ASSOCIATING WITH ADVANCED DEVOTEES
The importance of discussing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the society of pure devotees was explained by Śaunaka Muni during the meeting at Naimiṣāraṇya, in the presence of Sūta Gosvāmī. Sūta Gosvāmī confirmed that if someone is fortunate enough to associate with a pure devotee of the Lord even for a moment, that particular moment is so valuable that even those pious activities that can promote one to the heavenly planets or give liberation from material miseries cannot compare to it. In other words, those who are attached to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam do not care for any kind of benefit derived from elevation to the higher planetary kingdoms, or for the liberation which is conceived of by the impersonalists. As such, the association of pure devotees is so transcendentally valuable that no kind of material happiness can compare to it.
In the Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya there is a conversation between Prahlāda Mahārāja and his father, Hiraṇyakaśipu, in which Hiraṇyakaśipu addresses Prahlāda in this way: “My dear son, association is very important. It acts just like a crystal stone, which will reflect anything which is put before it.” Similarly, if we associate with the flowerlike devotees of the Lord, and if our hearts are crystal clear, then certainly the same action will be there. Another example given in this connection is that if a man is potent and if a woman is not diseased, then by their conjugation there will be conception. In the same way, if the recipient of spiritual knowledge and the deliverer of spiritual knowledge are sincere and bona fide, there will be good results.
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