Becoming a Satsangi
One does not become a satsangi simply by being initiated. One must mould his life in accordance with the principles of satsang. Every thought, speech and action must conform to them. Actions speak louder than words. Thoughts are even more potent. A satsangi’s daily conduct must bear the hallmark of excellence and must reveal that he is the follower of a true Master.
Maharaj Jagat Singh, The Science of the Soul
As the Master says, merely by getting initiated does not mean that we are now a satsangi and there remains nothing left for us to do. The very word ‘initiation’ means to start something, to set something in motion. There is a strong implication of actions that require follow-through. Just by getting initiated we received the tools for doing the job; the job itself is far from done.
When we start out as new satsangis, our minds are still in the mould of the worldly life. We are still in the habit of seeking our pleasures and solace from things in and of this world. As such, we have not yet imbibed the values and perspective that the Master has, and to which we should aspire. What have we actually benefited from getting initiated?
The Master has, in fact, taught us the true value of this human life. It is not for mere enjoyment of the sensual pleasures. It is not for the mere accumulation of worldly wealth and possessions. We have received this human birth after many incarnations in the lower species, and it is only by the greatest good fortune that we now find ourselves blessed with this human form, because it is only in this form, the Master tells us, that we can aspire to spiritual liberation.
So, having had the good fortune to have a human birth and initia-tion from a perfect living Master, we now need to put what he has taught us into practice. Our every word and deed should be consistent with his teachings. When we act or even think differently, we may well feel a sense of inner discord, because when we behave in a fashion that is not consistent with Master’s teachings we are not aligned with Truth, and are heading down the dark street of mind and maya. We should instead be heading towards the growing light of increasing conscious-ness that is the result of doing the spiritual practice he has taught us.
Following the path is not merely adopting a vegetarian diet, abstaining from alcohol and drugs and living a good, honest life. It is not just spending hours alone meditating according to the instructions given us at the time of our initiation. It is so much more than that; it is a journey into the unknown.
It is a scary business, certainly not for the faint of heart. We have to be prepared ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’. That’s certainly what it feels like, at any rate. Of course many, many brave souls before us have ventured out into this particular wilderness – armed only with faith and simran. Great courage is required to leave all that is comfortable and familiar behind us and journey out beyond the bounds of our limited experience and feeble intellects. We are bound for a vastness that is currently beyond our comprehension, for a light so bright that these mortal eyes would be permanently blinded by it!
Yet in our depths a memory is stirring; an imprint in the very fabric and substance of our being, that now strives and stretches like an embryonic hatchling, struggling with the confines of a now-redundant shell. The cracks are appearing, and it seems to us that it is our life that is disintegrating. But actually what is crumbling is the false limitation of many lifetimes’ worth of illusory perceptions about ourselves, life and what it all means.
It is these layers of illusion that have been our prison cell, and are now finally starting to come apart. This process, although it can cause us to feel that our whole world is crashing down around us, is actually stripping away an accumulation of material-based assumptions about reality in order to reveal the Truth that lies beyond. This puny, frail human entity whom we believe ourselves to be, will soon be replaced by a new transcendent being that is beyond all of the limitations that currently describe our world.
At the centre of this process, the wheel of simran is turning; this ongoing repetition, this persistent affirmation of the Master’s world. His higher reality is wearing away, like a constant abrasion, the layers of our fond delusions. Soon our darkness will be expunged by the great light of the inner dawn, by the rising of the spirit above the murky clouds of worldliness and the fog of our confusion. Like a phoenix, we shall rise from the ashes of our former lives into new life, one unbounded by the frailties of flesh and the aberrations of the intellect.
One of the benefits of the teachings of the Saints is that a disciple crosses the gate of death in a state of happiness and thus conquers it.
This is the experience of all disciples who have been blessed with the grace of the Master.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Dawn of Light