Faith

Benefits of satsanga

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Rishis of yore, endowed with the awareness of the past, present and future, have perceived clearly the changes that are characteristic in each Yuga and the kind of effect it will have on the people. They have always stressed the importance of satsanga, or association with the good, as most essential to all at all times. Such association helps one to develop detachment and cultivate the ability to discriminate between the real and the unreal in this world.

Anticipating the kind of confusion about the values and goals of life that is to prevail in Kali Yuga and the difficulty in aligning with the good, the sages have narrated the stories of great heroes and kings who have faced life stoically, and abided by dharma even in the most trying of circumstances. Such narratives are hence considered to be on a par with satsanga in inspiring and instilling the essential values and dharma for every individual, pointed out Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse. This beneficial effect is seen in the way the Pandavas are able to cope with the mental and physical strain that their exile has brought on them when Sage Brihadaswa consoles them and narrates the story of Nala to them.

Nala becomes a victim of the influence of the spirit of Kali and loses his sense of judgment. Deceived by Pushkara in a game of dice, he loses his wealth and kingdom and is forced into exile. Nala deserts his wife who has accompanied him. He wanders about and is almost mad in his loneliness before he regains all he has lost and is reinstated as king. At least Yudhishtira’s mind is sound, and he has his brothers and the brahmanas with him in the forest. Trials and tribulations are the lot of man and have to be borne with fortitude is the truth of life.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:13:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/benefits-of-satsanga/article30535922.ece

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