Associating with Sādhus

March 29, 2022

Those who have direct darśana often risk a misunderstanding. The proverb “Too much familiarity breeds contempt” is proof of that. Though proximity to śrī guru and Vaiṣṇavas has not been forbidden because of this, the statement “vando muĩ sāvadhāna-mate—I worship śrī gurudeva with utmost caution” is a matter to be carefully pondered. So, it is necessary to carefully consider whether pratyakṣa (direct) or parokṣa (indirect) darśana is more beneficial. The words of sādhuguru, and śāstra provide the best evidence in this matter. Their discernments are applicable to everyone at all times. By indirect service, you have achieved the same result as performing direct service. Of this, there is no doubt. Do not let your mind be disturbed over this.

12/8/1971 (Letter 8)

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The unconditional mercy of sādhu and guru amounts to all the provisions the soul requires. … Simplicity of heart and freedom from offences enable one to appreciate the grace of Hari, guru, and Vaiṣṇavas.

7/4/1972 (Letter 11)

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When one reads spiritual texts on one’s own, often one does not attain the real result of hearing and reciting hari-kathā. That is why it remains imperative for one to hear the sounds issuing from the mouths of sādhu and guru. Only within a siddha (perfected) mantra is all potency manifest, and only that yields special results. Hence, there is more benefit and welfare contained within hari-kathā issuing from the mouths of the devotees [than from spiritual texts]. Dry skeptics who are bereft of sādhu-saṅga are incapable of appreciating the necessity and attracting potency of sādhu-saṅga.

 26/7/1972 (Letter 14)

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Studying and cultivating bhagavat-kathā under the guidance of a sādhu is real sādhu-saṅga.

 26/7/1972 (Letter 14)

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Sādhus and guru do not accept any of the kaniṣṭha’s mistakes or blunders. This is their magnanimity and kindness; everywhere, they are endowed with a vision of love and are established in the dharma of expecting no honour for themselves and giving honour to all others. Guru and Vaiṣṇavas are adoṣadaraśī (they see no faults). They are optimists. They do not have a pessimistic view, which makes them supremely empathic and equanimous.

12/11/1972 (Letter 15)

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You should take the opportunity to go to śrī maṭha often to listen to class and kīrtana. That will be of particular benefit to your sādhanabhajana. Direct sādhusaṅga is so much rarer than sādhusaṅga in the form of sacred grantha texts, and it gives greater results.

26/6/1975 (Letter 26)

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Sādhus are committed to helping others. They sacrifice their lives for the benefit of the living entities and they feel the pain of others. To sever the doubts of others and dispel ignorance is their special duty and lifelong vow. Therefore, despite being tormented by arrow-like questions of those with tender faith, they resolve all questions in a calm and steady manner, thinking only of the welfare of the living entities’ souls. By taking shelter of the worshipful feet of such exalted personalities, all of the jīva’s inauspiciousness is dispelled. This is a fact. Because they are merciful, they bestow qualification even upon one who is unqualified. This is why they are mahāmahāvadānya (greatly, greatly magnanimous). 

23/7/1976 (letter 33)

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Cultivation of śrī nāma and bhagavat-kathā in the association of sādhus is true solitude; that is the only thing I yearn for.

21/11/1977 (Letter 43)

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Without the mercy of sādhu and guru, the restless mind cannot be tamed.

17/2/1979 (Letter 50)

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You wrote that your place there is devoid of satsaṅga. The transcendental books are your sādhusaṅga, which is unseen but true (parokṣa), so why have you written that there is an absence of satsaṅga in your region? For those who have obtained the causeless mercy of sādhuguru, and Vaiṣṇavas, why would there be a dearth of sādhusaṅga? The injunction has been given in the scriptures to remember Śrī Hari, guru, and Vaiṣṇavas while residing in distant lands.

28/3/1984 (Letter 69)