Impact of Company / Association

Bhagawan says, “Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are”. It is our company that decides our destiny! In this posting, Bhagawan highlights the importance of maintaining a good company. He describes at length the negative consequences of getting into bad company. He draws a number of analogies to drive home the impact of thoughts on our mind, body and consequent behaviour.

There are five Discourse excerpts presented in this posting. These are taken from Divine Discourses given by Bhagawan in the year 1996. 
Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the Clip, Year-Month-Date of the Audio Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan’s message.    
1. Impact of Company – Examples of Iron in Fire and Dust in Air-1.49-1996 July 08
Going up or coming down depends on one’s company

Though human life is sacred, good and bad get into one’s life based on one’s company. When iron is in the company of dust it gets rusted. However, the same iron when put into fire, the rust is got rid off and it becomes red hot and soft. The dust in the company of air goes up into the sky, but the very same dust in the company of water goes down. The dust has no wings to fly high nor does it have legs to go down. Going up or coming down depends on the company.

2. Bad Thoughts – Iron-Rust-Dust-Burst-Test-Rest-2.06-1996 July 08
Tell me your company, I shall tell you what you are

In bad company, man develops bad feelings and bad actions. For all this thought is the main cause. Thoughts should be pure and sacred. But man entertains bad feelings and thoughts at a tender age and wastes his life thereafter. Iron in the company of rust becomes dust. It then bursts and it has to be subject to test. Only then it gets rest! This is the goal. So first the rust should be wiped out. Bad company and bad feelings are the rust. All these are the result of bad company. Tell me your company and I shall tell you what you are.

3. Bad Thoughts-Misery-Discriminate-3.10-1996 July 06
Bad thoughts will put you to great misery

Bad thoughts are the main cause for our misery. Therefore, we need to discriminate – are these good thoughts or bad thoughts. Bad thoughts put you into difficulties. Hurting others, causing harm to others is very bad. But eventually it will rebound in a still worse way on you. Bad thoughts are not natural to mankind. When a stone is thrown into a well, the ripples spread across the water. Similarly when a thought is pelted into the lake of the human mind, it will spread all across the body. It will enter the eyes and make the looks bad. So too with the ears, mouth, hands, legs and all parts of the body. These bad thoughts will make all the sense organs act badly. So you will be put to great misery.

4. As is Company so is Effect-Sages amidst wild animals-1.40-1996 July 05.mp3
Saints and animals live peacefully and harmoniously

Sages and saints meditate in thick forests in the midst of wild animals. Many cruel and wild animals move around. However, these saints have no pistols or rifles or any other weapons. These saints and animals live peacefully and harmoniously. Looking at these animals the saints are not afraid nor are the animals frightened of the saints. This is because of the pure love in the saints. This makes an impact on the animals. Therefore, as is the company so is the effect. If we develop good company we will have good qualities.

5. Good Company Enables one to reach Divine Heights-2.18-1996 July 08
Man can attain Divine qualities only though good company

Therefore influence of the company depends upon what actions one engages in.

Satsangatve – Nisangatvam
Nisangatve – Nirmohatvam
Nirmohatve – Nischalatatvam
Nischalatatve – Jeevanmukti
When we are in good company we entertain good ideas. In bad company, bad thoughts, ideas and feelings originate and lead to wrong action. Therefore man should engage in good company and manifest human qualities. Only through good company man can attain Divine qualities. With bad company man descends to animality. Divinity is above man while animality is below man. Man is in between the two. So, humanity has to be raised to Divinity and not lowered to animality.

A Short Quiz
1. How does Bhagawan use the analogy of iron and rust to explain the impact of company in our life?
2. How does Bhagawan use the analogy of air and dust to explain the impact of association in our life?
3. How does Bhagawan use the analogy of pelting a stone into a lake to highlight the impact of thoughts on our mind, body and behaviour?
4. What message does Bhagawan communicate by talking of the saints and sages meditating in the forests peacefully amidst the wild beats and animals?
5. Bhagawan narrates a well-known Sanskrit verse that explains how one can travel on the journey from good company to self-realization. Explain the five milestones in this journey.Audio files

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