Within our existence we work how many hours a day? We work for money eight-nine hours a day. How many hours on spending money? How many hours a day are we protecting our wealth and resources? What is the value of money. It cannot give you happiness, it cannot give you peace, it cannot save you from the repetition of birth, disease and death.
But association of saintly persons – that alone can bring you eternal peace and everlasting happiness and carry you across the ocean of birth , old age disease and death.
Do you know what Lord Jesus Christ said when he left this world? They were all sitting for dinner - it is called the last supper. Lord Jesus Christ got a bowl with scented water and went to each of his devotees to wash their feet. The first devotee Peter said,”My Lord Jesus I cannot allow you to do this. You are my master. You are the representative of God. How can I allow you to touch my dirty feet, what to speak of washing them? Lord Jesus Christ said, ” No, if I am your master, you must obey. I must show you by my example that I am the servant of the feet of all my devotees. If you want to be my servant you have to follow my path and be the servant of the feet of all my devotees.”
And then he washed each and everyone’s feet. As the water was going along their feet, they were thinking, “My God! This is the extent to which my Guru (spiritual master) wants me to be the servant of the devotees.” After he finished the feet washing ceremony, he said, “I have one last commandment to give all of you – To love one another as I love you. You must see how much I love each one of you. If you want to be my servant you must love one another.”
This is what it means to associate with devotees, we develop that loving atmosphere amongst us – The atmosphere of love and trust, the atmosphere of seeking out the nectar from each devotee.
However, if one is not striving to improve and go forward, the current of this world will force one to go backward…like swimming in a river—upstream. So, association of people who are striving to be determined helps us to become determined and inspires us to live a life in the spirit of service.
- His Holiness Radhanath Swami