What is Satsang?
by Kevin Sahaj
What is Satsang?
There seems to be some ongoing confusion as to what this word actually means and how it is applied in teaching.
The word “Satsang” means a gathering of people interested in truth. “SAT” means truth, “SANGA” means a group of people. This word “Satsang” is applied in India to teachings related to the transmission of “SAT”, or truth, from the teacher to a group of interested people. This “sat” or truth is not a set of beliefs nor is it a set of practices or explanation of practices. It is a direct pointing to reality based on the realization of the person transmitting the Satsang.
So Satsang is not a teaching or simply information, like a talk on yoga or Ayurveda. This way of transmitting truth is usually, but not necessarily connected to lineage. For instance, Ramana Maharsi, the great Indian sage, transmitted Satsang usually just by being silent. His presence was enough to awaken the minds of others. This direct pointing to truth, with or without words acts as a transformative agent in the person who receives it. And there is a possibility that the person could have a realization of his true being and abide in that to transmit to others. This type of Satsang is the essence of the yogic “path” of Advaita Vedanta.
Papaji (HL Poonja) received this transmission of truth from Ramana and Papaji went on to transmit this to many people from all over the world, for example, Mooji, Gangaji, Satya, and many others. This was the result of his realization, there were no techniques or methods given, just the direct inquiry that would wake people up.
So when Satya is giving Satsang, this is not a teaching of a subject like yoga or Ayurveda. It is a very different type of transmission that is coming through the words but is not about gaining or learning something. The effect is a transformation of the mind if the person is ready.
I hope this clarifies a few things for you.
Kevin Sahaj is a dedicated yoga practitioner who has been studying and practicing yoga for 30 years. His approach to teaching is eclectic and draws from many different methods and teachings to help students align their lives towards awakening.