Importance of Satsang: Role of Guru
4 Jan. 2023, Wednesday, Ahmedabad, India
Lokpal member of India and former High Court Chief Justice as well as a Presidential award-winning social activist shared insights on the importance of Satsang and the guru for individual and societal development in a seminar organised by the BAPS Women’s Wing at the Women’s Empowerment Hall in Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar on 4 January 2023.
Honourable Justice Abhilasha Kumari, Judicial Member of the Lokpal Committee of India, first woman Chief Justice of Manipur High Court and former Justice of Gujarat High Court shared her insights on the necessity of satsang and the guru for one’s holistic development. She said, “Pramukh Swami Maharaj was an ideal guru, so every word he said was satsang.
“Although a human birth provides the opportunity for the soul’s ultimate goal of eternal liberation, we get so engrossed in our daily business that we forget we are the soul and not the body. Satsang means an association with the eternal Truth, which are God and the Aksharbrahman Guru, who foster our spirituality and keep us away from bad company.”
Elaborating on the benefits of satsang she said, “Shankaracharya said that satsang makes one fearless and helps one realise the ultimate insignificance of worldly affairs. Only through the grace of God does one obtain this purifying satsang. Even a momentary engagement with satsang cultivates our virtues and eradicates all our faults. Mahant Swami Maharaj has said that we must do satsang with this rare human body for the liberation of our soul. The cultivation of satsang values has transformed people from dacoits to saints.”
“The greatest benefit of satsang is recognising the manifest form of the God-realised Guru who teaches us spirituality. The guru is a shield that protects us from the false understanding that we are this body. The Guru is also a sword that cuts through ignorance by providing true spiritual knowledge. One must develop devotion and loyalty to such a Guru to attain the true benefit of satsang.”
“While the guru may appear engrossed in manifold activities, he remains forever concentrated on kindness and helping humanity. We must put our trust in a guru who is gunatit – not affected by worldly matters. In the Mahabharata, Arjuna put his faith in Krishna Bhagwan and accepted him as his Guru. Likewise, Duryodhan accepted Shakuni Mama as his Guru. But the results were different – Lord Krishna led Arjuna to the right path. Thus, having a true Guru is necessary to differentiate between truth and falsity. We are fortunate we have found the true guru in Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj, and now we should follow his guidance to reach our final aim.”
Mrs. Janki Vasant, Founder and Managing Trustee of Samvedana and winner of the Nari Shakti Puraskar from the Government of India shared her experience of being injured during the Pan Am flight 73 hijacking in 1986, explaining how it helped her realise that our worldly activities are ultimately insignificant and one must “realise that one’s power and strength lies within, which is where we can find our anchor.”
Sharing her experience of Pramukh Swami Maharaj as an ideal guru who had inspired countless people to work for societal and spiritual welfare, she said, “This beautiful experience at Pramukh Swami Maharaj Nagar has rendered me speechless. BAPS’s works are longstanding and worldwide. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s compassion during the Gujarat earthquake, and the relief works undertaken by BAPS are marvellous and unforgettable.”
“BAPS serves people by transforming broken families into harmonious ones, helping people give up addictions, and working for women’s empowerment. It is because of organisations like BAPS that people can find the anchor and strength within themselves. Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s work is even more necessary in today’s time.”
“This century is very important for women as they have been empowered in ways that they were not previously. To be able to deploy this education and opportunity in the right manner, women need to understand the importance of self-discipline as well as self-love. Through organisations like BAPS where everyone comes together with satsang, we can strengthen our values.”
Following this, BAPS women’s wing volunteer Pinkleben Lakhani shared her insights on Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s socially beneficial work of creating temples. She said, “Temples, scriptures and saints are the pillars of Hindu culture. Temples grant us eternal peace and calmness because they are the home of God. Caring for our peace of mind, Pramukh Swami Maharaj was a visionary who created over 1,100 temples and 2 Akshardham mandirs for which he was globally acclaimed.”
“Just as we need schools despite the existence of books, similarly we need mandirs in addition to the scriptures that hold our sacred wisdom. Mandirs have helped people give up addictions and vices, benefiting countless families socially and economically as well as spiritually. Mandirs have also helped society in times of crisis like during the Ukraine war, Gujarat earthquake, South India’s tsunami and floods in Surat. Wherever we or our children go, we have a home in the mandirs with programmes for children, youth and women that Pramukh Swami Maharaj created for us around the world. Pramukh Swami Maharaj was not merely a constructor of stone temples but he also built societies of people as pure as temples and inspired many to walk on this path.”