sadbhih ksinoti tam tarsam
tata arad visuddhyati
daridrasya—of a person who is poverty-stricken; eva—indeed; yujyante—may easily associate; sadhavah—saintly persons; sama-darsinah—although sadhus are equal to everyone, to the poor and the rich, the poor man can take advantage of their association; sadbhih—by the association of such saintly persons; ksinoti—reduces; tam—the original cause of material suffering; tarsam—the desire for material enjoyment; tatah—thereafter; arat—very soon; visuddhyati—his material contamination is cleansed off.
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-vicalanam nrnam grhinam dina-cetasam (Bhag. 10.8.4). The only business of a saintly person or sannyasi, a person in the renounced order, is to preach Krsna consciousness. Sadhus, saintly persons, want to preach to both the poor and the rich, but the poor take more advantage of the sadhus’ preaching than the rich do. 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. 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 Narada 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 Narada Muni. This was his actual experience. Therefore, he is now comparing the position of a poor man with that of a rich man.
If one gets the advantage of association with saintly persons, by their instructions one becomes more and more purified of material desires.
Material life means that one forgets Krsna 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-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12] (Siksastaka 1). Unless the core of a materialistic person’s heart is purified, he cannot get rid of the pangs of bhava-maha-davagni, the blazing fire of material existence.
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