If you are in bad company, you will get bad thoughts. That is why, while doing meditation in a group, two bodies should not touch each other because in doing so the thoughts of one will flow into another. So, you should not simply touch others, as their thoughts will get passed onto you. If you are in bad friendship, you will get evil thoughts only. Tell Me your company and I shall tell you what you are. You are whatever your company is. Therefore, run away from bad company. Join the company of spiritual men. Do good deeds, day in and day out. Give up bad company whether it is father, mother or brother. Give up anything bad. Run away from bad company and join good company, then you will get good friends. Do good deeds always. That is the kind of relationship that you should have with others. The place also has the power to affect your mind. This place is that of the Rishis. We are all descendents of the sages. Today, in the villages, they enquire, “Which sage’s descendents are you?” Some say, “I belong to the lineage of Agastya.” In this way there are lineages of sages like Agastya, Vasishta, Vishwamitra and so on. We should realise that we are all sages, and then only we can progress.
The body of Swami, not Swami Himself, belongs to the Bharadwaja Gotra, Apastamba Sutra and Ratnakara Vamsha. People usually enquire about the Gotra and Sutra. But today, we have forgotten all these things and have become foolish. The Indian culture has been lost today. Nobody even listens to these things. After passing the exam, students go to foreign countries and learn undesirable practices. Can you not learn good things in India? You have two hands to work and a small stomach to fill. Can you not work enough to fill your belly? You go to America, wash plates there, and sweep the streets there to earn money. Such money and such work are disgraceful. You can earn the same money in your own country. Can you not do the same thing for your country? It will even be helpful to the motherland. But, you do not do that. Today, you adopt that foreign culture. But the culture of Bharat is the greatest. No other culture has the value of Indian culture. Our culture is very great. The Muslims and the British came and ruled over this country. But none could change the culture of this country. None can change our culture. The British ruled over India for 300 years and yet, they could not bring about a change in our culture! But today Indians themselves are getting diseased and infected by foreign culture. Rama had said, “Janani Janmabhumischa Swargadapi Gariyasi - Mother and Motherland are greater than heaven. My motherland is itself heaven for Me; there is no heaven higher than that.” Today, we are forgetting that. People are moving only after materialistic pursuits and worldly ambitions today. Boys should get a good name, go to a good place and experience good things. Don’t go for greatness. If you yearn for ‘great’ness, you will go to the ‘gate’ and then thrown out of the gate! So, don’t try being great. Good work is God’s work. Think that everything is good work and do that work.
Source: Progress from Greatness to Goodness, Discourse 6, My Dear Students Volume 5, Divine Discourse on May 23, 1999 at Trayee Brindavan