In 1987, at the Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, many senior devotees of ISKCON came to Srila Gurudeva, as well as devotees of other Gaudiya Mathas. Srila Gurudeva gave darsana from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. A Maharaja asked Gurudeva, “How can we become related to Bhagavan and His associates?”

Srila Gurudeva replied, “If someone has heartfelt love for sadhus, who are the representatives of God, first in a gauravamaya mood, with deep respect, and serves that person, and realizes, ‘this person is the friend of my soul,’ and always thinks about that person, then one naturally receives the mercy of the sadhus. Sannyasi Thakura thought about Babaji Maharaja and had heartfelt respect for him. Babaji Maharaja was engaged in his internal service during nisanta-lila, and because of Sannyasi Thakura’s absorption in Babaji Maharaja, the pastimes of Radha-Krsna in nisanta-lila, as well as a transcendental vision of the holy dhamas of Navadvipa and Vrndavan appeared in Sannyasi Thakura’s heart. He then forgot his external body, mind, and prior conceptions. Before, he had tried to engage his mind again and again, without success, but now, very easily he changed.

“When we come to sadhus and have place in our hearts for the sadhus, then from the sadhus’ hearts Radha-Krsna’s aprakrta-lilas reflect in our heart. Then we automatically forget our material nature and from the sadhus, we enter siddha-avastha, the perfected state, without having to perform difficult sadhana. We must be careful, however, to never lose that sadhu-sanga. This is our sadhana. And we should not collect the supposed faults of the sadhus. We should never hear any insults towards the sadhu. To have a relation with the sadhu means to be related to Bhagavan. Bhagavan sends sadhus as His representatives. The mercy of sadhus is the mercy of God.

“Sometimes, people go far away from a bona fide sadhu, Divine Master, and when they do, they naturally begin to feel a dryness in their hearts and they become covered with anarthas.”

Srila Gurudeva gave an example:

“Maharaja Ramacandra heard an insult of mother Sita and sent her to the forest and because of this, they both suffered. Maharsi Valmiki taught the glories of Sita-devi to Lava and Kusa and told them to go everywhere and glorify Sita-devi. He said, ‘When everyone respects Sita-devi and understands her glories, then everyone will be happy. When someone understands her glories, he will become pure and clean at heart.

“In this world many people glorify God but do not glorify sadhus. Sukadeva Gosvami, however, always glorified sadhus in the Bhagavatam. These glories quickly helped and purified Pariksit Maharaja and everyone present. Srimad-Bhagavatam is nirmatsaranam-satam, filled with the glories of all sadhus.

“Lava and Kusa learned the glories of Sita-devi from Valmiki and then they traveled from village to town and sang her glories, while playing on instruments. They were in the garb of two young brahmacaris. With their beautiful singing, they captured peoples’ hearts. When people heard the glories of Sita-devi, their hearts immediately became clean and they would cry in the streets. They realized that Lord Rama, even being Maryada-purusottama, had acted unjustly, when He sent Sita-devi away to the forest. All over the three worlds, even to the demigods, the glories of Sita-devi spread by the efforts of Lava and Kusa.

“It is our great fortune if we hear the glories of sadhus. This is our spiritual wealth. If we deeply respect sadhus, remember and pray to them, then quickly we will become qualified.

“Lava and Kusa sang Sita-devi’s glories everywhere. One day Maharaja Ramachandra invited Lava and Kusa to His palace in Ayodhya. Ramacandra, Laksmana, Bharata, Kausalya, the 365 queens, their Gurudeva Vasistha, and everyone in the palace came to hear. Lava and Kusa first offered pranama to their Gurudeva, Valmiki, and then offered pranama to their mother Sita-devi, and then to everyone in the assembly. They then started singing the glories of Sita-devi. Valmiki had taught them to offer pranama to Sita-devi and glorify her, and he said, by doing so, they could conquer everyone’s hearts. So now, during this auspicious time, everyone in the palace heard the wonderful glorification spoken by Lava and Kusa. Before their hearts had become dry, but now their hearts’ melted and it was like their hearts were flowing out in a stream of tears. Hearing the sweet description spoken by Lava and Kusa, everyone began to weep and lament in separation. They understood their own guilt. When someone experiences his own guilt, at that time his heart becomes clean and he realizes the pure truth.

“Maharaja Ramacandra invited Lava and Kusa to come again after the first day’s recital. When Lava and Kusa returned to their Guru’s asrama, they offered pranama to Valmiki and Sita-devi. They then said, “Mother, we went to a king’s palace today. Thousands of people were there and they heard our singing and became very pleased. They all began to cry. We were surprised to see that there was a golden deity of you there. The king, Ramacandra, also began crying. And the deity of you was also crying. We were surprised. They invited us back tomorrow to sing more.”

Sita-devi thought, “Ramacandra has externally left me, but inside He never rejected me.”

The next day, Lava and Kusa went back to the capital and there sang again for Lord Rama and the residents of Ayodhya. Everyone was very pleased.

Kausalya then asked Vasistha Rsi permission and receiving it, requested Rama, “Please bring back Sita.”

Ramacandra ordered Laksmana to give a gift to the two boys.

And Ramacandra asked, “What is the name of your father and mother? And where do you live?”

Lava and Kusa replied, “Brahmacaris only give the name of their Gurudeva and their Gurukula as their address. They have no relation with their families. It is not proper etiquette to ask the home address of brahmacaris and the names of their parents. We are brahmacaris living in our guru’s asrama in the forest. It is improper to give brahmacaris any gifts.”

Before hearing the glories of sadhus and making relation with sadhus, how can one be clean and related to Bhagavan? Sadhus come in the heart and clean it. They know this process. Their help is very sweet.

Gurudeva said, “When we glorify sadhus and the Guru-varga, or hear their glories, then our hearts are cleaned and we make a sweet relation with God. This is the pure and proper process.”