What is the good of holy company?

It begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without earning.  By constantly living in the company of holy men, the soul becomes restless for God. This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has someone ill in the family.

His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness, thinking how the sick person may be cured. Or again, one should feel a yearning for God like the earning of a man who has lost his job and is wandering from one office to another in search of work.  If he is rejected at a certain place which has no vacancy, he goes there again the next day and inquires, is there any vacancy today?

There is another way, earnestly praying to God. God is our very own. We should say to him: “O God, what is thy nature? Reveal thyself to me. Thou must show thyself to me, for why has thou created me? Someone once said, “God is full of compassion”.  But why should we call him compassionate? He is our creator. What is there to be wondered at if he is kind to us? Parents bring up their children. Do you call that an act of kindness? They must act that way. Therefore we should force our demands on God, he is our father and mother.

There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between the real and the unreal. God alone is the real, that is to say, the Eternal substance, and the world is unreal, that is to say, transitory. As soon as a man finds his mind wandering away the unreal, he should apply discrimination. The moment an elephant stretches out its trunk to eat plantain tree in a neighbor’s garden, it gets a blow from the iron goad of the driver.

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