Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Satsang is a medium of inspiration, and it literally means ‘association with truth’. The person giving satsang does it to establish a connection between you, the listener, and your higher self. He uses the teachings from the spiritual texts along with his personal experiences to inspire you. Always attempt to incorporate the lessons of satsang, the teachings and the inspiration you receive, into your life.

There is a story about three identical statues that were brought one morning to the court of the great king Vikramaditya by a sculptor. The sculptor asked the king to identify the statues according to quality: the best quality, the medium quality and the lowest quality. Vikramaditya was a wise king. He took a piece of straw in his hand and put it through the ear of each statue. In the first statue, the straw went into its stomach; in the second statue, it came out of its mouth; and in the third statue, it came out the other ear.

Vikramaditya declared the first statue to be the best, since it represented a person who takes in, digests and tries to incorporate in his life whatever he hears. The second was of medium quality, as it represented a person who talks about, comments on and gives his own interpretation of whatever he hears. The last statue was of the lowest quality, as it represented a person for whom whatever is heard goes in through one ear and out the other.

You have to determine what type of statue you are and try and become the best one. When you hear a satsang, try to find in it one thought, one behaviour, one action that you can incorporate into your life. Only then does the teaching become fruitful; otherwise, it all goes in through one ear and out the other.

Published in Living the Divine Life, Yogadrishti series