Definition of Satsang
According Shreeji Maharaj this Satsang is the fruit of all religious and devotional practices (G.3/2) What is Satsang? For that Satanand Swami states in Satsangi Jivan-
Sat + Sang = Satsang
By merging the two terms, the meaning of Satsang is derived. The term Sat implies four significance:
1. the God,
These four things together form the complete meaning of "sat". What is "Sang" (the next term)? In Vachanamritm, Shriji Maharaj has commented on the term "sang". The association which is made by body, action, and mind is called "sang" (G.1/78). Now if you examine with introversion, you can gauge the kind of satsang we do. We are used to emanate the scriptural discourses through an ear that we had heard from some one. Maharaj makes it clear in Vachanamritm that it is one's infinite fortune to be able to recognize satsang (G. 2/9). Because it is hard to achieve God even after the austerities of thousands of years, we should be appreciative of the opportunities. Nishkulanand swami, therefore utters as such- how can a pretty ant happened to meet an elephant. There is a vast difference between the God and a soul. The differences between them are more than the between earth and the sky or that between an ant and an elephant. What makes the meeting between the two vastly different entities (God and soul) possible? It happens merely due to the will of God, the supreme personality. Further Nishkulanand swami writes in Chaushadpadi that "the company of God" remains remote even after one spends 100 lifetimes for the purpose. If we realize, this impossible has become possible for us. As Premanand swami states that
aeva durlabh sulabh thaya, aaj mari beni
This hardly achievable being became easy to attain in this course of lifetime O! Friends! The God in human form has come to me. Oh Devotees ponder yourself and realize that the same God has come to us. Why dont we feel the pleasure of His company? Can we identify any of the forty-four incarnations that has graced his followers by installing his own forms? But our beloved God Lord Swaminarayan has installed His own form in Vadtal. Thinking of generations to come, he installed his own form so those worshippers can meditate upon the same form.
Secondly Lord Swaminarayan established unique foundation of satsang. With such a foundation, even now, we can find many saints who have absolutely renounced the contact of female and personal wealth. The only thing we have to do is to recognize these saints. If we identify such saints then we have fulfilled the second and very important aspect of satsang.
Third aspect, to fulfill the meaning of Satsang, is the pious conduct prescribed by god and his beloved saints. A significant part of the task is to know the right conduct. Even that has been arranged for us. To find our general or specific religious duties we can go to Shikshapatri. We do not need to dwell on other books or treatises, Sikshapatri explains our duties in simple terms. Not only that but it has been composed by Lord Swaminarayan Himself. With these three elements: The God, His beloved saints, adherence to one's pious conduct we are almost there.
The forth aspect is Holy Scriptures which are consistent and supporting the first three aspects described above.
We certainly have all of the four elements of the "sat" available to us. When we have association to these four elements in our actions, in our thoughts, in our words then we are really worthy of being called "Satsangi". Such Satsang is very dear to God and pleases Him.
When a person truly does Satsang, he or she acquires virtuous attributes, values of being Satsangi. Glorifying the importance of Satsang Gunatitanand swami says that we ought to seek such Satsang even if we have to eat the loaf from temples. For this reason, Shriji Maharaj states in Vachnamritam that He does not get as impressed seeing austerities, vows and so on, as he gets impressed by Satsang. Achintyanand varni also opined in Harililakalpataru - Just the Suryakant Mani (one type of pierce) engenders the fire being affected by the rays of the sun, similarly in the heart of human being the devotional tendencies are produced by the association of holy saints. To be closer to God, the only and eminent means is the devotion as stated by Shriji Maharaj. And this characteristic (devotion) is only be achieved by Satsang. Shriji Maharaj states that the continuous devotional connection with lord is an extrenely difficult task. And that is also the product of Satsang. We are all lucky to have the devotional connection due to the true Satsang. Devotion is a matter or such a mean that it never gets diminished by any vices if it is entirely and perfectly observed. Nishkulanand swami glorifies this element saying this way- Just as the pot made of gold does not change in value when it is deformed, the devotional practice, whenever and wherever performed, never turns to be ineffective or barren. One can pour water in to a parched and prepared pot, filled water would undoubtedly be cold. But if the pot is being made and not parched yet, one cannot hold water in to the pot or make the water cool. In the same manner, devotion represents the symbol of pot, where as the Satsang is the same of oven. When the pot of devotion, excellently parches in oven of Satsang, only then this pot will be suitable for the water to be poured in it. It is to say that the devotion of those, which has realized this mysterious meaning of Satsang and cherished also is uninterrupted and perfect.
Now that you have the oath of such this great Satsang, so recognized it and stop running elsewhere. This is the only way to please Lord Swaminarayan. You should do Satsang only for the sake of your own welfare, leaving all other mundane desires of this world. We are so lucky that our all disasters and miseries are carried by the God. For this reason, great saints were used to say that Satsang is the mine of all happiness, and most superior mean to salvation. After having this Satsang, there is nothing more to be achieved. So by doing such Satsang, we should please God.
Definition of Satsang