By Promod Puri
In Hindu and Sikh religious activities, Satsang is a popular religious tradition.
It is group participation that involves listening or reading of scriptures, discussion on spiritual and theological topics, and singing of hymns. Some activities also include brief sessions of meditation.
Satsang can be a daily, weekly, or monthly get together. It usually lasts for an hour or two. With divine feelings and sentiments, Satsang ends as a social meeting along with light refreshments.
Satsang is derived from the Sanskrit word “satsanga.” By splitting the name into “sat” and “sanga,” its actual meaning is revealed as ‘true’ and ‘association,’ respectively.
It is an association of like-minded people seeking as well as creating an environment of spirituality with or without any guiding or an enlightened individual.
Questions and answers often become part of the entire Satsang session. And whatever the heat is produced during the dialogue and discussion period on religious topics abates by the soothing music and group singing by the participants. This part is also referred to as Kirtan.
Satsang creates pure religious consciousness.
Can we have Satsang within ourselves without the company of others and create the same spiritual ambiance and realization as in a group setting?
The answer can be “yes.”
Satsang basically means being in the company of truth. The “sat” and “sang” reside in the nobility and divinity of our thoughts and our karmas based on them.
It is a disciplined and conscientious activity creating an ongoing Satsang.
Although we miss some of the most visible features of group Satsang, self-Satsang has its own virtues with its harmonic overtones and contentment.