Association works, but making it work is our responsibility

If we want to drive to a destination, we need a working car. But just getting the car is not enough – we need to get into it and drive it properly.

When we start practicing spiritual life, we embark on a journey towards the destination of Krishna, our eternal Lord. For this drive, the association of devotees is like our car. Association is central to the shaping of character. We become like the people we mix with. Only when we associate regularly with the spiritually devoted can we become spiritual.

However, despite being in association, sometimes our consciousness still stays materialistic. Why is that? Doesn’t association work automatically? No, it has to be conscientiously made to work, just as we need to conscientiously drive the car to our destination.

Making association work means ensuring that in association, our consciousness stays directed towards the intended destination. The Bhagavad-gita (10.09) indicates that association is hallmarked by enlightening, enriching discussion about Krishna.

When in association, it is our responsibility to keep the discussion focused on Krishna. This doesn’t mean that we neglect basic courtesies or stay oblivious to social dynamics; it just means that we don’t let these take center-stage in the discussions. We can treat such functional topics like exits along the expressway; while driving, we may take exits temporarily for refueling or resting, but we soon return to the expressway. Similarly, whatever other topics we may discuss, we need to soon bring the discussion, and thereby our consciousness, back to Krishna. If that divine focus is lost, we can politely refocus the discussion on Krishna or move discreetly to some other, more spiritually-centered association.

In the association of those who have made the supremely desirable Lord their supreme desire, that Lord becomes our supreme desire and takes us to the supreme destination.

Think it over:

  1. What does making association work mean?
  2. How can we keep association Krishna-centered?
  3. How does association inspire us towards the supreme destination?

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