Conversations with Sri Swamiji – 37
While discussing on impotance Shravanam Sri Swamiji shared this lovely anecdote.
In a town blessed with the presence of a great Satguru, the people were blessed with regular satsangs with the great master. The Satguru used to give regular satsang discourses on Bhakthi from Srimad Bhagavatham and Ramayanam. Lots of inspired fortunate souls used to throng to the Satsang to drench in the divine showers of devotion and wisdom. The lotus eyes of the Satguru, which never used to miss anything, noticed the persistent absence of a devotee! With compassion gushing in his heart he called for the devotee to enquire about his absence.
The devotee came and prostrated to the master.
Master: I notice that you have been missing the evening satsangs for the past week. Is anything wrong?
Devotee: Master! Nothing like that! I was practicing meditation all these days in the evening.
Master: Still , you should never miss the satsang pravachanams (Divine lectures)
Devotee: Is meditation not superior to listening to the lectures?
Master: No it is not so! Let me illustrate this with an anecdote.
The master started to tell the story in his usual eloquence and compassion:
In the village of Mangalapuri, there lived an earnest seeker by the name Akash. He had got initiation from his master and practiced the repetition and meditation of the deity with all earnestness and divine fervor. By his master’s grace and by his intense discipline, the upasana deity started appearing in his dreams and vision. He steadily progressed in his sadhana! Soon the deity started answering his queries and started giving solutions to the problems he posed. Being compassionate in heart, he thought he could be of service to his near and dear. He started asking favors and solutions for his near and dear, and the deity without fail used to point out to the apt solutions! Would this not spread far and wide? Sure enough, his fame started spreading far and wide and soon he found that he was spending his total time doing this to one and all. This took a heavy toll on his regular spiritual practice and pretty soon he found his spiritual visions decreasing and the divine presence of his upasana deity declining! By this time a major portion of his life had passed by. All efforts to restart his spiritual practices were all in vain! He could not sit in meditation like before. In short, He soon slid back to his early worldly state.
Now a question arises, as to why the sadhak did not pray to his deity for devotion, wisdom and spiritual uplift! It is because he did not have the fortune of a satsang! He did know what to ask his deity when the deity appeared before him in his vision. Hence it is truly vital to be in a satsang for true progress in Sadhana.
The Master concluded the story thus and added
‘In bhagavatham we repeatedly find that in almost every episode we find that the devotee prays for satsang when he beholds Bhagavan as a result of his sadhana.
Dhruva prays to Bhagavan Vasudeva to bless him with satsang; Nalakubera – manigreeva prays for the same when they behold bhagavan Krishna in gokulam, so on and so forth. The need for listening to mahaans and being satsang always is almost hammered in the hearts of the devote repeatedly as it is vital for attaining the purpose of birth – gnana / moksha.
So my dear, meditation is good, but not at cost of attending satsang and listening to pravachans so that we would clearly know what to ask the deity when we are fortunate to behold the deity as a result of our meditation. We may totally be led astray if we lack satsang.
Never miss any satsang of the master!’
Hearing this nectarine words of the master which brought him true light, the devotee understood the folly and prostrated to the feet of the holy master and vowed not to miss even a day of the satsang from there on!