satsanga or satsang (Sanskrit: "association with the real;") from roots sat, "existence absolute, which is Brahman" and sanga, "company or union" — the practice of being in the presence of the wise, in whose company it is easier to learn and practice. Satsanga is association with the wise. Live in the company of sages, saints, sadhus, yogis and sannyasins; hear their valuable upadesa or instructions and follow them implicitly.
The Benefits of Satsanga
- Satsanga with Mahatmas, Sadhus and the Guru plays a tremendous part in the attainment of quick spiritual progress.
- Satsanga is the easiest and quickest means to change the minds of worldly persons towards the spiritual path and to thoroughly overhaul the vicious, wrong Samskaras.
- Satsanga elevates the mind and fills it with Sattva or purity. It eradicates the vicious thoughts in the mind and leads to the attainment of wisdom or Brahma-jnana.
- Without Satsanga, this mind which is filled with worldly impurities cannot be turned towards God.
- Satsanga with sages is the surest Viveka-inspiring agent. Vairagya or dispassion cannot be attained without Satsanga.
- Satsanga removes the darkness of ignorance and fills your mind with Vairagya or non-attachment or dispassion for worldly enjoyments. Satsanga is the sun that dispels the cloud of ignorance. It forces you to lead the life divine and have strong conviction in the existence of God.
- The company of a saint remarkably hastens the growth of Sattvic virtues in the aspirant, and gives him strength to awaken the dormant powers, and to eradicate undesirable negative qualities and various defects.
- Satsanga helps a great deal in the attainment of Moksha. There is no other way. It removes and destroys the threefold afflictions. It is an unfailing means to conquer Maya and this dire mind.
- Satsanga is a formidable and impregnable fortress to protect the young aspirants from the temptations and the attacks of Maya.
- Just as a boat is the greatest shelter to a drowning man, so also, a saint or a sage is the only shelter to the persons who are being drowned in the ocean of worldliness.
- Satsanga is a sentinel at the door of Moksha. If you make friendship with him, he will introduce you to his other friends, viz., Vichara (enquiry), Santi (peace) and Santosha (contentment) and you will attain Self-realisation quickly and easily.
- Satsanga is unfailing in its results.
- Satsanga or association with the wise is the one panacea for all the ills of life.
- There is nothing so inspiring, elevating, solacing and delightful as Satsanga.
- Satsanga is the greatest of all purifiers and illuminators of man.
- Satsanga with a sage even for a minute is much better than rulership of a kingdom.
- Have the company of saints who will heal your sores, infuse new life into you, rejuvenate you, and show you the way to peace and happiness.
- Follow the teachings of saints and sages, the perfected beings, the seers of Truth. Attune yourself with their Spirit.
- Life, fame, happiness, power and knowledge will increase in that man who respects elders and saints, and with faith and devotion prostrates before them.
How Holy Company Transforms
- The human mind is a very receptive instrument. If you place it in evil company, it will acquire evil tendencies. If you place it in holy company, it will acquire divine traits.
- Bright ideals infuse an urge to grow into their likeness. Evil examples also have a similar effect if the mind is not guarded.
- If you go to a sage, there will automatically come a feeling of purity and peace within you.
- Just as cold, fear and darkness depart from one who approaches fire, so does weakness, worldliness and ignorance depart from him who keeps himself near to the saints.
- Saints at once purify those who go near them, whereas Ganga purges the sins of only those whom its water comes in contact with in ablution.
- Saints cleanse the sinners at once at the very sight of them.
- The sight of a sage is delightful. To live with him is always peaceful. To converse with him is blissful.
- The moment the mind thinks of a sage, immediately all evil desires, base passions are brushed aside.
- At the time of thinking of saintly personages, the mind gets moulded into the shape of the qualities of which it thinks, and thereby becomes pure.
- Meditation on the lives of saints is equal to holy company. Study of their teachings is equal to holy company.
- To think of the lives of saints, to live in their company, to have the good fortune of receiving their blessings, is to draw forth upon yourselves a shower of purity, inspiration and divine consciousness.
- The very company of sages and saints has a tremendous transforming effect on the lives of true seekers. It lifts them up to the heights of sublimity, purity and spirituality. It does not fail to affect even the rank materialists.
- By association with saints even for a short time, the aspirants acquire strong faith in the Lord.
- The sage is very silent. He speaks a few words. These words produce a tremendous impression. They give a new life and joy to all who understand him and his message. In his presence alone all the doubts of the aspirants are cleared, though he remains mute.
- The company of saints generates love for God. The love for God brings salvation.
- One moment of company with the holy builds a ship to cross this ocean of life.
How to Benefit from the Company of Saints
- Jivanmuktas or the liberated sages are ever ready to help those who are still climbing to reach the peak of wisdom. This is their work in this world. It is the duty of the aspirants to seek their aid and have a receptive attitude.
- To benefit from the company of saints, you have to prepare yourself first. Do not go with any preconceived notion or prejudice. Go with an open, receptive mind. Go without expectations. Approach them humbly, respectfully. Assimilate what appeals to you. If some of their teachings do not appeal to you, do not form a hasty opinion. If you do not like them, you need not take them to head. What may be suitable to another may not be suitable to you. Yet, with regard to broad fundamentals, there can be no difference of opinion.
- One should possess the right desire to cross the ocean of Samsara and to attain Knowledge of Brahman through Satsanga.
- When you go before a sage, do not ask him questions out of mere inquisitiveness. Sit in his presence humbly. Observe him. Listen to him without prejudice. Ask him only such questions about which you really need clarification.
- Ask him only pertinent questions. Do not draw him into politics or public bickerings.
- Meditate in the presence of a sage. You will get inner light which will clear your doubts.
- An intelligent man only will understand and realise the Truth in the company of a sage.
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