3. DANGERS OF MIXING WITH WOMEN (OR MEN) AND WORLDLINGS :
During the period of Sadhana, avoid the company of women (or men in the case of women). You must never mix with young ladies (or men), however strong you may be. Maya works through under-currents so stealthily that you may not be aware of your actual downfall.
Keep the mind fully occupied with spiritual pursuits. Keep yourself at the farthest distance from everything that would stir up your passions. Then only you will be safe.
Do not live with householders. Do not test your spiritual strength and purity when you are a beginner on the spiritual path. Do not rush into evil associations when you are a spiritual neophyte to show that you have the courage to face sin and impurity. It will be a serious mistake. You will be running into a grave danger. You will have a quick downfall. A small fire will be very easily extinguished by a heap of dust.
Mind has a great power of imitation. This is the reason why a spiritual aspirant is prohibited from mixing with householders. His mind will try to imitate the minds of worldlings. Downfall will ensue.
If an aspirant moves with rich people, Zamindars, and Rajas, his mind begins to imitate the luxurious habits of these people and, ere long, he gets an unconscious downfall. Certain bad habits creep in him unconsciously. And he finds it difficult to tear out or remove these bad habits.
An aspirant can live only for a short time in his native place if there is an urgent call. Yogic rules and laws cannot permit him to stay there for a sufficiently long period, however suitable the place may be and whatever may be the degree of Vairagya of the aspirant. The force of impressions is tremendous. Unless all the Samskaras are thoroughly burnt through Nirvikalpa-Samadhi, it is not safe for one to stay for a long time in one's own native place. He is still within the danger zone.
To be continued ...