Śrī Rūpa advises that one of the five most powerful practices is sajātiyāśaya-snigdha Śrī-bhagavat-saṅga. The first three words, sajātiya, āśaya and snidgha describe the tope of bhagavat-bhakta we should seek saṅga with. āśaya means “worthy of sheltering” – so in other words, they should be more advanced than us. That’s pretty common knowledge. The other two are less commonly understood. Sajātiya means “from the same mold” – in other words we should associate with more advanced devotees *who we actually have things in common with.* For example since I am a musician it is powerful for me to associate with advanced devotees who are also musicians, or since I am a brainy-type, it is powerful for me to associate with advanced devotees who are studious and scholarly in the same subjects I am into. Etc. The third word is “snigdha” which means “soft” and means that the advanced devotees we have stuff in common with should be soft towards us, in other words soft-hearted, affectionate, kind. When those three things are there, the association is very powerful and it quickly and powerfully inspires our divine inspiration towards Krishna-prema.

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