Associating with Devotees
Bhagavad-gita (2.62) states that one’s desires and ambitions develop according to the company one keeps. If we keep company with devotees of Krishna, we will develop our love for Krishna.
The Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25) says: “In the association of pure devotees, discussion of the pastimes and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is very pleasing and satisfying to the ear and heart. By cultivating knowledge of the Supreme Lord one gradually becomes advanced on the path of liberation, and thereafter he is freed and his attraction to the Lord becomes fixed. Then real devotion and devotional service begin.”
The term pure devotee can refer either to the most elevated devotee or to anyone sincerely trying to become a pure devotee. One interested in practicing Bhakti yoga should seek such persons. Srila Prabhupada writes, “We have established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to give people an opportunity to associate with those who have not forgotten Krishna.”
Both beginning and advanced students of Bhakti who don’t live near temples often hold meetings in one another’s homes, where they chant Hare Krishna, worship the Lord, share prasadam (vegetarian food offered to Krishna), read and discuss Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, discuss their efforts to practice spiritual life, and make plans for giving Krishna consciousness to others.