Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Magic of Satsang - Ch 1

I still remember the first few times I went to satsang, after completing my first Art of Living course in Nov'97; my teacher (Dinesh Nair) would nudge and coax me to sing and clap. Then I would start singing and clapping, as though I was being punished, out of an obligation towards my teacher, I would participate and get thoroughly bored and shocked at the same time, looking at other people sway to their own singing, which was out of key and rhythm and very far from being melodious.

And today, for me, satsang is an inseparable part of not just my life, but of my very existence. Its too profound for words to describe. This and the next few posts in the series titled 'The Magic of Satsang' I will be attempting to translate and convey my understanding and experiences of Satsang.

Less than one hour ago, I read what the great Sage Vasistha had to say about satsang, in his dialogue with Lord Sri Rama, popularly known as 'The Yoga Vasistha'.

Excerpted from pg 30 of 'The Supreme Yoga - Yoga Vasistha' by Swami Venkateshananda

"...Satsanga (company of wise, holy and enlightened persons) is yet another gatekeeper to liberation. Satsanga enlarges one's intelligence, destroys one's ignorance and one's psychological distress. Whatever be the cost, however difficult it may be, whatever obstacles may stand in its way, satsanga should never be neglected. For, satsanga alone is one's light on the path of life.

Satsanga is indeed superior to all other forms of religious practices like charity, austerity, pilgrimage and the performance of religious rights.

One should by every means in one's power adore and serve the holy men who have realized the truth and in whose heart the darkness of ignorance has been dispelled. They, on the other hand, who treat such holy men disrespectfully, surely invite great suffering..."

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