Why is it important to maintain good company always? Bhagawan lovingly cautions us citing a classic example.
Karna had physical power, power of intellect, and power of weapons. In fact, he was endowed with all powers. He was much superior to Arjuna in all these respects. Arjuna also did not possess the quality of generosity that Karna had. Karna would never go back on his word. Though he was endowed with all virtues and the spirit of sacrifice, Karna became one of the four wicked Kauravas (Duryodhana, Dussasana, Sakuni, and Karna) because he could not go back on the promise given by him to wicked Duryodhana.
Tell me your company, and I shall tell you what you are. Wicked qualities enter you when you associate yourself with wicked people.
Similarly, when you are in good company, you imbibe good qualities. Coal shines like fire when it comes in contact with it. As is your company, so you become. As is the flour, so is the chapati. As is the food, so is the belch.
– Divine Discourse, Jul 12, 1996.