Qualities of a Real Sadhu

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.10.18 - Qualities of a Real Sadhu (download mp3) , (download flv) and (download mp4)
by Muralidhar Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.10.18
sadhunam sama-cittanam
upeksyaih kim dhana-stambhair
asadbhir asad-asrayaih

Saintly persons [sadhus] think of Krsna twenty-four hours a day. They have no other interest. Why should people neglect the association of such exalted spiritual personalities and try to associate with materialists, taking shelter of nondevotees, most of whom are proud and rich?

A sadhu is one who is engaged in devotional service to the Lord without deviation (bhajate mam ananya-bhak).

titiksavah karunikah
suhrdah sarva-dehinam
ajata-satravah santah
sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah

“The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime.” (Bhag. 3.25.21) A sadhu is suhrdah sarva-dehinam, the friend of everyone. Why then should the rich, instead of associating with sadhus, waste their valuable time in association with other rich men who are averse to spiritual life? Both the poor man and the rich man can take advantage of the Krsna consciousness movement, and here it is advised that everyone do so. There is no profit in avoiding the association of the members of the Krsna consciousness movement. Narottama dasa Thakura has said:

sat-sanga chadi’ kainu asate vilasa
te-karane lagila ye karma-bandha-phansa

If we give up the association of sadhus, saintly persons engaged in Krsna consciousness, and associate with persons seeking sense gratification and accumulating wealth for this purpose, our life is spoiled. The word asat refers to an avaisnava, one who is not a devotee of Krsna, and sat refers to a Vaisnava, Krsna’s devotee. One should always seek the association of Vaisnavas and not spoil one’s life by mixing with avaisnavas. In Bhagavad-gita (7.15), the distinction between Vaisnava and avaisnava is enunciated:

na mam duskrtino mudhah
prapadyante naradhamah
asuram bhavam asritah

Anyone who is not surrendered to Krsna is a most sinful person (duskrti), a rascal (mudha), and the lowest of men (naradhama). Therefore one should not avoid the association of Vaisnavas, which is now available all over the world in the form of the Krsna consciousness movement.