay with a bad man, then even if you are a good man, you will become bad too. That is why the sastras say that good association is necessary for your practising life. Also it is necessary to fully surrender to the Lord and your Gurudev.

When we get the second initiation (diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpan, দীক্ষাকালে ভক্ত করে আত্মসমর্পণ), we say, "I am fully surrendering to my Gurudev," but it is not so easy. It is very difficult.

You probably know this story from Sri Mahabharat. You know there were Pancha Pandava, the five brothers—Yudhisthir, Bhim, Arjun, Nakul, and Sahadev, and you know Draupadi was their wife. You see, one day Draupadi asked Krishna, "Why when Duryodhan's group dragged me out of my house by my hair and were beating me did You not help me?" Krishna laughed and said to her, "Did you remember Me at that time? You never did!" At that time she only thought, "I am alone, and they are beating me! Nobody is at home now, but if my husbands were here, then nobody would beat me! I have five husbands!" Then, when Duryodhan Maharaj was beating Draupadi in front of her husbands, they started taking her clothes off. She thought, "I can protect myself!" and tried to hold her clothes. Then, she held her clothes with one hand, and called Krishna with the other hand. Finally, when almost all clothes were taken off, she cried to Krishna with both hands, "Krishna, please help me!" At that time her clothes extended and they could not find the end of them.

So, Krishna says, "When you fully surrender to Me, then I will help you. If you do not surrender fully—if you surrender 50%, you will get 50%, if you do 25% surrender, you will get 25%. But if you surrender fully, then you will get your goal. It is necessary to surrender fully...


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Ei-Bara Karuna Kara
Vaisnava Gosani
'O worshippable Vaishnava, be merciful to me this time. O saviour of the fallen, without you there is no one. If one comes to you, one's sins go away. Where can such a merciful master be found?'


Ki-rupe paiba seva
'Maya, this witch, has put a noose round my neck, and, becoming blind and forgetting myself in the pleasures of the material world, I pass day and night.'
কিরূপে পাইব সেবা

You must understand that if you want to make others happy, you must follow the proper conception.