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Discrimination in Associating


Although the devotee sees a part and parcel of Krsna within everyone, he strictly avoids bad association that can drag him from the path of self-realization. Srila Prabhupada explains:

Although a devotee sees all living entities on the level of spiritual existence, he is not interested in associating with everyone. Simply because a tiger is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord does not mean that we embrace him because of his spiritual relationship with the Supreme Lord. We must associate only with persons who have developed Krsna consciousness.

We should befriend and offer special respect to persons who are developed in Krsna consciousness. Other living entities are undoubtedly part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, but because their consciousness is still covered and not developed in Krsna consciousness, we should renounce their association. It is said by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura that even if one is a Vaisnava, if he is not of good character his company should be avoided, although he may be offered the respect of a Vaisnava. Anyone who accepts Visnu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is accepted as a Vaisnava, but a Vaisnava is expected to develop all the good qualities of the demigods.

SB 3.29.16 purport

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