There was a young man named Haridas. He wished very much to attain the kingdom of God. He said to his friend, “My dear friend, what should I do to attain God ? ”. “Come with me, only our sect (PANTHA) is capable of showing the way to attaining God”, said his friend. He continued to say, “Don't believe in morality or immorality. Never believe in truth or untruth. Don't believe in alms, mercy and such things. Behave as you please, act as you like, you will attain God”.
The friend's argument fails to impress upon Haridas. He went to some other friend. Haridas said to him, “Friend, what should I do to achieve God?” The other friend replied, “Fall in line with us. Ours is the best sect. We have disgust for nothing, neither for wine nor for meat”. Haridas was again disappointed. He could not follow this. He went to a third friend and said, “Friend, what should I do to attain God?” The third friend said, “Be with us. None is capable to understand as we do. We use person of knowledge, VEDANTI. Others are not so. We can get God by knowledge, GYAN. Bear in mind very well that God is formless. He has no form. Worship, devotion, and asceticism - all is vain.”
Haridas replied, “How can we read God without worship, devotion and asceticism?” The third friend said, “That is peculiarity of our sect. I am that what He is, you are what I am, He is what you are.” “Oh God, save me! ”, said Haridas and ran away from that place. He came to a fourth friend and said, “Friend what should I do to achieve God ? ”. On hearing the name of God, the fourth friend got angry. He lost his temper and said, “Why God, God ? Have you any sense left? Where is God ?. It is merely an illusion. It is a false imagination. The rogues earn money by cheating people in the name of God. If you have any sense left, please come with us.”
Haridas ran away on hearing this. He met a saint on the way. Let me ask him thought Haridas. He stopped the saint and asked, “Oh Saint, what should I do to attain God? ”. The saint smiled and looked at Haridas. Then putting Haridas on his shoulder, the saint said, “You are very lucky. To achieve God is to meditate upon the picture of God.” “The picture (image) of God? ”, asked Haridas. He further said, “It is said that God is formless”.
The saint smiled again and said, “People who say that God is formless, yet they do believe in His power and to can not omnipotent take a form, if He wishes to do so? Why a form? He is capable of having incarnation. And he has had incarnations too. God has not left this world and cared for after creating it.” There was a ray of hope in Haridas' heart. “Is God so merciful?” Then he accompanied the saint to a temple. The saint handed over to him a photograph - a picture - a painting of Shreeji Maharaj and said, “Worship this form daily. Go round, PRADIKSHNA, this picture, bow down your head before it, join your hands in prayer, and say, “Oh Merciful God, save me from bad company and encourage me to join good company, SATSANG. Keep me away from the vices like sex, anger, greed, ego, pride, infatuation, and jealousy and encourage to go on the path good behaviour.” God will certainly guard you. It is a promise of Shreeji Maharaj. Haridas's heart was now at rest. He had a compromise with his heart.
Gadhada Vachanamrit. The summary of this Vachanamrit (48) is given below.
Thus spoke Shriji Maharaj, “listen to what I say. All vaishnavas must bathe early in the morning and should worship the picture of NAR-NARAYAN, should go round (Pradakshina) it. Bow down your heads before it and pray O Maharaj, guard me against bad company “. There are four types of bad company; (1) The sect of deceitful. (2) The sect of addicts. (3) The sect of lay philosophers and the (4) The sect of atheists. (1. KUDA - PANTHI, (2) SHAKTI - PANTHI, (3) SHUSKA VEDANTI. (4) NASTIK). If one falls to pray to the deceitful, one will be misguided and will be fallen. If one falls into the company of the second sect -the addicts-, one will take to wine and meat and forever be away from his own religion. If a man falls in line with disinterested philosophers -VEDANTI- they will make you believe you that there is no god. As a result, you would give up the worship and other religious rites. If you are trapped by the atheists, they will prove the form of Lord Krishna false and will lead you astray. Therefore always pray to God, “ Never be the victim of these four types of people”. And also pray “O Maharaj, kindly guard me against the evils within me like - sex, wrath greed, pride, illusion, ego, jealousy and the pride for the one's body . Always keep me one in the company of your devotees”.
Never give a thought that this is merely a painting on paper and that how will it guard us against the bad company. I am in the direct company communion with NAR NARAYAN. I will tell HIM: “Be constantly in the picture/idol given by me”. Hence always regard this picture of NAR-NARAYAN Himself.