Satsangh – the company of the good and its importance
Satsangh is a Sanskrit word meaning a sacred gathering or being in the company of good people. My spiritual teacher for many years, His Holiness Swami Chinmayananda of Chinmaya Mission, used to speak of it often. He put a lot of emphasis on the company we keep in terms of our friends, family, work mates, study companions etc. There are many reasons for this.
When you keep company with a group of people over a period of time it cultivates a vibe, an atmosphere, a dynamic between you as to how you interact as a group. If the group cultivates good things and is kind and loving then when you are with this group you also enhance all your good, sharing, kind, loving qualities. This is satsangh. If the group spends a lot of time putting other people down, criticising the world and criticising sometimes each other, this also will rub off. A good example of this are the many shows we have on TV these days. ‘The housewives of…….’ play almost every night on some people’s screens. It is an insult to our intelligence to watch people act the disgusting ways some of these actors behave. Unfortunately some of the audience watching these shows, young people who are easily impressionable, often take this as a form of acceptable behaviour and begin to copy what they see on television and on the internet. So we have groups of people who thrive on drama, small talk, arguments and over analysis of ‘he says, she says’ gossip which is not important or positive in any way to anybody’s lifestyle. In turn when these people get together with their friends and families the possibility exists that they psychologically, subconsciously act out this over dramatized, stressed behaviour and their ‘normal’ lives become not so normal anymore. Or is it that these actions are becoming the norm? We sure hope not.
Keeping company with good people is important because we share beliefs, thoughts, opinions, emotions and energy with the people around usKeeping company with good people is important because we share beliefs, thoughts, opinions, emotions and energy with the people around us.
We discuss solutions to problems, we express how we feel, we get feedback on that and we often exchange all that while eating and drinking in a social atmosphere. Everything around us has an energy. The food we eat, the air we breathe, the thoughts we express, our emotions, and our cellular physical level of being. Check out my other article on the importance of Spirituality concerning our foods on https://www.wellbeing.com.au/mind-spirit/spirituality/food-sacred-spirituality-affect.html. When we are in a room with even two or three people discussing, drinking coffee and eating the atmosphere of that discussion is created. It can be good or bad. It can be healthy or corrupting. You could be eating salads and discussing meditation or you could be over bloated from burgers high as on ice. Two completely different atmospheres that create a vibe which lodges in your energetic body and lays a seed for your future actions and what you like to do. In this way we move towards what we like and away from things we don’t like and form deep vibrational, psychological and physical patterns surrounding those actions. These patterns determine our future so Satsangh and good company can assist you to create a good future for yourself and others.
How the pattern is formed
If you keep company with what is not so good that also becomes a pattern. A pattern of undeserving and put down, a pattern of poverty of never being able to ‘afford’ your dreams, a pattern of drama and argument, a pattern of worry and stress, a pattern of distrust and lack of love. All these patterns affect you energetically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and leave their marks. On a final level they affect your physical body and your wellbeing. So how do we, in a world where none of us are saints, keep company with the good? Especially when good and bad is so subjective, isn’t it? Swami used to explain it as what is the highest good for all concerned on a group level, what is good for our family, what is good for our work culture, what is good for our friends, what is good for our partner, what is good for our children AND what is good for ourselves. BUT you should never be last.
We must be true to ourselves FIRST. We must be true to our conscience, true to our inner being. We must reflect on what we know to be trueWe must be true to ourselves FIRST. We must be true to our conscience, true to our inner being. We must reflect on what we know to be true. In our heart of hearts we know when we are not being true to ourselves. We know when we are living a lie. We know when we have jumped the gun and reached wrong conclusions and should apologise. We know when we should perhaps let go and let other people make their mistakes despite the fact we can see they will be hurt. Our first duty is to be true to ourselves and from that centre of self-care have the abundance of love, kindness and energy to be good and true to others. What can we do to have Satsangh? That does not fit many of the icons and role models we see on our TV sets or social media today. It certainly does not fit with the way politics, power or greed rule the world in many ways. Nor does it fit with the argumentative, over-dramatised role models on our TV sets as to how humanity should behave. So let’s use our discriminative mind to discern what company of the good is and what is not. If your company is not good then just leave it…walk away…forever. There are always new doors that will be opening for you in the future. It’s always your choice.
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