Effective Association

Question
Satsanga (association of devotees) is necessary as it improves devotion but what if you are surrounded by non-devotees everywhere around you – in your family, in your office etc. Some professions viz. lawyers, jail staff etc. make it natural for a person to have non-devotees around. How will a person in such an atmosphere rise in devotion?

Reply

Unlimited opportunities for a limited soul Sat-sanga usually refers to association of devotees since association (sanga) of topics of eternity (sat) viz. Lord Krishna, His pure devotees, the spiritual world etc. is performed widely and facilitated most easily in such association. Although discussion of such topics is natural and enthusing in such association, it can never be limited to such association. We can always be eager for favorable devotee association and take advantage of it whenever it is available to us. However, if association of devotees is not available due to unavoidable circumstances, we can always seek association in other forms viz. the holy name of the Supreme Lord, bhajans (holy songs glorifying the Supreme Lord), scriptures etc.

Possible for everyone Lord Krishna is unlimited and so can be approached in unlimited ways. Krishna consciousness is a genuine but non-conventional approach to spirituality since by its very definition, it focuses on internal consciousness as opposed to external factors. Religion and very often even spirituality is defined and evaluated by adherence to rituals and normative practices. Lord Krishna’s speaking of Bhagavad-gita on a battlefield to a principled warrior like Arjuna is to give us a strong lesson that genuine spiritual life can be practiced by anyone in any situation. If violent wars involving conspiracies, killing etc and completely antithetical to peace can be offered in devotion to God then every other profession can also be potentially offered to God. If a furious warrior can be God conscious on a battlefield, the every other person can also be potentially God conscious.

Moulding by accepting The bitter truth of modern life is that that we are almost always externally surrounded by non-devotional elements in different forms viz. persons, talks, sound, thoughts etc. yet the easiest facility for spiritual advancement i.e. chanting the holy names of Krishna, is also offered most charitably by Lord Krishna in the form of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in kali-yuga (ref. SB 12.3.51). Appreciating Lord Krishna’s mercy on kali-yuga souls, when we mould our lives based on whatever options are available, our commitment can become an irrefutable proof of our sincerty in devotional matters. In this way, we ourselves can become an instrument of sharing sat-sanga to others.

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