Association Can Transform Anyone

Srimad Bhagavatam 07.15.73 - Association Can Transform Anyone (download mp3)
by Radhadyuti Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 7.15.73
tavad dasyam aham jaj├▒e
tatrapi brahma-vadinam
prapto 'ham brahma-putratam

Although I took birth as a sudra from the womb of a maidservant, I engaged in the service of Vaisnavas who were well-versed in Vedic knowledge. Consequently, in this life I got the opportunity to take birth as the son of Lord Brahma.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead says in Bhagavad-gita (9.32):

mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te 'pi yanti param gatim

"O son of Prtha, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaisyas [merchants], as well as sudras [workers]—can approach the supreme destination." It doesn't matter whether a person is born as a sudra, a woman or a vaisya; if he associates with devotees repeatedly or always (sadhu-sangena), he can be elevated to the highest perfection. Narada Muni is explaining this in relation to his own life. The sankirtana movement is important, for regardless of whether one is a sudra, vaisya, mleccha, yavana or whatever, if one associates with a pure devotee, follows his instructions and serves the pure devotee, his life is successful. This is bhakti. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam [Cc. Madhya 19.167]. Bhakti consists of serving Krsna and His devotees very favorably. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu