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Associating With Truth -- Satsang -- The Three Levels of Satsang

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  • santmat_mystic ( James )
    Associating With Truth -- Satsang -- The Three Levels of Satsang Radhasoami Reality: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Radhasoami-Reality {Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 13, 2006
      Associating With Truth -- Satsang -- The Three Levels of Satsang

      Radhasoami Reality:
      {Radhaswami Dayal ki Daya Radhaswami Sahai:
      "Grant Merciful Radhasoami Thy Grace and Protection"}
      Sant Mat Fellowship:

      The term "Satsang" is used by various Indian paths including Sant
      Mat (The Way of the Saints -- Path of the Masters). It means
      Association (Sang) with the Eternal Truth or God (Sat). Below is a
      spiritual discourse from a Sant Mat perspective on the three
      different levels of satsang we can practice in order to be freed
      from illusion, be given complete spiritual guidance, and reunite
      with the Supreme Lord of Love.


      Sant Mat Fellowship

      Not About Sectarianism and Label-Worship

      In different times and different places saints appear and their
      followers name their religion according to the sage or saint who
      propounded that tradition. The appearance of differences can be
      attributed to time, place, and language. This gives rise to various
      labels for the common views held by all religions. Likewise, due to
      excessively zealous followers, these seeming differences are often
      amplified. When all sectarianism and the temporal and linguistic
      aspects are removed; the basic principles of all the saints are in
      accord the voices of the saints are in harmony. (Sant Maharishi
      Mehi, in, "The Philosophy of Liberation")

      The Blessings of Satsang

      Param Sant Tulsidas Ji says: "Without the association of great
      saints, there is neither discourse of the Divine nor the
      understanding of the scriptures. Without these two, selfish
      attachment does not loosen its grip. And without dispelling
      attachment to the world one cannot attain the realm of the Divine
      and the true devotion that is essential to realize the Divine."

      Guru Kabir Sahib says: "Discord and delusion can be removed by the
      power of the association of saints [satsang]. For those who
      associate with saints, suffering dissolves and they will remain
      immersed in joy. Joy arises from noble company and pain arises from
      association with the wicked", says Kabir, "go to a place where
      saints dwell and their association is possible."

      The Three Levels of Satsang

      The word satsang is comprised of two words sat and sang. What is

      Sat is that which can never be destroyed. It is the essential
      element which is indestructible and beyond the limitations of time.
      And it is Truth. Sang means association or contact. Thus association
      or coming in contact with Sat or Truth is satsang.

      In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says:

      "Whatever is Truth always exists and is never non-existent. That
      which is non-Truth has no existence whatsoever."

      * The First Kind of Satsang (Association with the Divine)

      What is this element which is indestructible, has always been
      constant and will forever remain as such? That element is the
      Supreme Being of the universe. Association with this Being, in
      reality, is association with Truth (satsang). But, what is it that
      would associate with this Supreme Being? Is it the body or the
      senses? The answer is that it is neither of these two. It is only
      apart from the body and senses that we will be able to associate
      with the Supreme Being. This is because it is only our soul that is
      an inseparable part of the Divine. It is only we (our soul) that is
      capable of merging with the Divine. Our individual soul is truth,
      and also, the Supreme is Truth. True satsang is the unity of the
      soul with the Supreme Truth. This is the highest kind of sat-sang.
      However, this highest kind of satsang, unity with the Divine, does
      not occur all of a sudden. This category of satsang requires many
      lifetimes of good actions and spiritual imprints (samskaras).

      * The Second Kind of Sat-sang (Association with the Saints)

      Sant Tulsidas says:

      "The association of the saints brings association with the Divine,
      and alliance with people who are engrossed in the world leads the
      way back to this world again and again."

      To attain Ultimate Liberation it is essential to have association
      with the saints. Saints, having realized the true form of God,
      become that True Form. The accomplished great beings who have
      attained unity with the Divine, and who have experienced the Supreme
      Being even while living in this body, have become the Supreme Being
      [They become one with their true Divine Form]. Association with
      these saints is this second category of satsang. However, finding
      such a saint is not an easy task. A true saint is rare and difficult
      to find.

      Sant Tulsidas says:

      "Without accumulation of many good deeds one will be unable to gain
      the association of a great saint."

      When our good karmas permit, we are able to come to experience the
      association of these sentient beings. A more important point is that
      even if we have a direct encounter with such a saint, we often do
      not have the wisdom to be able to recognize a genuine sage.

      A great Sant, Tulsidas, says:

      "If someone says 'I have recognized a saint,' then I put my hands on
      my ears in astonishment. [It is not an easy task.]"

      If ordinary people could recognize saints, then why, since
      antiquity, have so many great saints, sages, and prophets been
      tortured, maimed and killed? Many saints have had to face horrible
      atrocities. This simply would not have happened if we were able to
      recognize the genuine great saints.

      * The Third Kind of Satsang (Association with the Writings of Sages
      and Saints)

      In daily life we need the guidance of a great sage or saint. Even
      though we might encounter many so called mahatmas or sadhus, the
      task of finding and identifying an accomplished guide is difficult.
      So, in consideration of this, how would satsang (association with a
      true saint) be possible? The answer is that we can study the
      teachings of the great saints of the past, because in their teaching
      we will find the elaboration of the Truth. This then is the third
      category of sat-sang. Generally, when we speak of satsang, it is
      this third category that is meant. This kind of satsang includes the
      study of scriptures and the words and writings of the saints and
      prophets of the past.

      As we continue diligently in this third type of satsang we
      accumulate the meritorious karmas which will lead to the meeting
      with a true saint. Then we will be able to do the second category of
      satsang. As we continue in association with a great saint, and with
      the saint's blessings, we will gradually begin to meditate and
      undertake the prescribed spiritual disciplines. By diligently
      practicing these disciplines, we will one day, experience the first
      category of sat-sang -- the association with the Supreme. When we
      have thus accomplished the highest category of satsang, our life's
      purpose will be fulfilled.

      -- Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj
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