TEXT 18
sadhunam sama-cittanam
mukunda-caranaisinam
upeksyaih kim dhana-stambhair
asadbhir asad-asrayaih
SYNONYMS
sadhunam—of saintly persons; sama-cittanam—of those who are equal to everyone; mukunda-carana-esinam—whose only business is to serve Mukunda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and who always aspire for that service; upeksyaih—neglecting the association; kim—what; dhana-stambhaih—rich and proud; asadbhih—with the association of undesirable persons; asat-asrayaih—taking shelter of those who are asat, or nondevotees.
TRANSLATION
Saintly persons [sadhus] think of Krsna twenty-four hours a day. They have no other interest. Why should people neglect the association of such exalted spiritual personalities and try to associate with materialists, taking shelter of nondevotees, most of whom are proud and rich?
PURPORT
A sadhu is one who is engaged in devotional service to the Lord without deviation (bhajate mam ananya-bhak).
“The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.” (Bhag. 3.25.21) A sadhu is suhrdah sarva-dehinam, the friend of everyone. Why then should the rich, instead of associating with sadhus, waste their valuable time in association with other rich men who are averse to spiritual life? Both the poor man and the rich man can take advantage of the Krsna consciousness movement, and here it is advised that everyone do so. There is no profit in avoiding the association of the members of the Krsna consciousness movement. Narottama dasa Thakura has said:
If we give up the association of sadhus, saintly persons engaged in Krsna consciousness, and associate with persons seeking sense gratification and accumulating wealth for this purpose, our life is spoiled. The word asat refers to an avaisnava, one who is not a devotee of Krsna, and sat refers to a Vaisnava, Krsna’s devotee. One should always seek the association of Vaisnavas and not spoil one’s life by mixing with avaisnavas. In Bhagavad-gita (7.15), the distinction between Vaisnava and avaisnava is enunciated:
Anyone who is not surrendered to Krsna is a most sinful person (duskrti), a rascal (mudha), and the lowest of men (naradhama). Therefore one should not avoid the association of Vaisnavas, which is now available all over the world in the form of the Krsna consciousness movement.

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