In this episode, The Bearded Mystic Podcast discusses the benefits of satsang. Satsang means the company of the truth or those individuals that are enlightened with the Truth.
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Hello and welcome to the 15th episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast and I'm your host, Rahul N Singh. Thank you for taking out the time today to either watch or listen to this podcast today on this episode, we're going to be talking about what satsang really means. What's the purpose of satsang and how does satsang help us in this spiritual journey. How does it guide us on the spiritual path and how can we utilize satsang to the best of its capacity? Satsang is a Sanskrit word, which means a company of truth. If you want to go a bit deeper into that, it really means the company of those individuals that have associated themselves completely with the truth and satsang is interaction with those people. It could be one person, it could be a group of people and that's what satsang really is. There's also an added element on what satsang can be, satsang can be when you're meditating and you've got to that point where you're one with the Ultimate Reality. That is satsang, when you're reading a scripture, that is satsang. As long as it is reminding you of the Ultimate Reality, that is satsang. Satsang doesn't necessarily have to be in one place. It's not necessarily in one brick and mortar building. Nowadays everything is on zoom or Skype or on YouTube live or whatever it may be. It's not just that either. Satsang is a lot deeper than that and we have to understand that satsang is a universal thing. The beauty of this spiritual journey or spiritual life is that if you can learn from anything and everything, the universe is your satsang. The universe is your place of worship. Everywhere you go, there is something to learn. Anything that you come across in life can point towards something spiritual. The truth is always here, it never disappears. It doesn't belong to time. It doesn't belong to a place. It's all about where you are within your own mind. If in the mind, you're thinking about Brahman, you thinking about the Ultimate Truth. You're thinking about the wisdom that is discussed in the scriptures or by the spiritual teacher, that is satsang. Satsang ultimately is all about fixing our attention on consciousness, fixing our attention on awareness. That's keeping the company of the truth. even when we meet with our friends. When we are with people that we go and associate with spiritually, if you're at work, your colleagues. Whenever you discuss something spiritual, you'll notice there's a different quality. For example, there's been times when I've been in a discussion with someone and there is this heightened energy in the room that wasn't there before. Maybe it was always there, but because we've associated ourselves to the higher truth, this deep silence of truth, because we've met with it, the room feels different. That is satsang and this is something we can experience all the time, anytime. In terms of its accessibility, if you see this whole universe as somewhere you can learn from then this moment is satsang and nobody can deny you of this. Someone can ban you from a place, but they can't ban you from this moment. We often hear about people being banned from a certain (spiritual/religious) center, for whatever reason, whether rightly or wrongly, that's not the question, but the point is that you can not be banned in this moment. Therefore you cannot truly be banned from satsang. Society can ban you. Society has banned many mystics, but you cannot be denied this moment. What is the benefit of satsang? Satsang is a beautiful mirror that shows us who we really are. First it shows us who we think we are and then as we keep the company of those wise people, whether through the form of a book or through the form of living interaction, we begin to see who we really are. They start cleaning that mirror that is showing our reflection and it starts reflecting this Ultimate Reality. Satsang also helps us lead an ethical life and this is very important because we cannot say we associate with a spiritual path and yet deceive others or cheat other people or betray other people. We cannot say we are on a spiritual journey if that's what we're doing. If I'm being dishonest at work, then I can't say I'm being spiritual. The whole point of being in satsang is to be a true embodiment of the truth. Or atleast attempt to be the embodiment of truth. Once you tell people you're spiritual, there's this expectation of who you're meant to be and sometimes this expectation can be unrealistic and it can be a bit farfetched, but I think being ethical is not being farfetched. I think being an honest person is something that really you don't even need spirituality to be. But if you're spiritual, it's the basics. And if you're not getting the basics, then forget about the Ultimate Reality. That's my honest opinion about it. There's two things that can really help a new spiritual aspirant. One is meditation. The other one is satsang and the reason for satsang is because it tells you the ultimate truth, that this world is only an appearance and this Ultimate Reality is the only truth. The only existence is this truth. That's the great thing that satsang can bring. When you see somebody that's embodying this truth, it inspires you. It can really help you look within and say, where am I going wrong in my spiritual journey? Why am I not achieving what other people have achieved? What's stopping me? Normally it's our ego. Satsang is that mirror that shows us our ego and shows us how our ego is making us fall at every step. And then satsang shows us how to pick ourselves up and continue on the journey Satsang uses different methods. It can be a question and answer session. It can be listening to a discourse of our spiritual teacher or the master. It can be a kirtan or the singing of bhajans or hymns. It can be a place where we chant mantras together. Satsang can take any form. But the main purpose is that it helps us to look within, it helps us to increase our concentration. So when it comes to meditation, we can sit for a longer time. The longer we sit in the awareness of this truth, the awareness of this Ultimate Reality, the more we stabilize in it. Satsang is that one place, where you have to have your full concentration. If you don't, you only get a little bit of understanding. I've spoken to spiritual practitioners for many years and when they say, oh, I haven't achieved anything spiritually. I've been listening to these words of wisdom, but nothing has happened. When you ask them, have you really been listening? Okay, you've been listening, but then have you practiced what you listened to? They say no. Satsang is not just listening to the words. It's practicing the words. That is what satsang is. Many of us think that if we go somewhere and we listen, that is satsang, and we've done our bit. But the reality is that satsang is the practice of the teachings. That's what satsang is. We find that people