Satsanga – Keeping Company With Truth
excerpted from a talk by Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral.
Sat means the truth, the company of the saintly, the likewise minded. Sat means that which is pure, that which is light.
Sanga means company. The company of truth, of the saintly, of light, of your own practice, the company of your mantra. Satsanga is like a vitamin remedy that keeps you on track.
What do you want out of this journey?
Sit down and be very honest with yourself. Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts every morning or before you go to bed. That will help you immensely. Once you know what kind of thoughts go through your mind, then only allow those thoughts that are conducive. Use your mind, your will power, your sankalpa shakti (resolve) to discriminate and not allow in thoughts that are not conducive, that distract or disturb you. Witness as they come and learn to let them go.
Self examination is a gradual process that does not happen in a day or two or a week or a month. Write down your questions. When we ask and are not satisfied with the answer, it is because we are not clear with ourselves. 50% questions will disappear from the mind if you really examine yourself. Examine anything you do for a second. Is this helpful for me? Is this conducive for my meditation? Is this conducive for my life? If I do this, what will be the consequences?
Questions and answers are like two sides of the same coin. A question never comes without an answer. The question came from within so the answer is within. You have to dig and find out. In the yoga tradition, teachers don’t always answer questions because they want to give us the opportunity to explore and find the answer within.
By keeping this kind of journal, this kind of discipline, you are purifying yourself. By purifying yourself, the buddhi (discriminating mind) gets sharpened, the buddhi that is the source of intuition. That intuition will guide you always. You will exactly know ahead of time that this is what you should be doing. You cannot make a mistake if you know how to listen to your inner voice of intuition. Intuition is always so correct, so pure, because it is coming from the Self, coming from the source.
To go on a journey, you have to have a map before you begin. In the map, once you have it, you have to first see the position where you stand. We each have our own journey to complete. The second question that comes is the destination. That is why I emphasize to ask what exactly you are looking for? How far do you want to go? Once the destination is clear, which route do you want to take? What will be the closest highway from wherever you are?
We need to make a decision, a kind of a sankalpa (resolve). Once I start my journey I will examine and try my best, within my own capacity, to not do things that are not helpful. Do not get into the habit of self condemnation because then you cannot be honest with yourself. You have to know your weaknesses, you have to know your strengths. We are on this earth because we incomplete, we are not perfect. To purify ourselves, we take this journey. One day, may you complete your journey, may you reach to your destination and see who you really are. You are full of joy. There is ever lasting joy, there is bliss, there is a sense of that purna, that you are complete. There is a sense of satisfaction, santosha.
You are absolutely satisfied and happy. All questions have been resolved. The destination is within ourselves. You may be in the middle of downtown and its so crowded and you may be absolutely centered from within. There are many ways to cultivate this such as breath awareness, mantra, keeping your posture straight and contemplating inspiration thoughts.
Build one step at a time. Be aware of your weaknesses because you want to remove them, to eliminate them. At the same time, you have to be proud of yourself, of your strength. With the help of your strength, you will be able to overcome your weaknesses. One day you will find you can meditate, you can deal with things, you are doing fine in life, you are much happier, you are much lighter. There is much joy and purpose in life. That’s what satsanga is all about.
Satsanga, keeping company with truth, can do anything for us. It is such a remedy it can change you overnight. It is that powerful. Then you remain with it. Just recall and you are in that state of joy.
Pandit Dr. Hari Shankar Dabral is a senior yoga meditation teacher within the Himalayan lineage of Shri Swam Rama.
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