Association with wise and holy men is stressed in all religions and in all spiritual paths. And truly speaking, it is very essential for the spiritual growth of an aspirant. It is one of the most essential factors in the life of a beginner. In India the company of holy men has always been eagerly sought by all those who desire spiritual progress.
‘O Mother, Thou art the Driver, and I am the machine.’ This is the attitude we should adopt, and never that of superiority. Before you lead others, learn to serve them with dedication and in a spirit of self-surrender to the Lord. Very often, without proper training, we want to lead others. We want to have the fruit without paying the proper price for it.
Fellow-travellers can help one another. That is why holy company is of such great importance. There should be mutual help, mutual sympathy; because these help us in sustaining our energy and striving. We should never try to be teachers but should act as fellow students, giving others a helping hand if we can. This is always safe, if we know how to remain within reasonable limits. The we do not become dangerous to ourselves and to others. Then egotism and superiority complex cannot sprout in us and harm us and others.
The advantage of the small group of devotees is that in a small group there is a greater uniformity of temperament, and hence all these direct instructions are applicable. It is easier to have a true spirit of sympathy without backbiting, in a small group, even if they are beginners. It is always better to have first intensive work and later on, extensive work. In every country we need a group of sincere individuals who strive for the highest ideal of perfect purity and devotion and service, who are prepared to give their all for this ideal, who are prepared to suffer anything for realization. We cannot convert masses to spiritual life, however much we may wish to. But we can change the lives of a few sincere people whose time for a change has come.