have been on the spiritual path for many years, but they've not attained anything or they feel they've attained very little it's because of that, they're not translated teaching into practice and we have to try and do that. That's the whole purpose. That's what I feel. I remember once I was at a satsang and it was afterwards, and we were discussing what our master has spoken about in a discourse. A fellow practitioner, a very close friend, asked someone next to him. What did you learn from the discourse? What was the highlight for you? And the person said, oh, I didn't listen. I was in the restroom. I was in the bathroom. This is the ego. This is what the ego does because it knows. See the ego is very cunning. It knows. The one place where you can really be affected. The one place where growth can really occur. That if you're really attuned to the master. If you're really listening to the discourse, if you're really one with the words and you become one with that presence of the master, it can be incredibly transformative. But what happens is our ego knows this and what happens? We suddenly need to go to the restroom. We suddenly feel hungry. We suddenly feel that we need to look at our phone. I think I've got an important message. Someone must have called me. This is what our mind does. This is what our ego does. Spirituality is all about the practice. We get inspired by those that are with us in the satsang. The whole point is to get inspired. Inspired to what? To practice. Not to accumulate new knowledge alone. What is the point of knowledge, if we do not practice it? Singing is about inspiring us towards practice and it can be through anything. Sometimes you can attend satsang, but you may see a volunteer, who is maybe cleaning the dishes or is cleaning the floors. And by their pure energy, their radiant energy of service inspires us. And then imagine if you find out that the person that was cleaning the floor just now or cleaning the toilets was a CEO of a company. I've seen that. Wouldn't that inspire you? That shows that satsang doesn't care about your position in life. In the Ultimate Reality, we are all the same. In satsang, we are all the same. The differences only in how much we capture and how much we then practice. There's no point keeping treasure to yourself, spend it, spend the wisdom that you've had and you have received. Utilize what you've got. This only occurs when we have less ego. When we have less forms of identities to maintain, then we learn more. Then we are open to learning. We are open to learning the deepest of truths. That's the whole purpose of citizens. How can we utilize satsang? How can we use it as a way to focus more? Now think about the Ultimate Reality. The Ultimate Reality is completely still, completely stable. The Ultimate Reality is indefinable. It doesn't move. It's always here. Always present. It's formless. It's beyond duality, beyond manifestation, beyond shape, beyond image beyond color. Beyond it all. The more we focus on that, the more we learn in satsang. Then everywhere becomes a place of worship. When we interact with the world, we are to remember the teachings presented at satsang. We have to utilize the teachings. We have to practice the teachings. Without the practice, it means nothing. And again, this in turn helps us to become good moral citizens of the world. We want the betterment of society and society is only going to be better, if we're better. If we ourselves are harming others with negative thinking, with thoughts that will harm others. Then we're not being good citizens, no matter how spiritual we may be, no matter how much we meditate, no matter how much crystals are cleaning us. Doesn't matter. If we're not doing our moral duty as being good, responsible citizens in the world. We're not achieving anything. The more we hear about the truth, the more our spiritual curiosity will increase. It's the more we want to know ourselves. So for example, if I don't know what the Ultimate Reality is, well I want to know the Ultimate Reality, I want to experience the Ultimate Reality. I want to know what it means to feel blissful. I want to know what it means to be in contact with consciousness. I want to know what it means to have background awareness. What does that mean? The curiosity increases. In turn, whatever we experience spiritually, we then share it with our loved ones, we share it with the world because in sharing, it increases. The opposite is worked here. That the more you share your energy of being in the Ultimate Reality, when your presence just speaks of the ultimate reality, not just your words, but your presence. That sharing just increases. The more you share, the more you accumulate in terms of that presence. The more you empty yourself of ego, the more of this energy manifests within you. In fact, it's not manifested, you discover it. It's always been there. So we can do that. This is what satsang brings. Just to recap that satsang can be seen as a gathering of people in the beginning, but really it's our interaction, our meeting with the truth, our oneness with the truth, our realization of the truth. Satsang in its truest form is when we are one with the truth and then whatever we do becomes an act of satsang, and becomes an act of keeping the company of the truth. Satsang is a mirror that shows us who we are. In the beginning, we are faced with that ego, but with a continuous focus on attending satsang, being in attendance allows us to slowly get rid of the ego, or depending on how much we practice, how quickly we get rid of the ego. Satsang is definitely a place where it increases our spiritual progress. It's one of those places that I've benefited from and continue to benefit from, and this can be done in any way. Now, the mediums are really infinite. You can go on YouTube and they will be a satsang there for you to attend or to listen to a talk. Any spiritual video, you can listen to a podcast. You can read a book of any spiritual master, any scripture, whatever connects you to the truth is satsang and the ways towards it are infinite. Find your way that works for you and if you found a way. Keep at it. Keep your devotion towards it. It's very important to have satsang. Very important. And it's a blessing, a complete blessing. Imagine being in the place that constantly reminds you about who you are, about this Ultimate Reality, this Formlessness. How beautiful is that place? How beautiful is the company of those people? Really treasure it, really honor it. Thank you for listening to this episode of The Bearded Mystic Podcast, please do remember to follow or subscribe to this channel and do leave a review for this podcast. I'd really appreciate knowing what you think. You can follow me on social media and I will leave the links below to each of those accounts. I do share small clips on there that you can share with friends and family. And if you feel that anyone in your friends and family circle would love this podcast do share it with them. A new episode is uploaded every Sunday and Thursday until next time, take care. See you again soon.