Mind is a key instrument for man. Kept under control, it gives happiness. On the other hand, left to its own course, it will be the cause for sorrow. For example, one should not keep bad company. We see many people suffer under their influence.
A person, named Barchu, was the trusted servant of a king. The king liked him very much. Unable to bear this, some of the king’s ministers became jealous of Barchu, kidnapped him and abandoned him in a forest. Then they lied to the king that Barchu was dead. And the king believed it.
After some days, while hunting in the forest, the king happened to see Barchu. However, since he strongly believed the ministers, he mistook Barchu for a ghost, left him in the forest and returned.
This is what is called sahavasa dosham (influence of bad company). In essence, it means that if the mind is swayed by the influence of bad company, desire or greed, even the teachings of the sruti and the guru will be of little avail.
If, however, heeding the advice of the guru, one keeps good company, obstacles arising from greed and other evil influences will be averted. Mind will become pure and one will qualify for Atma jnana (Self-knowledge), just as fire glows once smoke and other retarding hindrances are removed.
We bless all to understand this well, remove blemishes from the mind and attain chitta suddhi.