Srimad Bhagavatham : 5.3.14. :
Dear Lord, unless one worships the lotus feet of great devotees, one will be conquered by the illusory energy, and his intelligence will be bewildered. Indeed, who has not been carried away by the waves of material enjoyment, which are like poison? Your illusory energy is unconquerable. No one can see the path of this material energy or tell how it is working.
Maharaja Nabhi was inclined to performing great sacrifices for begetting a son. The son might be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but such a material desire—be it great or insignificant—is brought about by the influence of maya. A devotee does not at all desire anything for sense gratification. Devotion is therefore explained as devoid of material desires . Everyone is subjected to the influence of maya and entangled in all kinds of material desire, and Maharaja Nabhi was no exception. Freedom from maya’s influence is possible when one engages in the service of the great devotees. Without worshiping the lotus feet of a great devotee, one cannot be freed from maya’s influence.
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome.”
Only a devotee can surpass maya’s great influence. It was no fault on Maharaja Nabhi’s part that he wanted a son. He wanted a son like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the best of all sons. By the association of the Lord’s devotee, one no longer desires material opulence.
If one is serious about escaping maya’s influence and returning home, back to Godhead, one must associate with a sadhu (devotee). That is the verdict of all scriptures. By the slight association of a devotee, one can be freed from the clutches of maya. Without the mercy of the pure devotee, one cannot get freedom by any means. Certainly a pure devotee’s association is necessary in order to obtain the loving service of the Lord. One cannot be freed from māyā’s clutches without sadhu-sanga, the benediction of a great devotee.
One cannot become the Lord’s pure devotee without taking the dust of a great devotee on his head A pure devotee is nishkincana; he has no material desire to enjoy the material world. One has to take shelter of such a pure devotee in order to attain his qualities. The pure devotee is always free from the clutches of māyā and her influence.