A poor man receives sadhus very quickly, offers them obeisances, and tries to take advantage of their presence, whereas a rich man keeps a big greyhound dog at his door so that no one can enter his house
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
Saintly persons may freely associate with those who are poverty-stricken, but not with those who are rich. A poverty-stricken man, by association with saintly persons, very soon becomes uninterested in material desires, and the dirty things within the core of his heart are cleansed away.
It is said, mahad-vicalanaṁ nṟṇāṁ gṛhiṇāṁ dīna-cetasām (SB 10.8.4). The only business of a saintly person or sannyāsī, a person in the renounced order, is to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sādhus, saintly persons, want to preach to both the poor and the rich, but the poor take more advantage of the sādhus' preaching than the rich do. A poor man receives sādhus very quickly, offers them obeisances, and tries to take advantage of their presence, whereas a rich man keeps a big greyhound dog at his door so that no one can enter his house. He posts a sign saying "Beware of Dog" and avoids the association of saintly persons, whereas a poor man keeps his door open for them and thus benefits by their association more than a rich man does. Because Nārada Muni, in his previous life, was the poverty-stricken son of a maidservant, he got the association of saintly persons and later became the exalted Nārada Muni. This was his actual experience. Therefore, he is now comparing the position of a poor man with that of a rich man.
- satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido
- bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
- taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
- śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
- (SB 3.25.25)
If one gets the advantage of association with saintly persons, by their instructions one becomes more and more purified of material desires.
- kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha haiyā bhoga-vāñchā kare
- nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare
Material life means that one forgets Kṛṣṇa and that one increases in one's desires for sense gratification. But if one receives the advantage of instructions from saintly persons and forgets the importance of material desires, one is automatically purified. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12) (Śikṣāṣṭaka 1). Unless the core of a materialistic person's heart is purified, he cannot get rid of the pangs of bhava-mahā-dāvāgni, the blazing fire of material existence.
When one is face to face with the sun, there is no longer darkness for one's eyes. Similarly, when one is face to face with a sādhu, a devotee, who is fully determined and surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one will no longer be subject to material bondage.
As stated by Caitanya Mahāprabhu (CC Madhya 22.54):
'sādhu-saṅga,' 'sādhu-saṅga'—sarva-śāstre kaya
- lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
If by chance one meets a sādhu, a devotee, one's life is immediately successful, and one is freed from material bondage. It may be argued that whereas someone may receive a sādhu with great respect, someone else may not receive a sādhu with such respect. A sādhu, however, is always equipoised toward everyone. Because of being a pure devotee, a sādhu is always ready to deliver Kṛṣṇa consciousness without discrimination. As soon as one sees a sādhu, one naturally becomes free. Nonetheless, persons who are too much offensive, who commit vaiṣṇava-aparādhas, or offenses to a sādhu, will have to take some time before being rectified. This is also indicated herein.