Association is very influential. Satam prasangat. Sangat sanjayate kamah. If you associate with drunkards, you become a drunkard. If you associate with sadhu, then you become sadhu

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Expressions researched:
"Association is very influential. Satam prasangat. Sangat sanjayate kamah. If you associate with drunkards, you become a drunkard. If you associate with sadhu, then you become sadhu"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

We are opening centers to give chance people to associate with us. Why we have taken so much land? Providing for those who are seriously desirous. They will come and live with us. Association is very influential. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt. Saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ. If you associate with drunkards, you become a drunkard. If you associate with sādhu, then you become sādhu.
Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Mayapura:

Bob: Which one I follow? I am almost vegetarian, but I eat eggs.

Prabhupāda: That is also not fully. (laughs)

Bob: No, not even fully. But since last time I've become vegetarian, and...

Prabhupāda: No, no, vegetarian is no qualification.

Bob: Not much.

Prabhupāda: You see, vegetarian, the pigeon is vegetarian. The monkey is vegetarian. But most rubbish creature.

Bob: Well...

Prabhupāda: A monkey is vegetarian, naked sannyāsī, lives in the forest, the most mischievous.

Bob: I felt that it was a little bit of progress because it was somewhat difficult at first, then easy, and I had returned to...

Prabhupāda: No, you can stick to all regulative principles provided you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness process. Otherwise it is not possible.

Bob: Yeah, but this is it. I have... When I'm back in Bihar and my friends may say... Well, we're sitting in the evening, and there's nothing to do but fight mosquitoes, and they'll say, "How about smoking some marijuana?" And I say, "Sure, there's nothing else to do," and then I sit down and I enjoy myself for the evening. Now, we did this... we got carried away, we were doing it every day and realized we were hurting ourselves and stopped, but still, on occasion we do that....

Prabhupāda: You have to live with us. Then your friends will not ask you, "What about marijuana?" (Bob laughs) Keep the association of devotees. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-ras... (SB 3.25.25). We are opening centers to give chance people to associate with us. Why we have taken so much land? Providing for those who are seriously desirous. They will come and live with us. Association is very influential. Satāṁ prasaṅgāt. Saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ. If you associate with drunkards, you become a drunkard. If you associate with sādhu, then you become sādhu.

Śyāmasundara: He can come and stay with you in Bombay.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Śyāmasundara: He could come and stay in Bombay.

Prabhupāda: Yes, you can stay with us in Bombay. But here he wants friend, marijuana. That is the difficulty.

Bob: Um, let me ask you about something else. Then maybe I'll come back to this because I'm still... I find that I think of myself too much, and this way you can't think of God so much. One can't think of God. I think of myself in too many places. How can I forget about myself so I can concentrate on other more important things?

Prabhupāda: As they have done.

Bob: (laughs) You are saying to me that my path... I think what you're saying is my path to purity is to become a devotee.

Prabhupāda: Do you hesitate?

Bob: Well, I...

Prabhupāda: It is very difficult to become a devotee?

Bob: For myself... It is... I don't feel so much the desire. I have... First the devotees tell me that they have given up material life. These four regulative principles, they have explained to me, means giving up material life, and that I see. And in place of this they have...

Prabhupāda: What do you mean by material life? I am sitting on this bed. Is it material or spiritual?

Bob: Material.

Prabhupāda: Then how we give up material life?

Bob: I think how I interpreted it was a desire for material gains.

Prabhupāda: That is material life.

Bob: You're working towards material gains, not giving up all material.

Prabhupāda: Material life means when you desire to gratify your senses, that is material life. And when you desire to serve God, that is spiritual life. That is the difference between material life and spiritual life. Now we are trying to serve our senses. Instead of serving the senses, when we serve God, that is spiritual life. What is the difference between our activities and others' activities? We are using everything: table, chair, bed, this tape recorder, typewriter. So what is the difference? The difference is that we are using everything for Kṛṣṇa.