We become what we associate with

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Speaker: Radhanath Swami
Source: Power of Inquiry-1

ironrodinfireWe become what we associate with. If we associate with impure people, impure activities, impure thoughts, we become polluted. If we associate with people who are pure, activities that are pure, and thoughts that are pure, we become purified. Srila Prabhupada, our guru, gave the example of an iron rod. If we put it in fire, it becomes red and hot like fire; and if you touch it, you’ll be burnt the same way as when you touch the fire directly. That is the power of association. But if we put that same iron rod in ice, it will become as cold as ice. So, our purification or our degradation is based on what our mind and senses associate with.