Feb 20: Importance of Satsang

20 Feb

Feb20’09 Telecon Satsang Blog-Roll

The telecon satsang started with NamaSankirtan led by Zivanji and Yaminiji from Boston. About 20 families dialed in for the teleconference. Followed by brief introductions, Poojya Poornimaji gave a blissful satsang talk.

“Being Ekadasi, it is the most fitting day to have satsang.

We have been hearing time and again that by singing the Divine names of the Lord on the auspicious days like Ekadasi and Dwadasi, the merits that we accrue are much more than what we would, on normal days. It is very rare to be in a satsang and it is rarer indeed to sustain a satsang.

There are two pishachas (demons), who stop or deter people from attending satsangs. They are specifically called as “karna oishachas”. They come and stand right next to our ears and start talking to us. One of them would start saying that we have been attending satsangs in a regular manner and it is okay to not attend a satsang to take care of some mundane affair. Whereas the other pishacha (devil) would say that “Oh My God, You have been attending satsangs for a long time. If you continue to attend so many satsangs, then your mind will get spoilt!!

The first one would ask us to postpone attending satsangs whereas the second one would just ask us to stop. It is to be said that people who have been attending this satsang as well the organizers of this satsang are oblivious of these two demons and the Friday satsangs are being conducted without fail. This clearly shows the grace of our Guru Maharaj. When we have Guru’s grace then nothing can stop us from attending satsangs.

One is called a devotee of Lord if he makes an effort to attend satsangs in spite of his tight schedule in his/her worldly life. That marks a difference between a devotee of a Lord and someone who is leading a normal mortal life. Our great saint Periyavachan Pillai Swami, in one of his commentaries says it is very easy to differentiate a person who is a devotee of the Lord and who is not. Both of them will have some worldly ties. It does not mean that a devotee of the Lord will not have any worldly ties. But the difference is that the moment a devotee of the Lord hears of an impending satsang, he will immediately adjust his/her worldly schedule in order to attend a satsang.

There are many things that are very rare and the rarest of rare is the birth as a human being. Every Mahatma has agreed to the fact that it is indeed a rare thing to be born as a human being. But the rarest of them is that we have to thank the Lord for bestowing us with a human body. “Dhanyoham Krishna tava krupa PAthroham”
Krishna, I can’t show my gratitude when I think of your immense compassion.
Tava Krupaya Krishna Manusha Dehavanaham
Tava Krupaya Krishna Anga Purnoham
It is out of your sheer compassion and grace that I have been blessed with a human birth and all my limbs being intact (‘Anga purnoham’). We need to thank the Lord every moment for what he has bestowed us with. Our Mahatmas don’t stop here. Rare indeed is to have a human birth and rarest is to be in a satsang.

They say that it is not easy to be in a satsang. But there is something rarer than satsang. In Srimad Bhagavatham Videha Maharaja Nimi says,
“Durlabho Manusho deho dehinam shana banguraha
thatrapi dhurlabham manyae vaikunta Priyadarshanam”

He says that rarest is to get the darshan of someone who is a Jeevan Muktha and who is a devotee of Lord Krishna. And one should be immensely blessed to have the opportunity to serve a Mahatma in some way and it is indeed the rarest of the rarest.

Mahatmas say “Koti Janma Punya sadhana sadhyam”
“Govinda Dasa Mandala dasyam”
It is not easy to get a chance to serve a great saint, who is a realized soul. They are purna be themselves. One should call himself/herself blessed if one’s service or offering is accepted by saints. We should not let pride settle in us once we start to render any service to Lord’s devotee. We should understand that we are fortunate to be chosen by the Lord and the Mahatma to be of some service to him. We should be grateful to them for accepting our service. The moment the mahatma accepts our service or offering, we instantly get associated with the Lord and this very association is enough for them to liberate us from the cycles of transmigration.

