Spiritual personages have emphasized the need of keeping holy company, on all aspirants. In ancient India it was easily done; everything fitted like a glove, on account of the traditional method of education of living with the Guru. Everyone was required to study Brahma Vidya under a competent preceptor.
At an early age of eight, the boys were sent to the preceptor's house and they studied under him all he could teach and imbibed his way of life as well. But there was nothing in this relationship, of teacher and disciple of that time, which could be termed as regimentation. Where love and affection was the guiding principle, harshness was only a semblance. The teacher bestowed upon his disciples as much affection as he showered on his own children. This period of life was one of austerity, of learning, of studentship brahmacharya. Those who passed through the training could rise to every occasion in their future life. They had, neither difficulty, nor vacillation in facing the most trying circumstances with equanimity, for their feet were set on firm ground. This was the basic on which life was built in ancient days. And in this set-up, holy company was a foregone conclusion.
(Activity : How did we remain in holy company today?)