SATSANG


by M. Govindan Satchidananda


After receiving initiation into Babaji's Kriya Yoga, many persons wonder what they should do or learn next. "Practice" is the first thing, and then, "practice, practice and practice". However, because it requires some effort to move against deep seated habits of inertia and distraction, one may become fatiqued and experience a fading of interest or enthusiasm for the path. The human mind is generally very unsteady, and it often needs stimulation, something new. The remedy is "satsang", or "sharing of truth" with fellow students of yoga. The mind may resist, with doubts like "why go to a meeting with a bunch of people just like me". The answer lies in the unique chemistry which occurs when truth seekers meet one another. Jesus the Christ described it when he said: "whenever two or three of you are gathered together in my name, there I am also".

Many persons of the Christian faith, accept that statement simply based upon their faith. If we analyse it, and try it, however, the results are as replicable as those in a scientific experiment. First of all, lets identify Jesus and his name. We often confuse Jesus the person, son of Joseph (Jesus bin Joseph) with the state of realization he attained, "Christ consciousness", the "son of God". It is not an exclusive state. Jesus said: "Be ye sons of God" and "Be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect". Also, "all these miracles I have performed, ye shall perform even greater ones". So, when he encouraged others to gather in his name, he was referring to the Christ consciousness, the awareness that we are already enlightened, but that we need only remind ourselves of it. This is the true purpose of "satsang" as it is conceived in India.

Satsang manifests whenever we sit in the physical presence of a saint, but it can also manifest when we focus on our own highest truth. How we focus on this truth, which is beyond definition and words, may vary: it may include meditation, chanting, inspirational readings, question and answer, devotional practices. The letting go of our worldly distractions for a time, allows our true self to shine forth brilliantly like the sun ("the son"). Inspiration, joy and peace flow. We recognize the divinity in ourselves and others. It is not a intellectual experience, but what our hearts longs for, the eternal moment, the infinite presence.

When, for example we really let ourselves go in chanting the names of God, what happens. Our trivial round of ego glued preoccupations melt away into the timeless Now. When, during question and answers, we center ourselves, unprepared, open to a higher inspiration, the ego gets out of the way and inspiration flows. We are empowered and Truth speaks through what Aurobindo referred to as the "psychic", the consciousness which forms a bridge between our minds and God.

When we focus on words of truth, as expressed in scriptures, sacred books or inspirational literature, we also transcend the habitual perspective of a lower sense-oriented, desire oriented mind. We become attuned to that higher Consciousness which spoke through the authors of such texts.

Here is an outline for a satsang gathering:

  1. Opening prayer of invocation such as "Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum"
  2. Brief introduction of everyone present;
  3. Reading of some inspiration literature or sacred text;
  4. Chanting of devotional chants, alternating with devotional songs individualy sung;
  5. Chanting of "Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum" at least 16 times per leader, with the leadership rotating around the circle;
  6. Group practice of Kriya Kundalini pranayama and meditation;
  7. Question and answer period;
  8. Shanti mantra sung as a group;
  9. Sharing of a meal informally.

Feel free to add to or subtract these elements, according to the time available and your needs or interests. For example, include practice of some or all of the 18 postures. Organize satsangs on weekend outings or camping trips in natural surroundings. Organize special satsangs during holiday seasons.

May every reader pick up the telephone and call some fellow travellers of this great path of Babaji's Kriya Yoga and invite them to your home for "satsang". If you are fortunate to live in an area where such gatherings are held regularly, call their organizer; if you don't know who they are consult our website directory of contact persons (www.pre-prod.org or call or write the ashram for a reference. If you would like to attend an international satsang, attend the July 2-5 conference here in Quebec.

Even if you do not feel the need for fellowship with other students, I recommend you participate it ...and regularly. The path has its ups and downs. Sometimes we don't even realize our far down we may have drifted until we participate in satsang. There will also be times when your presence will inspire others who are struggling. True spirituality is expansive in nature, and by the power of love include others. Let your love and light shine in satsang.


Copyright by Marshall Govindan. April 1999. All rights reserved.


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