To play any musical instrument, an essential aspect is to tune it. In the absence of tuning, it is impossible to produce melodious notes from it. Likewise, this life is an instrument. And, to play soothing notes of peace and wisdom from it, it is essential to tune it. In the spiritual parlance, 'Satsangs (Spiritual discourses)' play the role of a tuner, which tune us on to the path of spirituality.
In this hi-tech world, we are either fully immersed in articulating machines (Smart phones, Computers, Tablets, PCs, etc.) or are caught up in our professional lives most of the times. In such a scenario, where we are constantly in touch with maya (materialism), it becomes difficult for us to stay connected with the Lord Almighty. And, thus it becomes vital for a disciple to devote some time in the company of saintly people. Such enlightened people are like spiritual dynamos. Their strong, positive, powerful words serve as the wonderful fitness mantras not just for the body and mind but also for the soul. In the context of spiritual discourses, one of the modest sources of inspirational and spiritual literature of India known as Atharva Veda (10/8/16) also advises: 'O sons of the nation! Man is uplifted only by the company of scholars, the wise and men of character. Satsang is the gym for spiritual exercise.'
To gain more insight into the subject and its importance, here is a narration from an Indian scripture:
Once a sage named Narad went to the Lord and asked– “O Lord, please tell me the greatness of satsang?” God did not answer the query directly and pointing towards a worm said, “Ask that worm and it will answer your question.”
Obeying the commandment from the Lord, sage Narad went near the worm and asked his question– “O species of the Lord, can you tell me the importance of satsang?” He had hardly completed his question and was eager to listen to the reply, when he found that the worm died.
On getting such an unexpected response, the sage went to the Lord again and narrated the entire incident to Him. But, before he could comment any further, the Lord said to him to ask the same question to a parrot which had just taken birth in the nearby house.
The sage went to the parrot and placed his question before it as per the instruction of the Lord. Alas! This time again, in reply to his query, the parrot died! The same thing happened in the case of the calf as well to which the Lord had asked to ask the question, after the parrot had died.
After witnessing all this, sage Narad requested the Lord to answer the question Himself. At his request, the Lord replied, “Narad, do not lose patience. Just now, a prince is born to the king of the same town. Go and ask the same question to the prince and this time you will get the answer for sure.”
Narad was afraid. He thought, what if the same thing happens with that little child as well. The king would not pardon him. But, it was an instruction from the Lord, and so he had to abide by it. He went to the king's palace. With a fearful heart, he asked the newborn prince the same question once again, “O little one! Can you tell me the importance of Satsang?”
To his utter surprise, the small boy did not die. Instead, he smiled and said, “O Sage Narad! Your words made me free from the trap of three births in which I was forced to face the consequences of my previous deeds. And, by the grace of this satsang, I could get this precious human birth again in which I can attain liberation. Many, many thanks; I am indebted to you. I will always remain grateful to you.”
Such indeed is the importance of spiritual discourses. Satsang offers the means to bring reformation in life. Those who attend satsang, they get to know the way by which one can live in the world without getting drowned in the pool of attachments. It is through satsang that one gets to know the real aim of life. He learns about the importance of human birth. The greatest of all, it is by the means of satsang only that one comes to know about the identity of a True Guru, whereupon he seeks his tutelage who makes him see God.
Satsang proves to be a great means for helping a disciple to nurture the characteristics of patience, understanding, prudence and wisdom. He is able to comprehend the fact that while sitting in the ship of the Perfect Master, the jerks that he gets are not meant to drown him. Rather, they are to protect him from getting drowned in the ocean of maya. He gains the understanding that whatever challenges and troubles he has to face in his life, they will add to his growth and development only.
Also, when people assemble in spiritual discourses, they gain positive spiritual vibes, which cast an impact on every individual, apparently and otherwise. One gains new energy to tread the path of self-transformation. And, when each individual starts working upon himself, a bigger change automatically takes shape. Physicist David Bohm says in his book 'On Dialogue' that the microcosm of the group is a reflection of the macrocosm. Bohm states, “The group is the microcosm of society; so if the group– or anyone– is cured, it is the beginning of a larger cure.”
Therefore, dear disciples of the Lord! We, who are the microcosm of society and who have realised our True Self by the grace of our Perfect Master, His Holiness Ashutosh Maharaj Ji, need to come together to trigger a bigger change. These microcosms of society are only going to bring peace in the world– and lead to the making of a divine world!