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84 -Renouncing Bad Association
1. Why doesn't one achieve any result even after performing thousands of acts of sadhana ?
If one is influenced by bad association, he can never achieve good results, even after performing thousands of acts of sddhana.
(Sajjana Tosanl 4/5)
2. What are a cheater's characteristics? Should devotees publicly expose them for the benefit of themselves and others?
Those averse to the association and conversation of Vaisnavas are cheaters. Although they wear their polluted devotional service to Visnu as an ornament, they have no desire to associate with devotees, and this is the cheater's chief symptom. One should test a disguised devotee by examining this symptom. People think that they should serve such pseudo Vaisnavas, but that is their mistake. There are many genuine Vaisnavas, and one should try to associate with and serve them. It is not that those who are intelligent, sincere, and pure remain indifferent to the affections of such so-called devotees, but they establish pure devotional service in this world by exposing such cheaters' deceit to the world. It is everyone's duty to associate with pure devotees who are expert in destroying deceit and thus begin to relish love of God. This is a well-known fact.
(Commentary on Bhajanamrtam)
3. Why is nondevotee association totally fit to be rejected?
People who have faith in fruitive rituals are not devotees. They are nondevotees. If anyone performs karma in order to achieve Krsna's mercy, then that karma is called bhakti. The karma that yields mundane results or mundane knowledge is averse to the Lord. Karmls do not search exclusively for Krsna's mercy. Although they respect Krsna, their main purpose is to attain some kind of happiness. Karma is nothing but selfishness. Therefore, karmls are called nondevotees.
Yogis sometimes search for liberation, the fruit of jnana, and sometimes for vibhutis, or opulence, the fruit of karma. Hence, they too are called nondevotees. Because they lack full surrender, those who worship the demigods are nondevotees too. Those who are attached to discussing dry logic are also averse to the Lord, what to speak of those who conclude that the Lord is only a figment of the imagination. Those who are attached to sense gratification and thus have no opportunity to remember the Lord are counted among the nondevotees as well. If one associates with these nondevotees, in a short time one's intelligence will be polluted and his heart overcome by their propensities. If anyone desires to attain pure devotional service, he should carefully renounce the association of nondevotees. (Sajjana Tosani 11/11)
4. Do the proud jnanis accept devotional service to Krsna?
Those who are not subordinate to the Lord are called nondevotees. The jnanis are never subordinate to the Lord. They think that they can become one with the Lord on the strength of
their knowledge. They think, "Jnana is the topmost object. The Lord cannot keep one who attains jnana under His control. The Lord became Supreme by the strength of jnana, and I too will become Supreme." Therefore, all their endeavors are aimed at becoming independent of the Lord. They also think that the Lord's power does not act on those who achieve liberation by merging with Him, which is attained by jnana. This is the attempt of the jndnis\ The jnanis and mundane scholars do not depend on the Lord's mercy. Rather, they try to achieve everything on the strength of their own knowledge and reasoning. They do not care for the Lord's mercy. Therefore, jnanis are nondevotees. Although some jnanis accept devotional service as their sadhana process, when they approach perfection in jnana, they discard it. (Sajjana Tosani 11/11)
5. What kind of guru is fit to be rejected?
When accepting a spiritual master, one should test whether he is expert in the science of transcendental sound vibration and Absolute Truth. Such a spiritual master is certainly capable of imparting instructions on all spiritual topics. Although an initiating spiritual master is not to be rejected, he can be rejected under two conditions: (1) If when the disciple accepted him, he did not test to see whether his spiritual master was a Vaisnava and fully conversant with the science of the absolute truth, and the disciple discovers that his guru is not such a Vaisnava, then such a spiritual master is no good for him and must be given up. There is much scriptural evidence for this. And (2) if a disciple accepted a spiritual master who was a Vaisnava and fully conversant with the science of the Absolute Truth, but due to bad association, that guru later became a Mayavadi or envious of Vaisnavas, he should be rejected.
(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 20)
6. Is an unauthorized spiritual master fit to be rejected?
One who does not know the path of attachment yet instructs others on this path, or who knows the path of attachment and instructs his disciples without considering their qualifications, is a bogus guru and must be rejected. (Sri Krsna Sarhhita 8/14)