I want to know scriptural verses which glorifies satsang and saints.
The importance of satsaṅga (सत्संग) is also underlined in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Purāṇa and Śrī Rāmacaritamānasa, besides other scriptures.
Kapila Muni outlines the importance of Saints and Satsaṅga (सत्सङ्ग) to his mother, Devahūti in a discourse popularly known as the Kapila Gītā or the Kapila-Upadeśam.
त एते साधव: साध्वि सर्वसङ्गविवर्जिता: ।
सङ्गस्तेष्वथ ते प्रार्थ्य: सङ्गदोषहरा हि ते ॥ २४ ॥
- Oh pious Lady, there are the saints who have dissociated themselves from all attachments. Hence association with such deserves to be sought by you. (You should associate yourself with them) as they remove the evil of attachment (to worldly objects).
सतां प्रसङ्गान्मम वीर्यसंविदो भवन्ति हृत्कर्णरसायना: कथा: ।
तज्जोषणादाश्वपवर्गवर्त्मनि श्रद्धा रतिर्भक्तिरनुक्रमिष्यति ॥ २५ ॥
- In association with saints, there are (discussions about my) stories which give proper and complete knowledge about my power and which are pleasant to the ears and the heart. By serving (listening to) them, there will soon develop intense faith in, love for and devotion to Hari—which is the path that leads to Liberation.
भक्त्या पुमाञ्जातविराग ऐन्द्रियाद् दृष्टश्रुतान्मद्रचनानुचिन्तया ।
चित्तस्य यत्तो ग्रहणे योगयुक्तो यतिष्यते ऋजुभिर्योगमार्गै: ॥ २६ ॥
- Due to devotion generated by contemplation of my sportive work (viz. the creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe), a man gets disgusted with the pleasures of senses and to the objects seen (in this world) and to those reported (available in the world beyond). Being alert, and by practising Yoga, he tries to control his mind by easy and straight courses of bhakti Yoga.
English Translation by Motilal Banarsidass Publications
So, we observe that from the satsaṅga with the saints and devotees of god, one slowly becomes disillusioned from the ill-effects of Māyā - like attachments, desires, etc., and they ultimately develop intense faith and devotion, and thereby Liberation.
2. Śrī Rāmacaritamānasa
Goswami Tulsidas explains in great detail in the Bāla-Kāṇḍa, the importance, and results of being in the company of 'Holy-Sattvika people'.
मज्जन फल पेखिअ ततकाला। काक होहिं पिक बकउ मराला ॥
सुनि आचरज करै जनि कोई। सतसंगति महिमा नहिं गोई ॥
बालमीक नारद घटजोनी। निज निज मुखनि कही निज होनी ॥
जलचर थलचर नभचर नाना। जे जड़ चेतन जीव जहाना ॥
मति कीरति गति भूति भलाई। जब जेहिं जतन जहाँ जेहिं पाई ॥
सो जानब सतसंग प्रभाऊ। लोकहुँ बेद न आन उपाऊ ॥
बिनु सतसंग बिबेक न होई। राम कृपा बिनु सुलभ न सोई ॥
सतसंगत मुद मंगल मूला। सोइ फल सिधि सब साधन फूला ॥
सठ सुधरहिं सतसंगति पाई। पारस परस कुधात सुहाई ॥
बिधि बस सुजन कुसंगत परहीं। फनि मनि सम निज गुन अनुसरहीं ॥
बिधि हरि हर कबि कोबिद बानी। कहत साधु महिमा सकुचानी ॥
सो मो सन कहि जात न कैसें। साक बनिक मनि गुन गन जैसें ॥
The result of dipping into the sacred waters of this king of holy places is instantly perceived: crows turn into cuckoos and herons into swans. Let no one marvel to hear this; the glory of contact with saints is no secret. Vālmikī , Nārada and Agastya, who were born of a pitcher, have related the story of their birth and transformation with their own lips. Of the various creatures, both animate and inanimate, living in this world, whether in water or on land or in the air, whoever has ever attained wisdom, glory, salvation, material prosperity or welfare anywhere and by any means whatsoever, know it to be the result of association with holy men; there is no other means either in the world or in the Vedas. Wisdom dawns not without association with saints and such association cannot be easily had without the grace of Śrī Rāma. Contact with noble souls is the root of joy and blessings; it constitutes the very fruit and fulfilment of all endeavours, whereas all other practices are blossoms as it were. Through contact with the virtuous even the wicked get reformed, just as a base metal is transmuted by the touch of the philosopher’s stone. On the other hand, if by mischance good men fall into evil company, they maintain their noble character like the gem on the hood of a serpent. Even the speech of deities like Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva poets and men of wisdom falters in depicting the glory of pious souls. Much less can it be described by me, even as a dealer in vegetables finds himself incapable of expatiating on the qualities of gems.
English Translation by Gita Press Gorakhpur
So, the importance of saints, satsanga has been outlined. The greatest example of 'the positive effects of the satsaṅga', in my opinion, is Devaṛṣi Nārada, who was the son of a maid-servant in his previous incarnation and even as a child came in touch with holy men, who imparted him the highest wisdom and made him a real devotee by their very contact. In his next birth, he appeared as a mind-born son of Brahma. The Story is found in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.6.
Dhruva Stuti Verse 6
bhaktiM muhuH pravahatAM tvayi me prasango bhUyAd-ananta-mahatAM amalASayAnAM / yenAnjasolbaNam-uruvyasanaM bhavAbdhiM neshye bhavad-guNa-kathAmRta-pAna-mattaH
May my association be with those noble souls whose minds are pure and in whom bhakti is overflowing incessantly. By that very association I will easily cross dangerous and sorrowful ocean ofsamsAra, intoxicated as I will be with the nectar of the stories of Your Glory.
(translation by prof. V.Krishnamurthy)
Naradha Bhakti Sutra
Kantha-avarodha-romancha-asrubhih parasparam lapa-maanaah paavayanti kulaani prithiveem cha. (68)
Such devotees conversing together with a choking voice, with hairs standing on end, and with tears flowing, purify their families as well as the earth.
(translation by Swami Sivananda)
Sri Krishna says in the Uddhava Gita VII.1-2 (Swami Madhavananda translator):
Yoga, discrimination, piety, study of the Vedas, austerities, renunciation, rites such as Agnihotra, and works of public utility, charity, vows, sacrifices, secret Mantras, places of pilgrimage, and moral rules particular as well as universal--none of these, I say, binds Me so much as the association of saints that roots out all attachment.
Krishna goes on through many more verses after this giving many examples of those who have attained perfection through hole company.
Shankaracharya says in his work Vivekcudamani verse 3 (swami Madhavananda translator):
These are three things which are rare indeed and are due to the grace of God--namely, a human birth, the longing for liberation, and the protecting care of a perfected sage.
See also See Gita 4.34, Mundkaya Upanishad 1.2.12-13, Chandogya Upanishad 6.14.2 and 4.9.3