Many Dimensions Of Heartfelt Satsang
21 Sep 2007, 0000 hrs IST,Aruna Jethwani for TIMES OF INDIA
A friend going through depression was advised by her family physician to join satsang. She flared up: “Why satsang?” The physician thought for a moment and said: “Because satsang will give you a community. It will give you a sense of belonging. Two, it will draw you out of your limited self and will help you bond with your higher self”.
Satsang helps build up a magnetic centre of spiritual life; from such a centre flows energy which purifies and stabilises our emotions. Traditionally satsang is associated with the singing of Naam kirtan, invoking the Supreme. This is only one aspect. Satsang has many dimen-sions. It may mean a gathering of like-minded people who pray together or discuss and debate issues which are of concern to humanity. Just as any good work is worship, similarly fruitful exchange of ideas which would benefit self and society is also satsang.
In a deeper sense, satsang is fellowship with an evolved person. The presence of a holy person purifies emotions and rejuvenates body, mind and spirit. It spreads ‘pure energy’ which gives a sense of well-being as it washes away our mundane worries for a while. It is for these reasons that life management courses prescribe satsang, that is, group prayer or singing. Such kirtans divert negative energy, producing circles of positivism which have multiplier and cascading effects. Such gatherings purify the gross physical and help to heal body and mind as well. Little wonder the youth of today find comfort in chanting for peace or good health or just invoke higher energies for themselves.
Satsang of the Naam kirtan type can be a higher mystical and spiritual experience. Recounting his personal experiences Sadhu Vaswani writes, “Our Calcutta Satsang was vibrant. It commenced with recitation of holy verses and readings from scriptures followed by bhajans, and culminating in kirtan. The kirtan awakened the souls of many… Some became ecstatic, others fell into a swoon. This happened so often that my Gurudev had to appoint some of us to pick up those devotees who were in an unconscious state and reach them home safely.”
During those times, Calcutta used to have long processions. Devotees of Chaitanya Maha-prabhu, particularly, took out a procession, chanting Haribol, Haribol and in that Masti of Mantra, they went into ecstasy that reached a crescendo of a higher kind. Speaking of his own intoxication, Sadhu Vaswani further says, “On more than one occasion I was so intoxicated with the mantra that I fell in a state of unconscious-ness. Even in that delirious state, I would continue to chant Haribol, and would fall down on the ground. The devotees would pick me up and reach me home. When I woke up, many hours later, I would ask, where am I?”
Such mystical and spiritual experiences are rare. But it goes without saying that satsang relieves us of latent mental burdens; it creates positive patterns; it roots us to our own real self; it takes away our frustrations, it provides a surface for interaction; and above all satsang generates pure energies which purify us. With so many benefits, it is worthwhile to participate in chanting groups, Reiki healing, Gita groups, Interfaith lunches, Peace prayers, and enjoy the vigour, enthusiasm and energy of positive living.