It is said that once Garuda the arch enemy of snakes went to Mount Kailas, the abode of Lord Shiva. He saw the snakes that Shiva wore round His neck, feet, arms and waist and even in His hair. The snakes hissed and puffed their hoods at the celestial bird.
Garuda challenged them, “I dare you to come down from the Lord’s body and I shall tear each one of you to pieces!” But the snakes knew that no harm could come to them as long as they were in the company of the Divine, so they refused to leave their abode of protection.
On another note let us take the case of Iron which is hard and black. When it makes friends with fire, it becomes soft, red and shining. When it makes friends with dirt and moisture, it becomes rusty and loses its strength. These changes are due to the environment or the company one keeps.
Dust can fly if it chooses the wind as its friend. It has to end as slime in a pit, if it prefers water. It has neither wing nor foot, yet it can fly or walk, rise or fall, according to the friend it selects. Knowing this truth, the great saint, Kabir once said. “Here are my prostrations to the good; here are my prostrations to the bad.” When asked why he offered prostrations to the bad, he said, “My prostrations to the bad, so that they may leave me alone. I do the same before good, so that they might remain near me always.”
Company matters! That is why Baba tells us to be in the company of good people. That is why He encourages us to participate in Bhajans, Satsangs, study circles, Balvikas classes, Seva activities etc.