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What Exactly Does Satsang Means?


Satsang is a Sanskrit term that derives from two roots: sat, which means "truth," and sangha, which refers to a group, corporation, or organization.

It translates as "association with excellent people" or simply "being in the company of truth," and it refers to the act of gathering with like-minded, uplifting people, particularly those on a spiritual journey.

Satsang may also refer to a gathering of individuals who are engaged in spiritual conversation. Although the phrase is frequently used to emphasize the critical role of community in spiritual progress, satsang can also be regarded as a solitary encounter with truth.

Satsang is related to the inner quality of sattva (purity or goodness), one of the three gunas (natural characteristics) along with rajas (passion) and tamas (abhijas) (inactivity).

Sattva is manifested as introspection, wisdom, contemplation, and a serene temperament. A sattvic individual is inherently a satsangi, or "seeker of truth."

5 people emitting a dazzling light that blends together above them
5 people emitting a dazzling light that blends together above them

Additional Information Linked To Satsang

Historically, the term satsang referred exclusively to a meeting in the presence of a truly enlightened being, or satguru. Satsang has come to refer to any meeting that involves spiritual thought, conversation, meditation, or teaching; for example, chanting in kirtan or intellectual debate in dharma discourses.

In general, a satsang meeting must adhere to the following standards:

  • A group's members share an intention.
  • A context or theme that will elicit spiritual enlightenment
  • A consensus on ground norms and inclusiveness

Satsang in a group setting can have a tremendous influence on the ego, as joining a common space of support and unity fosters the emergence of selfless feelings.

Satsang is supposed to remove the sense of separation, allowing for a greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings in the universe. It is believed that exceptional awakenings can occur in the company of persons who are committed to bringing out the best in one another.

Satsang can be done alone as well by cultivating truth within one's inner self or by being focused on Divine thoughts. As such, satsang often refers to individual spiritual and devotional practices such as meditation or chanting within Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.

Satsang may also involve the reading or listening to of spiritual teachings, followed by reflection on their meaning and incorporation into daily life. Satsang, in a broader sense, can also refer to the guiding of an awakened inner voice when the potential of the higher Self is realized.

The Bottom Line

Satsang is a tool that assists the yogi on the path to moksha (liberation from suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth). It aids in the elimination of bad ideas, material attachments, and mental impediments that obstruct this path. Satsang, as such, assists individuals in remaining engaged in spiritually centered ideas and in remaining focused on their spiritual path.

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