Dhruva Maharaja's Prayer
Dhruva Mahārāja continued: O unlimited Lord, kindly bless me so that I may associate with great devotees who engage in Your transcendental loving service constantly, as the waves of a river constantly flow. Such transcendental devotees are completely situated in an uncontaminated state of life. By the process of devotional service I shall surely be able to cross the nescient ocean of material existence, which is filled with the waves of blazing, firelike dangers. It will be very easy for me, for I am becoming mad to hear about Your transcendental qualities and pastimes, which are eternally existent.
So sat-saṅga means spiritual association.
Lecture on BG 2.11 -- London, August 17, 1973: When there is actually sat-sanga. Sat-sanga means this talking of Kṛṣṇa, hearing about Kṛṣṇa. When there is, there is no business. Not like a rented reciter or a paid reciter who is earning money by reciting. No, no. Not to hear from him. Actually, he's self-realized, who is working for the Lord, from satām. Satām means devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅga. Therefore is called satsaṅga. Satsaṅga means the association of the devotees. Sat means devotee. Sat means God. Oṁ tat sat. Or everything is asat. Asat means temporary. This material world is temporary. And sat means spiritual. So sat-saṅga means spiritual association. Sat-saṅgān mukta-duḥ-saṅgaḥ. The more you associate with sat, with devotees, then you become, more you become liberated. Sat-saṅgān mukta-duḥ-saṅgaḥ. Duḥ-saṅga. We are in the material world, we are simply in association, bad association, duḥ-saṅga. So if we want to get rid of this bad association, we must associate with the devotees. Sat-sangat mukta duhsanga.
Material means when the consciousness is not Kṛṣṇa.
Lecture on SB 6.1.27-34 -- Surat, December 17, 1970:
Prabhupāda: Material means when the consciousness is not Kṛṣṇa. That is material. The same example, that iron rod, if kept to the fire, gradually it becomes warm, warmer, and at last it becomes red. When it is red, it is no longer iron; it is fire. Similarly, by spiritual association, your body gradually becomes spiritualized. And at the perfection stage, there is no more material activities, simply the activities of the fire.
The Value Of Sadhu Sanga.
Inner Fufillment. Srila Sridhar Maharaja, 5.0.
“Imperceptibly, many, many years pass uselessly in the life of a person intoxicated by mundane pleasures. Better if only for a moment he realises that he is losing valuable time, for he may thus become serious to attain his eternal benefit.” Here, Sukadev Goswami says that one moment is sufficient to solve the whole problem of life, if it is properly utilised in sadhu-sanga. At all costs, try to utilise the opportunity of sadhu-sanga, the association of the agent of Krsna. What is the necessity of living for ages and ages if we are unconscious of our own interest? One moment properly utilised is sufficient to solve the whole problem of our life, for which we are eternally wandering about this plane. We must be wakeful to our personal interest, not negligent.
Association With Topics Of The Lord
Loving Search For The Lost Servant. Srila Sridhar Maharaja.
"Hatefully rejecting any attempt in the intellectual line, we must nurture a submissive spirit within ourselves and try to live our lives in association with topics about the Lord. Of course, this does not mean any topics about the Lord; they must come from a genuine source. And it does not matter what position we hold at present. Whoever wholeheartedly attends to the teachings of His divine agents by thought, word, and deed, can conquer Him who is otherwise invincible." This is the path of realization recommended by the Srimad- Bhagavatam, which condemns the path of intellectual attainment.
Vaisnava is Higher than Sastra
Follow The Angels by Srila Sridhar Gosvami
Practically, we should come in connection with the service of a Vaisnava. But where, whom to serve? I can't come directly in connection with Him. Who can I serve? The Deity form of the Lord, the vigraha is there, the sastra is there—but in a sense these are superficial. The real substance we find in a Vaisnava, in his heart. Dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam. The Krsna conception, Krsna as He is, knowledge and love, we find living in the heart of a Vaisnava who directs all activities towards Him, towards His service.
Faith in the devotees, the Vaisnavas, grants us the most substantial help. Such a position is not flickering, but firm. One who has faith in the Vaisnavas achieves devotion of a tangible character. Otherwise, with only abstract faith in the Lord, without faith in the devotees, we are but beginners in the stage of kanistha-adhikari. This is an unreliable platform. Our devotion reaches a reliable standard when we can develop faith in the devotees, and recognize their importance. The devotees are above even sastra, the scriptures. The tangible stage when our real faith in them develops is the middle stage, madhyama- adhikari.
In the Vaisnava, the truth is animated more than in the vigraha [Deity], the tirtha [holy place of pilgrimage], or the sastra [scripture]. We find a direct connection with Krsna in the consciousness of a Vaisnava. We find that which is regulating all his activities and withdrawing him from worldly attraction, guiding him towards some unknown and most desirable direction. He is moving towards that direction. The Lord is making him move in a particular direction that cannot be traced by any loss or gain of this world. What is that thing? "I am there. I am not even in Vaikuntha, nor in the hearts of the yogis. But where my devotees are singing with pleasure about me, I am there." [Mac citta mad gata prana bodhayantah parasparam kathayantas ca mam nityam tusyanti ca ramanti ca.] "The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me." (Gita 10.9)
Necessity of a Real Agent
Follow The Angels by Srila Sridhar Maharaja
A real agent of Krsna is necessary to save us, and also to help others. Hegel, the German philosopher, said that the idea is first, then the movements of the mind and body follow. His philosophy is called Ideal Realism. First we conceive of doing something, and then the movements of the mind and the body begin, so the idea leads us. The idea is all-important. Whatever idea we may follow, then the mind, the body, everything will follow.
Divya darsana, divanbhuti, a divine arrangement must be made, and we must have the help of the sadhus, the saints, who are His bonafide agents. There may be many sham agents also-pseudo agents, sahajiya agents, imitationists. We must go to the real agent. And with his help, by his grace, we will gradually attain our end. Naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim, sprsaty anarthapagamayad arthah. Prahlada Maharaja said: So long as one's mind does not come in contact with the divine feet of the Lord, it is indispensable to get the help of His devotees, His agents, for the elimination of the undesirable elements within us.
Association With Sense Enjoyers
Heart And Halo by Srila Sridhar Maharaja
Association with those who are out-and-out sense enjoyers can never be so detrimental to one’s spiritual welfare as is the company of an impersonalist. If one man admits “I have no money,” and another, who really has no money, shows some counterfeit currency and claims “this is money,” then his condition is worse because he is engaged in falsehood. So to become a sahajiyå is worse. He is deceived, his attention is captured by, engrossed in, a wrong conception.