(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Radhadesh, Belgium, January 2012) Lecture: SB 5.18.9
It is explained that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu mentions to Sanatana Goswami that an important principle in devotional service is to give up the association of non-devotees. He classifies the non-devotees as:
“Stri-sangi and asadhu.”
Srila Prabhupada translates ‘Stri-sangi’ as a woman hunter, and the other one is a non-devotee. Okay, the non-devotee is obvious because he brings with him so many bad habits, which maybe contaminating, but also with the other category, even the woman hunter is also to be avoided! That’s interesting. So one who is addicted to illicit sex – also a not good association in spiritual life. Of course, a vaisnava will certainly respect such as vaisnava, but we cannot get so close, because one develops desires, according to association, and that is important!
Rupa Goswami says:
jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam’, Madhya 19.167)
One must be free from all the other desires – desires for sense gratification, or desires for liberation:
śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā’, (Madhya 19.167)
One must then serve the Lord in a favourable way, and cultivate Krishna Consciousness, by constantly associating with favourable influences, and that is sadhu-sangha.
So with sadhu-sangha, it takes some endeavour to create that kind of an atmosphere. A sadhu is never alone and is always with Krishna! And with every point in time, a sadhu realises that the most important person present particularly in this situation is Krishna! But there are so many situations that are coming about:
‘Have you heard? A big thing is going on!’
‘Fine, lets deal with it. Somehow or other we will have to!’
When it’s a big thing and it begins to affect our life, then we have to deal with it, but whatever it maybe, Krishna is the most important person in that entire situation, and the relationship we have with Him comes first, before any other relationship (with any other person, with any other situation, or anything in this world).
So even when your mother just died – I know it’s a big thing, but bigger still is the relationship we have with Krishna! A sadhu has to cultivate that consciousness, and ultimately so do every devotees (it doesn’t matter what our external role is) all of us (according to our karma) have been assigned a particular role – a particular body in a particular place….a particular destiny in our life and within that destiny we have our minute independence, by which we can choose for Krishna, or not, and that choice we have to decide, to somehow or other make a spiritual life.