by Srila B.B. Tirtha Goswami Maharaja
Sree Sree Guru Gauranga Jayatah!
Association with bona fide devotees is essential to awaken the eternal nature of the real self to have the aptitude to worship the Supreme Lord. If any votary sincerely has the desire to get the company of a bona fide sadhu, he will get it by the grace of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is Omniscient, Omnipotent and gracious to all. He is residing in the hearts of all living beings in this world and He knows everything. Krishna says in the Gita, ‘na hi kalyana-krt kascid durgatim tata gacchati’- ‘A sincere soul will never be deceived.’ The Supreme Lord is equal to all and is completely impartial. It is not the fact that if a neophyte devotee externally remains in a great distant place he is unable to associate with bona fide sadhus. Mere proximity of the sadhu and direct physical contact with the sadhu will not give the actual benefit. When bugs are there in the bed of a bona fide sadhu and in direct contact with the sadhu, are they associating with the sadhu or sucking his blood? Exploitation of sadhu is not association of sadhu. Remaining at a distance, if anybody follows the instruction of a bona fide sadhu and practically acts upon those instructions, it will be considered actual association of the sadhu. As for example, Dhruva saw his gurudev once and got instruction from him only once, but his spiritual life was successful because he sincerely accepted the teachings of gurudev and acted upon the instructions.