One has to make association with devotees. Satam prasangad mama virya-samvido. One can understand about God only in association of devotees. Therefore we are advocating this Krsna consciousness movement, society. By associating and rendering service to the Vaisnavas and hearing the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-bhagavatam as well as chanting Hare Krishna, your life will become perfect.
Association in Krishna consciousness
You should try to become strong in Krsna consciousness. The first thing is to chant 16 rounds minimum on the beads and it is best to do this in the association of others who also desire to progress in spiritual life. So you should try to remain at one of our temples; that will help you. You should also read my books very carefully and you should render service. Tad viddhi pranipatena/ pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. Service must be there. So you have to find out some service that you can render. Then your progress will be very quick
The first point is that one must seek the association of persons who are Krsna conscious and who engage in devotional service. Without such association one cannot make advancement. Simply by theoretical knowledge or study one cannot make any appreciable advancement. One must give up the association of materialistic persons and seek the association of devotees because without the association of devotees one cannot understand the activities of the Lord. Generally, people are convinced of the impersonal feature of the Absolute Truth. Because they do not associate with devotees, they cannot understand that the Absolute Truth can be a person and have personal activities.
To understand the personal activities of the Lord, one has to seek the association of devotees, and by such association, when one contemplates and tries to understand the transcendental activities of the Lord, the path to liberation is open, and he is freed. One who has firm faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes fixed, and his attraction for association with the Lord and the devotees increases. Association with devotees means association with the Lord. The devotee who makes this association develops the consciousness for rendering service to the Lord, and then, being situated in the transcendental position of devotional service, he gradually becomes perfect.
If one is in good association he can develop the mode of goodness, and if in bad association he may develop the mode of darkness or ignorance. Nothing is stereotyped. One can change his habit by good or bad association, and one has to become intelligent enough to discriminate between good and bad. The best association is the service of the devotees of the Lord, and by that association one can become the highest qualified man by the grace of the Lord's pure devotees. As we have already seen in the life of Srila Narada Muni, he became the topmost devotee of the Lord simply by the association of pure devotees of the Lord. By birth he was the son of a maidservant and had no knowledge of his father and no academic education, even of the lowest status. But simply by associating with the devotees and by eating the remnants of their foodstuff, he gradually developed the transcendental qualities of the devotees. By such association, his taste for chanting and hearing the transcendental glories of the Lord became prominent, and because the glories of the Lord are nondifferent from the Lord, he got direct association with the Lord by means of sound representation. Similarly, there is the life of Ajamila (Sixth Canto), who was the son of a brahmana and was educated and trained properly in the discharge of the duties of a brahmana, but who in spite of all this, because he contacted the bad association of a prostitute, was put into the path of the lowest quality of candala, or the last position for a human being. Therefore the Bhagavatam always recommends the association of the mahat, or the great soul, for opening the gate of salvation.
To associate with persons engaged in lording it over the material world means to enter into the darkest region of hell. One should try to raise himself by the association of the great soul. That is the way of the perfection of life.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada
Dr Jagadeesh TG
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