A young student was learning the Vedas from his master at the banks of river Ganga where large crowds came “to wash off all their dirt and sins.”

The student (S) queried: 
“Master, since this has been going for long, by now the sacred river is contaminated by those consigning their dirt and sin in its waters. How does the river continue to hold its sanctity or purity?”

The master (M) smiled and replied: 
“The river flows into the sea with the dirt and sins; the sea water evaporates sending them to the clouds; and the clouds rain, pouring back the dirt and sins onto the heads of these people.”

S: “Is there any process to was away such dirt and sins?”

M: “No! We are all bound in the Law of Karma – all free in our actions but we shall reap only what we sow; Eeshvar (God) is All-just (Nyaayakaaree) giving us the fruits of positive karma and handing the penalties out of negative karma.”

S: “How do we consolidate positive karma?”

M: “Satsang (the interactions with real gurus) where the guru puts up all efforts to lead seekers out of the darkness of ignorance unto the light of true knowledge, empowering us to live spirituality as spiritual reality in day-to-day life.
Satsang (the association with truthful people) brings about …non-attachment …freedom from delusion …self-knowledge …liberation even while living (jeevan mukti). 

Satsang is a congregation where the seeker gets the opportunity to listen to the discourse of real gurus, seek clarification to his/her doubts, attain enlightenment and in turn be a lamp guiding others on the path of true knowledge, away from blind faith and superstitions. Satsang is the boat that would ferry us safely across the ocean of births and deaths to realize the prayer: “Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya, Mrityurmaa-amritam gamaya” move from untruth to truth, from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge, and attain mukti, liberation from the cycles of birth and death.

Acharya Bramdeo, Hindu Center of Atlanta 

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