You must be careful about the quality of the company. Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya (2.13) explains the reasons:
yasya yat sangatih pumso
manivat syat sa tad gunah
svakularddhyai tato dhiman
svayuthany eva samsrayet
Just as the qualities of an object reflect in a crystal, you take on the qualities of the person with whom you associate. A wise person, therefore, takes refuge in those sadhus who are very advanced, loving and learn to behave in the same way.
One must carefully follow the path traced by the mahajanas, as described in the Skanda Purana:
sa mrgyah sreyasam hetuh
yena santah pratasthire
Strictly follow the path adopted by the previous Mahajanas. That way grants great blessings and is devoid of any suffering.
The path indicated by the Vedas is that of true Bhakti. As the Brahma-yamala states:
aikantiki harer bhaktir
Devotional service to the Lord ignoring authorized Vedic literature such as the Upanisads, Puranas, Narada-pancaratra, etc. is simply a disturbance to society.
Simply by following the path traced by the mahajanas one can advance in the spiritual life. He who acts according to his own ideas will face trouble and ruin. If you do not make efforts to free yourself from the anarthas, you will face misfortune because you become unable to receive the mercy of the holy name and without it, no matter how hard you try, you cannot remove the anarthas. However, by sincerely weeping at the lotus feet of the holy name, the anarthas vanish within a few days. After abandoning them, one must fully engage in listening and chanting, taking complete refuge in the holy name.
This is a section of the book “Bhajana Rahasya”, by Bhaktivinode Thakura.
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