In the life-history of the great Acharya Sri.Ramanuja, let us take one incident. He had visited Tirupathi. It was not an easy attempt to climb the hill to have the darshan of the Lord in those days. This dates back to about thousand years. While he was visiting Tiruapthi to have a darshan of Lord Balaji, he found that there was no body to offer flowers to the Lord. There was nothing adorning the Lord and this really pained him a lot. When he came back to his home town, he called all his disciples who were very loving to their guru, Sri Ramanujacharya. He asked if one of them would offer themselves to perform service to Lord of Thirupathi, by growing a garden to offer a garland of flowers to the Lord every day which should not stop for even a day. This clearly meant that devotee who was willing to do this service, needs to relocate to Tirupathi and this also means that he cannot have the darshan of his beloved Guru, Sri Ramanujacharya. None of them wanted to volunteer for this as they did not want to be separated from their guru. But suddenly Sri. Anantalwar stood up and volunteered to take up this task. He told his Guru that he was willing to take up this not to please Tirupathi Balaji but wanted to make his guru happy. When none of them volunteered to take up this, Sri Ramanujacharya was very upset and Sri Anantalwar could not really see his Guru in a depressed mood. He relocated to Tirumala with his wife who was also a great devotee of Sri Ramanujacharya. He made beautiful garlands for the Lord of Tirupathi in the morning and evening. He also started digging a pond for the Lord. Only he and his wife were working on digging the pond. His wife was in her late pregnancy and was solely helping her husband in moving the debris around. One day when they were so seriously working on digging the pond, a small boy stopped by and offered to help him. Sri.Anantazhwar politely turned down the request as he wanted to dig the pond for the Lord all by himself. But the boy persistently asked him that he wanted to be of some help to them. Sri.Anantazhwar started to lose patience and admonished him and the boy went away. The boy however didn’t lose hope and this time he approached his wife. She was kind enough to accept the boy’s offer to help them and both of them worked together in moving the debris around. When Sri.Aantazhwar caught sight of this, he went and hit the boy with a spade on his chin. His chin started to bleed and he ran away.

Later that evening, Sri.Anantahzwar went to the Balaji deity to offer his garland and he was shocked to see Lord of Tirupathi’s chin bleeding. The moment he saw this, he started crying and that was when he realized that it was indeed the Lord who came to offer him help, disguised in the form of a small boy. Lord loves those who serve his devotees. To substantiate this, when Sant Ekanath was serving his guru, the Lord of Dwaraka came running to serve Sant Ekanath. Lord is much more pleased with people who serve his devotees compared to people serving him. There was a great devotee of Pandarpur by name Sri.Senanayi. Even before Senanayi got the darshan of Lord Panduranga it was the King of Pandarupur who had employed Senanayi got the darshan of the Lord. It was because of the very fact that the Lord is happier with people who serve his devotees.

When Sri.Anantazhwar saw the bleeding chin of the Lord, he started crying, “Oh My Lord, What have I done and what can I do to make the bleeding stop.? “. In reply to his question, the Lord said that he was such a great devotee who had sacrificed all his desires and come out of his comfort zone only to serve him. He said that only the dust from the feet of such a Bhagavata will help stop His bleeding. Anantazhwar did not hesitate and immediately placed his “Pada Renu” on the Lord’s chin. Even today the piece of camphor placed in the chin of Lord Balaji signifies this very episode.

That is the greatness of serving a Guru. It should be seen that how Sri.Anantazhwar gave up all his whims and fancies only to serve his guru. This is akin to how Lord Bharatha opted to be away from Lord Rama only to serve him. When we have to serve the Lord, we have to take that extra mile and when we start doing that the extra mile will not be an extra mile anymore. The crux of this is that if we desire to attend satsangs in spite of our tight worldly affairs, the Lord will tune our worldly matters so that we will be attend to satsangs without fail. So let’s keep attending satsangs and continue to organize satsang related activites without procrastinating or totally stopping it in order to attend to our worldly issues.

The satsang wrapped up with prayers and Nama Sankirtan.


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