Satsangatwe Nissangatwam, Nissangatwe Nirmohatwam,
Nirmohatwe Nischala tatwam, Nischala tatwe Jeewan muktihi
Vedanta does not promise any heaven after death. That state of liberation is achievable here and now. So go for it. It is our birthright.
Where do we begin? With satsang. When our mind maintains a positive outlook in life, negative thoughts cannot flourish. If we are careless and entertain negative feelings, our minds become fertile ground for all kinds of negative thoughts.
For the spiritual life, keeping satsang, the company of the good, is most important.
Our interaction with the world comprises three functions. Perception, reaction and response. We perceive the world through our 5 sense organs (Panchendriya). Stimuli from various objects and beings enter us through the organs of perception – eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. These are our windows to the world. The stimuli are then transmitted to their respective sense in the mind. Then, the mind interprets them. It reacts to them depending on the quality of desires in the mind. Lastly, we respond to the stimuli through the organs of action(karmendriya).
Thus, at the beginning of our spiritual search, it is important to regulate the stimuli we are exposed to. Satsang doesn’t merely mean keeping the company of saints. It applies at all three levels – physical, emotional and intellectual. We also need to keep the company of positive emotions and thoughts. It is for this reason that we do not expose young children to videos that depict violence and bloodshed. Similarly, in our spiritual life, we too must avoid negative emotions and thoughts.
These type of Satsangs leads to non-attachment. We cannot get detached from the lower unless there is an affiliation to something higher. In fact, once we get attached to the higher, more satisfying aspect, the lower automatically drops. This is the way a newborn infant grows to a full-grown adult. When an infant playing with a rattle is fascinated by a toy car, the rattle fades into insignificance. Then he finds the joy of balancing on a bicycle and the toy falls away. Until he is caught up with adult toys – wealth, power, fame, cars, homes, private jets etc. From this stage of spiritual life one has to stretch the mind to higher level. Go a step further. When we open our minds to the lure of the Infinite, we will become detached from all that the world offers.
Once we become detached, we become free of the delusion. We understand worldly pleasures for what they are and no longer have an exaggerated value for them. We become consistent in the pursuit of Realisation. Nothing in the world distracts us from the goal.