This post is a continuation of the previous one on Satsang – the most relevant thread for all – an enabler for regaining connection with our Boundless Self. We defined and understood the importance of Satsang and next thing important to grasp is various recommended approaches to secure Sat-sang. These approaches I stumbled upon in a very crystallized form in texts available from Sharnanandji, a revolutionary Sage who pioneered some unique devices and simplified the most complicated knots of core life issues. He left his physical form in 1974, and during his lifetime he influenced think tanks deeply and guided many contemporary leaders with his rational and intuitive perceptions with absolute clarity and confidence. He continues to rule hearts of many seekers even today.
Quick Summary on Satsang again
Securing Satsang is the only real and most important pursuit of life, enabling us to regain depth in life, what we are actually looking for.
Approches to secure Satsang vary at a high level in two categories – one can just be still and one with what IS, what EXISTS (SAT) or give up on importance and identification which doesn’t exist, something which is holding us back – aka ASAT.
Another way to define ASAT – whatever wrong, vice or weakness we see in ourselves prevailing e.g. possessiveness, arrogance, craving for what we don’t have. Sat-sang is also best defined as elimination of ASAT – the core mistakes of life.
Why we need to secure Satsang? – To identify and get rid of core mistakes and weaknesses (ASAT) easily and naturally.
Let’s begin on various alternative approaches to secure Satsang. I plan to cover 5 here briefly and last one which needs detailed outline in the next post.
1st Approach – Personal Satsang
It is simply self-review in the light of our own wisdom. One has to look within for ASAT – core fault in attitude, core errors, something that doesn’t have any real existence but is the root cause of our troubles. Key steps in the elimination of ASAT are the identification of issues, acceptance of facts, possibilities and impossibilities, conviction to drop the wrongs fully.
Once we have successfully eliminated ASAT from our life we discover our connection with SAT – that always existed.
So what do we do in personal Satsang – we introspect and review ourselves before and after any key task during the day. Repeatedly seeing and finding problematic areas convinces us strongly enough to get rid off or at least be able to decide to get rid off ASAT. Because consciously or unconsciously at the base we are supporting and cooperating with every issue for the sake of some unconscious pleasure or security.
Regular reviews uncover the reality about ASAT in us and it is serving no purpose in fulfilling us nor securing anything in any dimension. But such a confidence and strength is possible after a good number of self-reviews and beauty of personal Satsang is that we don’t need anybody outside to help us identify our issues. Only thing is we will have to habituate to pauses and use our inherent wisdom, so there is absolute clarity and conviction eventually.
Another thing to note is we may find difficult when the mind haunts with dreadful memories of failures or a hell lot of useless thoughts but we need to disregard it as non-existent and unimportant, and remain firm on the idea that we have already eliminated it from deeper / acceptance level by saying NO to ASAT during the review period. Any hangover of thoughts will surely die if we don’t attend to it. We must skill-fully learn to non-cooperate and remain unidentified, and keep conviction of elimination of ASAT firm. Stronger the conviction the lesser the influence of thoughts over us and eventually all will sediment down without exception.
We got to be firm and doubtless, as the overall outcome and understanding came from our own insights and repeated observations and reviews.
How long will it take to be fully free from ASAT?
Fundamentally we are already free from ASAT, it’s just the influence and importance of ASAT seated deeply in our brains. Elimination here means devaluing it, labeling it as non-existent so that importance piled on in our brains is nullified and we can find space for ever present beauty and fullness of life. Duration of struggling transition from unreal to real depends on
- How badly we want to regain the connection to reality within and
- Sincerity with which we reprogram our brains to unlearn the tendencies to entangle with any and every thought.
Key steps again:
- Pause for self-reviews before and after tasks or suitably decided times/frequency during the day. Start with at least before sleep and after we wake up.
- Observe and identify ASAT. This gradually solidifies conviction to drop it and gets us over the mistake-driven pleasures or security.
- Stay firm-footed on the conviction to eliminate ASAT. Don’t cooperate with past memories or haunting thoughts post-decision nor consider them real. Disregarding as unreal will make such tendencies lose power on us. Any thought can control or influence us only to an extent we cooperate, approve, identify and give importance to it.
2nd Approach – Group Sat-Sang
Suppose, if one finds personal Satsang difficult and not very effective then focused groups can be created with certain specific care during the discussion.
Care to be taken:
- Contemplation needs to be done around one’s own weaknesses or faults, and not act as coordinator, instructor or consultant. Neither there should be a discussion about others or national problems like things which are outside our control.
- Skills and intelligence need to be used to weed out the doubts and leave every member more clear and determined to give up the weaknesses.
