Benefits of Satsang
Let us remind ourselves how lucky we are to be able to attend satsang. No matter when or where followers of the spiritual path gather for satsang, it is an important opportunity to make the most of a number of benefits. At satsang we can and should leave the world outside the door. It is a haven for us in which we all face in the same direction – away from the world outside and towards the Masters and their teachings. It is a refuge, available every week, and we come together to listen, to learn and to help create and then absorb an atmosphere of peace and love which we can then take away with us.
We are like nomads, travelling through an alien land but not here to stay. When we make camp in this world, it is only for the twinkling of an eye; then we will be away again and nothing will show for us having been here. So we should try to live lightly in this spiritual desert and not attempt to make it our permanent home. We can travel together with each other, the Master beside us, confident that we are now in good company. Here are a few pointers to the purpose of satsang:
Satsang helps us remember that this is not our true home. Though we recognize that the creation operates within the will of the Creator, this is not now where we wish to stay. It is an alien land for the soul that is starting to reassert itself after many aeons and millions of lives in servitude to the mind. The soul’s longing to leave this spiritually barren place will be establishing itself in the conscious mind of true seekers.
It is to remind us that we have a unique opportunity in having a human birth. In this form only can we make direct contact with the Creator, through a living Master, and journey all the way home.
It helps us to examine the various aspects of the path and to increase our understanding of the importance and significance of the spiritual teachings of the Masters. It is an opportunity to satisfy the intellect – which is a prerequisite to travelling the path.
Satsang creates and develops love and harmony among the sangat, encouraging us to remember that we are all members of the same flock, with the same Master who loves and cares for each one of us equally – no favourites, no hierarchy.
It sends us away with a revitalized desire to travel the path and attend to our meditation with renewed zeal.
Satsang puts ‘a fence around the crop’, as Maharaj Charan Singh used to say. Satsang is a form of protection for the efforts we have made. It nurtures the fragile shoots that we have started to grow through our meditation practice.
It is only through the understanding encouraged by satsang and our continual efforts to comply with the teachings, that our spiritual foundation will be made strong. The Masters teach that the time spent satisfying our intellect and investigating the path is not time wasted.
Baba Ji has made it clear that he is not here just to answer all our questions but to make us think! Once we are on the path, he wants us to go within and see and understand for ourselves, so that our faith is not founded solely on intellectual belief or conjecture but upon personal experience and knowledge. It is within ourselves that all questions are answered, that all hypotheses and conjecture translate into known fact. We cannot progress on the path without a good foundation in place. We all know what happens to a structure if the foundations are inadequate. Sooner or later it will fail.
There is a constant need for us to remind ourselves that the physical world pulls us downward and outward, whereas we must reorientate ourselves to go inward and upward. We are trying to swim against a merciless tide and our efforts can be likened to those of a snail crawling up the face of a waterfall. Like the snail we must keep close to the rock face, and inch our way up. If we lose concentration and look around, we are dashed to the bottom by the torrent of creation and must start again. The Master is like the rock face, and we should huddle close and take no risks. Every move we make can exacerbate our predicament and create more of the very karma that we are so painstakingly trying to remove.
So satsang reminds us of our goal and encourages us to strive to achieve it. We should make every effort to attend satsang regularly to enjoy all of its benefits.