सङ्गस्तेष्वथ ते प्रार्थ्य: सङ्गदोषहरा हि ते ॥ २४ ॥
saṅgas teṣv atha te prārthyaḥ
saṅga-doṣa-harā hi te
te ete — those very; sādhavaḥ — devotees; sādhvi — virtuous lady; sarva — all; saṅga — attachments; vivarjitāḥ — freed from; saṅgaḥ — attachment; teṣu — unto them; atha — hence; te — by you; prārthyaḥ — must be sought; saṅga-doṣa — the pernicious effects of material attachment; harāḥ — counteracters of; hi — indeed; te — they.
O My mother, O virtuous lady, these are the qualities of great devotees who are free from all attachment. You must seek attachment to such holy men, for this counteracts the pernicious effects of material attachment.
Kapila Muni herein advises His mother, Devahūti, that if she wants to be free from material attachment, she should increase her attachment for the sādhus, or devotees who are completely freed from all material attachment. In Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter, verse 5, it is stated who is qualified to enter into the kingdom of Godhead. It is said there, nirmāna-mohā jita-saṅga-doṣāḥ. This refers to one who is completely freed from the puffed-up condition of material possessiveness. A person may be materially very rich, opulent or respectable, but if he at all wants to transfer himself to the spiritual kingdom, back home, back to Godhead, then he has to be freed from the puffed-up condition of material possessiveness, because that is a false position.
The word moha used here means the false understanding that one is rich or poor. In this material world, the conception that one is very rich or very poor — or any such consciousness in connection with material existence — is false, because this body itself is false, or temporary. A pure soul who is prepared to be freed from this material entanglement must first of all be free from the association of the three modes of nature. Our consciousness at the present moment is polluted because of association with the three modes of nature; therefore in Bhagavad-gītā the same principle is stated. It is advised, jita-saṅga-doṣāḥ: one should be freed from the contaminated association of the three modes of material nature. Here also, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, this is confirmed: a pure devotee, who is preparing to transfer himself to the spiritual kingdom, is also freed from the association of the three modes of material nature. We have to seek the association of such devotees. For this reason we have begun the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. There are many mercantile, scientific and other associations in human society to develop a particular type of education or consciousness, but there is no association which helps one to get free from all material association. If anyone has reached the stage where he must become free from this material contamination, then he has to seek the association of devotees, wherein Kṛṣṇa consciousness is exclusively cultured. One can thereby become freed from all material association.
Because a devotee is freed from all contaminated material association, he is not affected by the miseries of material existence. Even though he appears to be in the material world, he is not affected by the miseries of the material world. How is it possible? There is a very good example in the activities of the cat. The cat carries her kittens in her mouth, and when she kills a rat she also carries the booty in her mouth. Thus both are carried in the mouth of the cat, but they are in different conditions. The kitten feels comfort in the mouth of the mother, whereas when the rat is carried in the mouth of the cat, the rat feels the blows of death. Similarly, those who are sādhavaḥ, or devotees engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the transcendental service of the Lord, do not feel the contamination of material miseries, whereas those who are not devotees in Kṛṣṇa consciousness actually feel the miseries of material existence. One should therefore give up the association of materialistic persons and seek the association of persons engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and by such association he will benefit in spiritual advancement. By their words and instructions, he will be able to cut off his attachment to material existence.