How to choose a right devotee to associate with in your surroundings?
A Girl devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare krishna anna. I join your page in 2012. I am now addicted to your posts. I cant spend a day without your posts. You also did not upset me. I want to associate with you in person in practicing devotion. But, I am in U.P what to do I donot know. Where can I get a selfless devotee like you to associate. How can I find a trustworthy devotee to guide out of 100’s of devotees near me? Please help me”
See, I am just a last bench Servant to Krishna. Though Krishna has given some skills to me, I never consider them as my skills, but, the tools of Krishna and He is using me in His service. That is why, Krishna has allowed me to guide all of you online for more than a decade.
I am seriously unable to spare time for direct association because we have lakhs of followers and I have no assistants even to regulate the visiting group of devotees. So, if I allow direct association, I will end up in tension as I may have to satisfy so many devotees every day and everyone will like to get priority treatment from me that is definitely not possible.
(VAISNAVA ASSOCIATION – STORY – READ HERE!)
Since I am giving vani association online, anyone can take me as a guide and take my association. There is no difference between a person and his thoughts and writings. So, if you follow my writings, that means, you are getting my direct blessings/ wishes to come up in devotion. I am writing every single word of our posts from my heart even when I am not physically or mentally well. That much of sincerity I am maintaining in my service. I need to continue atleast this existing mode of service properly for our devotees.
In my family circle, no one is interested in dedicating their whole life for Krishna as done by me, as others are materially successful. Whereas, I am spiritually growing, but not materially. This is the game of Krishna. But, I am happier than all others internally. When I get a good assistant and a separate good place with dining and rest room to meet the devotees daily, I will think of giving direct association. If any devotee can do anything in this mission, he can help me. I should not struggle without hands and get bad name by not treating the visiting devotees properly. My rented house is miserably old, simple and not modern (No A.C) to accommodate all. I have some sanyasi mindset and can adjust with anything, but, I can not expect others too will take it so.
My only wealth is these fortunate devotees! Since Krishna has blessed me with lakhs of well wishers, I need to plan well before doing anything. I will never develop a big set up as vedic scriptures do not permit it. A devotee should not manage a set up as he will spend his time in administration rather thaan devotional development. But, I need a small place to meet the devotees who like to meet me.
Let us hope that Krishna will do something for us to have a right devotee to associate with.
(ASSOCIATION MAKES A PERSON – STORY – READ HERE!)
Ok, Let us now come to your another query how to choose a right devotee to associate with in your surroundings:
To choose a right devotee to associate with may be difficult because every man develops ego thinking that they are perfect.
Do not associate with anyone who says that he is close to God or he is a pure devotee or he is a great devotee, like that.
He may have some hidden motive, ie, developing his own image using your association.
A good (Let us not expect pure devotee as all are sadhakas in our temples generally) devotee will never say that he is a good devotee.
Others should say so, not he himself.
He may advertise his achievements to motivate others, but, he will not treat himself as a pure devotee.
In this material world, the number of Pure devotees will be very less. So, choosing a right devotee to associate with is really a tough job.
The bitter fact is that No one in this material world is perfect.
(I don’t have the association of devotees. Can’t I chant and love Krishna? READ HERE!)
Because Every conditioned soul (understand as human) have four defects:
(1) HE WILL DEFINITELY COMMIT MISTAKES:
So, no one can say that he never committed any mistakes. That is, no one can claim that he is always acting right. If anyone says so, he is a liar. Avoid him.
(2) HE IS INVARIABLY ILLUSIONED:
That is why, every man considers good as bad, bad as good. He is unable to take right decisions because his intelligence is screened by maya. He will insult those who are genuinely helping him, but, he will praise those who are pretending to be good. So, more disappointment in his life.
(3) HE HAS THE TENDENCY TO CHEAT OTHERS:
He He… I am advising in many places that Believe Others 99%, but, be 1% cautious, because, when chance comes, everyone has a tendency to cheat when an opportunity comes. There can be only a few exemptions. I have experienced this. For example, when the people are getting into the city bus or train, the healthy youth would rush into the bus and occupy all the seats. But, the elderly persons who are unable to move fast will come last and travel standing in the bus/ train. Why don’t the youth allow the elders first and then enter afterwards?
Because, they have natural selfish attitude and this selfishness will lead to the cheating tendency. That is why, I am advising the girls to never remain alone with any male though they are your close relatives or friends. It is risky and anything may happen in privacy because everyone has the tendency to cheat.
(15 Tips to follow the right way of maintaining the association of devotees! READ HERE! )
(4) HE IS LIMITED BY IMPERFECT SENSES:
Cent percent correct. Our ears can not hear beyond certain decibels of sound. Our eyes can not see far away or too near objects. Our brain can not store too much of feeds at the same time. One can not eat beyond a limit. One can not cry beyond a limit.
So, all the senses are limited and imperfect.
Having this much of deficiencies, if anyone says that he is a pure or perfect devotee, understand that he is a bluff.
Why should a devotee develop ego and claim himself a big devotee? Why should a devotee likes to control others? Why should a devotee torture others?
Why can’t a devotee love all others irrespective of their status?
Ok, how can you decide that a devotee is good to associate with locally?
If a person has these symptoms, he can be trusted to associate with:
(1) He is mostly silent and he does not talk anything except that of Krishna, His devotees and Gods-creations.
(How to deal with the Material Attachment, Detachment & Devotee Association? READ HERE!)
(2) He performs any works as a service to Krishna, and he never acts for his own material benefits.
(3) He does not get attached to material affairs and he is always in the thoughts or services of Lord.
(4) He does not add wealth to himself and he is always very simple and does not use unnecessary belongings. Though he collects money for serving the Lord in temples, he remains un-attached with that money. And, he does not advertise himself for his own publicity.
(5) He maintains distance from women and he never discusses with women privately.
(6) He has regulated the agitations of mind and senses such as tongue, eyes, ears, speech, genitals, etc that is visible in his approach with you and others.
(7) He always see everything around him with mercy and he does not hate anything/ anyone because he sees Lord in everything and everone.
(8) He follows utmost discipline and he stands as an example for others to follow.
(I am unable to have association with my friends from other religions? What to do? READ HERE!)
(9) He does not lie, cheat and retaliate others. He is always forgiving even offenders.
Thus there can be many considerations to closely associate with a devotee. Only a few devotees are like that now a days. Most of the devotees are now practicing Krishna Bhakti and at the same time are fighting with their senses.
So, choose the best fitting devotee with the above symptoms and get his/ her guidance. If that devotee is of same gender, that is fine and comfortable.
Till you get such an associate, be happy with the online association with the devotees through our media. Our media will never teach or guide you wrong path and you are absolutely safe here.
Hope you are now clear about getting a right devotee to associate with in your surroundings.
(Devotees Practicing alone or in Association – which is good for them? READ HERE!)