Group meditation is real Satsanga - whether in-person on online: Swami Chidananda Giri

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Group meditation is real Satsanga - whether in-person on online: Swami Chidananda Giri

Sunday, 28 May 2023 | PNS

Group meditation is real Satsanga - whether in-person on online: Swami Chidananda Giri

Swami Chidananda Giri, president and spiritual head of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship (YSS/SRF), recently visited India and gave inspirational talks on the Kriya Yoga teachings of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda (author of the Autobiography of a Yogi and founder-Guru of YSS/SRF). During his stay in India, Swami Chidanandaji was interviewed on matters of import affecting different strata of society and the world. Here are some excerpts:

Q: Nearly 3200 devotees participated in the Sangam that was recently conducted at Hyderabad by YSS. What can the devotees do to carry home the blessings they received during the Sangam?

Swami Chidanandaji: My answer to that would be different from what it would have been three years ago and I will tell you why. Let's just take the basic principle of satsanga — spiritual company.

Paramahansa Yoganandaji made such a point of it” ‘Environment is stronger than willpower.’ We become like the company we keep. Even if we want to be successful in business or sports or whatever field, you become like the people you associate with. . Thegroup consciousness adds to our individual efforts. rom the very beginning of Yoganandaji’s work, he emphasised that devotees should come together for group meditation once or twice a week . That is one way of keeping the satsanga. 

The second thing evolved over the last two years when the Covid pandemic erupted and everybody had to stay at home as all the meditation centres and ashrams were in lockdown. Just a couple of months before the lockdown we had inaugurated an online meditation centre,  using video conferencing, in whichdevotees couldcome together online and have group meditations and group satsangas. That turned out to be a real lifesaver for devotees all over the world during these three years of isolation. Now there is a tremendous potential for using that technology for satsanga,, using that power to createthe right environment, even if you do not go out of your home. 

The third thing is this….“Once you form a deep spiritual relationship with an enlightened being such as Paramahansa Yogananda, you never meditate alone because the devotee’s efforts are always reinforced by the help of the Guru, whointroduces the devotee to the Divine. In one way that is the most valuable form of satsanga — satsanga with the Guru – because it is totally available regardless of outer circumstances – whether I am near a meditation centre, in front of  a computer, no matter what..”

“I always have here (pointing to the kutastha centre), this sacred refuge, the sanctuary of the soul, that satsanga that exists between the devotee and his Guru is never for an instant missing. It is  always there.” Further info.: yssofindia.org

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