Importance of Association with a Saint
It is true that saints have not made conquests of territorial kingdoms, but they have obtained sovereignty over their own minds. Saints do not 'perform' miracles, nor can miracles be considered an identity mark of a saint. Miracles may, however, 'occur' at the hands of a saint. It is improper to slander or disrespect or test a saint. Wish ill to none; always wish well, do well, to others. There is no greater 'good' than nama; constant repetition of nama is as good as the company of saints; so,..too, good thoughts are equivalent to association with saints. Meditation, nama-smarana, contemplation, and good reading, these will, in due course, bring about association with saints.
To remain in association with a saint with the object of gaining a worldly objective is highly reprehensible. If a child presses the mother for a large dose of opium, will she indulge it ? No true mother ever will. Similarly, no true saint will ever encourage mundane desires. Not only does a saint not have love for worldly pleasures, he is immeasurably grieved if he finds such desires in the heart of a person who is his follower.
It is only the saints who have really comprehended the Ultimate Reality. A saint considers his mission in life really fulfilled if he meets a disciple who has a genuine desire to understand that Ultimate Truth. Through association with a saint we can achieve what other sadhana may fail to give. The saying of a person is comprehensive in influence, to the degree of his selflessness. Our talk is heeded with scant attention even by our own family members, but what a saint says is listened to with respect all over the world, because it is extremely sincere and selfless. The shruties are of eternal appeal because they are the words of the rishis uttered with the sole desire to do good to mankind.
To be contented with what God has thought fit to give us; to hate none, to envy nobody; to see everything as a manifestation of God; to be devoid of conceit; to be continuously in the remembrance of the Lord's name; and to feel sincerely respectful towards the saints, the sadguru and the God-fearing; these things comprise the highest spiritual practice.
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