Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur

Summary: A question is often raised by householders Vaishnavas - How do I avoid the contaminations of bad association I find in the work place? Here Bhakti Vinode Thakur details some principles that are to be applied for all ashrams. His explanation centers on making a clear distinction between love and duty. While the prohibition side is there (intimacy with non-Vaishnavas should be strictly avoided), the opposite is implied, i.e. That exchanges with devotees should be done with love, with deep caring for the Vaishnava who we are serving. Without this dimension of love and genuine caring, there will be no real association, and thus no transformation within the character of the individual.

Reading Assignment

Association

Saintly association is of prime importance!

Summary: In all ages, the singular importance of saintly association is ALWAYS stressed, and is highly effective, in fact essential, in bringing relief from the awful symptoms of degradation within the modes of nature.

Reading Assignment

a) QUALITIES OF THE AGE OF KALI (Purport to S.B. 1.16.21, Srila Prabhupada)

One's mind is contaminated eating food prepared by materialistic men

Summary: Here is some valuable instruction from Caitanya caritamrta and from Hari Sauri's diary (written while serving as Srila Prabhupada's servant) on the risk of accepting food cooked by non-devotees, even vegetarian! Combine these instructions with the Kellogg's research I sent out recently...why risk taking unknown things?

Reading Assignment

a) Caitanya Caritamrta Antya 6.278

TRANSLATION When one eats food offered by a materialistic man, one's mind becomes contaminated, and when the mind is contaminated, one is unable to think of Krsna properly.

haridas thakur.JPG
November 19, 2006

Below you will find an interesting exchange with Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada, when questioned about the effects of vaisnava association upon non-devotees, and in general on the apparent relationship between "Devotees and Karma". Very interesting!

Reading Assignment a) by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada

Question: When a devotee is born in a family, does that family benefit from his or her birth?

Association
March 1, 2009

The principle of association is what determines elevation or degredation of character and consciousnes. "We take on the qualities of those with whom we associate", Srila Prabhupada often taught us. This is confirmed by Rupa Goswami in his Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. We should *very carefully* select our association. And we should meticulously seek quality exchanges with those provide good association for us. For those who we become well-wishers of, but who may be victims of Kali yuga's influence in various way, the very best benefit we can offer them is to become good association for them -- by the grace and mercy of those more elevated than ourselves. Below are direct quotes from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu on this topic.

Reading Assignment

Duryodhan's malice towards Vidura
January 5, 2012

Reading Assignment: Krishna's Peace Mission
Mahabharata by Krishna Dharma

Scene: Krishna has arrived in Hastinapur, on a mission to offer peace to the Kurus.

After consoling Queen Kunti, Krishna went to the palace of Duryodhana. Duryodhana came down from his elevated seat and welcomed Krishna warmly. He showed him to a large throne covered with exquisite silk carpet and soft white cushions. When Krishna was seated, the Kuru prince personally worshipped him and offered him the traditional gift of a cow. His brothers, along with the other Kings, also came and worshipped Krishna.