Every spiritual seeker desire to exorcise insatiable worldly desires and so they desire the company of God’s messenger whose grace can help them to purify their life.
Scripture lauds the craving for great souls association and goes on to say that one can look for two types of association – “vapu” and “vani”. “Vapu” means associating physically and “vani” means associating with the words. Although “vapu” and “vani” both are important but “vani” i.e. associating with the teachings of revered saintly people is eulogized.
In fact learned men asseverate that if we associate with the wisdom words of worthy sages and live by it then we can make remarkable progress in our spiritual life. However if we merely want to stay closer to the holy men without imbibing their devotional virtues and without actualizing their sagely advice in our own life then such closeness won’t help us much.
Srila Prabhupada cautions those who just hanker for physical bonding, “Those who think that association with the spiritual master is physical, they are no better than a mosquito sitting on the lap of a king. And what is the business of a mosquito? Simply to suck blood.”
If we turn the pages of history then we will find that many of the spiritual stalwarts hardly had much opportunity to associate with their gurus and well – wishers. Our Srila Prabhupada met His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura at the most 5 or 6 times and the great sage Narada Muni associated with Vedantists only for few months. But the life transforming instructions which they received got ingrained in their heart which continued to guide them throughout their life; they never felt bereft of the love of their spiritual guide. Underlining the importance of “vani” Srila Prabhupada said that he will be always present with us through his books.
In fact we can always associate with the Supreme Lord Krishna, with Srila Prabhupada and with all the saintly people if we constantly contemplate on their teachings and dovetail all our activities accordingly. Krishna not just spoke Gita to Arjuna but through Arjuna he spoke to all of us. Arjuna after hearing Gita, said to Krishna, “am prepared to act according to Your instructions”, Gita 18.73. We can also say the same to Krishna and like Arjuna become Krishna’s close friend.
We can safely give up the notion that association is just physical. And can immediately start associating with Krishna and Krishna’s close associates by meditating on their sublime messages.