- We should encourage vulnerability and opening up which sets the environment for others to share their own weaknesses comfortably. Vulnerability, open-hearted discussions, creative solutions and experiential suggestions are the keys.
- Whatever weaknesses are being discussed, that particularly belong to the past, so we should not judge ourselves as guilty or faulty. There is a subtle difference between “I have done a mistake” and “I am a mistake”. Former can be dealt and corrected and later is succumbing to shame and self-judgement, which we must avoid in all circumstances.
Weaknesses which gets expressed clearly loses power over us and identification bond is weakened. Non-identification eventually dissolves weakness and awakens us to our inherent innocence.
The more open, vulnerable, honest participation is there in focused groups the more are the chances of greater degree of clarity on weaknesses and root issues. Clearer the knowing stronger is the desire to get rid of wrongs and weaknesses.
3rd Approach – Strengthening desire to awaken to our natural and innocent beings?
This approach calls for the strengthening and deepening of our desire to evolve, to be free, to develop personal power, to create and serve, to love deeply and unconditionally. Desire for real needs of heart, just feel deeply the need of SAT in life. Of love, beauty, quality and deep rest, and contribution. Such a strong desire drives away surface level illusory desires and excuses, gets our attention away from mundane, which is in reality is the main blocker to finding happiness and peace.
Fundamentally, the desire of quality life is more important than Life itself as singleness of such desire finds it’s fulfilment automatically and cleans up all useless desires in the process.
This needs repetitions before and after sleep, now and then, during the day so that it becomes alive and strong enough to wipe off all other hindering desires. This may trigger in form of curiosity for knowing the truth or simply a burning desire to be what we want to be.
The desire of SAT is about real and while other desires concerns mundane and unreal.
So in this way strong desire for SAT facilitates and secures Sat-Sang uniquely.
4th Approach- Taking help of a Trusted Mentor
Above three approaches involves major responsibility on self but in case one feels the need of external help, then he/she can approach a Mentor/Guru on whom individual finds easy to trust.
Care to be taken:
- First and foremost – We have to find someone on whom we can trust easily and deeply to be our Mentor.
- Uphold the aim of this new connection, which is SAT-SANG – to know solutions to get rid of our weaknesses.
- Obeying him or her is quite natural and we should take their suggestions to solve our core issues.
- We need not judge or evaluate our Mentor, nor we should observe all their activities, our job is to obey and get rid of our weaknesses with the guidance received.
- Avoid following or copying our mentor or convincing others to become co-followers. All this is not needed and will distract us from purpose – which is to eliminate known ASAT.
Remember, one can choose only one or combination of approaches to secure Sat-sang. All depends on person’s make, interest, situation and hunger level.
5th Approach – Taking help of scripture
For whatever reason, if nothing of 1st to 3rd approach works nor one is able to find a trusted Mentor then one can take help of a book or some sublime scripture to find solutions to core issues. The precondition for this approach is natural and deep faith in the scripture.
Care to be taken
- The aim should be to search solution to dissolve problems, or get rid of wrongs, mistakes from life and not overall thorough understanding of scripture.
- Scriptures could be great but since our perceptions are limited we may not find all of it to make sense in current times and in an attempt to do so we may lose time and energy, weaken trust, entangle ourselves, and lose focus.
- Just like in medical shop every medicine is of use but not all are for anyone, so we need to laser focus on our problem and pick up on appropriate suggestion/device for us. I have lost immense time in foolishly measuring, evaluating, finding hidden connotations even when none of those were relevant to my current problems. The sheer confusion created from such fruitless exercises used to consume huge time and made my learning process heavy and less enjoyable.
- Focus on whatever we find relevant, interesting, doable and sustainable in the long run.
There is one more effective and super natural approach I have been exposed to, and been benefitted from, quite relevant and doable but bit tricky in adoption in the fast paced world. As people normally do not value the most obvious and easy ones. I would take up 6th approach ( Mook Sat-Sang – Being Still ) in next write-up with satisfactory details and background.
Some of points in care to take in various approaches sounds like common-sense affair but normally missed in spiritual endeavours making it difficult in realization of benefits. For spiritual projects we depend too much on Gurus and get confused in interpreting them rightly and ignore what life teaches us from morning till night.
Main thing to keep always in focus is WHY – the reason behind – in all the approaches.
All these recommendations are experiential, thought through, and to the point for a person wanting to awaken to life’s real treasures – inherent power, peace, fearlessness, and a heart to love and contribute. Hope you will benefit from it, feel free to trigger questions for any gaps.