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Good Association: Root of Devotion

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Evening class, part 1
14 October 2013


You are very fortunate because you have got association of the sadhu, Guru, Vaishnavs here, you have been doing some sravan, kirtan.

সাধুসঙ্গ, নামকীর্ত্তন, ভাগবতশ্রবণ ।
মথুরাবাস, শ্রীমূর্ত্তির শ্রদ্ধায় সেবন ॥

sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana
mathura-vasa, sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana

"One should associate with devotees, chant the Holy Name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 22.124)

This is the root of Krishna bhakti (devotion to Krishna).

Good association (sadhu-sanga) always brings good activities, always brings good and fresh mind. There is a story about two birds in Srimad Bhagavatam, Gurudev also told it in a simpler way, a story how good association can change one.

There were two brothers who lived together, they had two birds. After some time, the brothers moved to separate houses and the birds were separated—one brother took one bird, and the other brother took the other bird. Once, a sadhu was passing the house of the first brother, the bird saw him and cried, "Get out of here!" The sadhu was surprised and went away. Soon he came to the house of the second brother, there the other bird said, "A sadhu has come to your house! Please sit down! Is anyone at home? Give him some asan (seat)!" The bird showed respect and honour for the sadhu.

What happened? Why did the character of the birds become different? Because the first bird did not get good association—that brother was not good, so the bird also became not good; but the other brother was good, and his bird got good association from him. Association can change one's mind—through good association your mind will become clean, you will become soft-hearted.

You can also look at the rain water—yesterday there was so much rain and all the water flowed into Govinda Kunda, and all the drain water merged with the water of Govinda Kunda and became pure. The same is true when all the water goes into the Ganges. People pollute the Ganges—they throw so many things into her. For example, it was Durga puja recently, and people threw the murtis covered with paint and dye into the Ganges. They throw so many things into the Ganga, but Ganga Devi never becomes impure—she is always pure. We always take the water from the Ganga for the worship of the Lord.

Through sadhu-sanga (good association) one can become a good sadhu. A sadhu, a Guru can do anything—they can even turn a bad person into a good person, into a good devotee.

You heard also that when Sanatan Goswami was going to Vrindavan, some dacoits stopped him on the way to rob him. Sanatan Goswami had a servitor who was carrying some money, gold coins, with him, that is why the dacoits caught them. When Sanatan Goswami understood it, he asked his servitor, "Ishan, how many coins do you have?" He said he had seven coins. Sanatan Goswami immediately went to the dacoits and wanted to give those coins to them, but by that time the dacoits did not want to take it! Under the influence of Sanatan Goswami's association (sadhu-sanga), seeing his activities, the dacoits' minds had become good. At first they refused to take the coins, but then Sanatan Goswami forcefully gave it to them saying, "If you do not take this money, some other dacoits can catch us on the way and kill us for these things. So, take it all, take all these gold coins!"

Visaya (mundane things) is poison, do not be so much attached with such things....


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Chastity Is Not Lip-Deep
'My word is very heavy, but I have to say it..' Who can appreciate chastisement coming from the lotus mouth of Sri Gurudev? Fortunate is the soul who hears such chastisement, and even more fortunate is the soul who digests it.


Jaya jaya gurudever
'All glory to the mine of joy, Sri Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami, who is the crown-jewel of Gurus!'
জয় জয় গুরুদেবের

If you have this kind of strong desire, mercy will come. It is necessary to have such
permanent, unflinching desire for service, for chanting or anything else.