Sant Samaj: Society of Saints
( Based on Umreth Ram Katha)
The word Samaj means Group or Society (Samuh). A social group , which binds together people of similar interest and characteristics. We can see various societies all around us: society of writers, scientists, litterateurs etc. Even animal kingdom, birds and insects have their own groups. These various groups have their own characteristics and they live by some distinguishing qualities and attributes.
The society of Saints has been an active part of the Indian culture and society from time immemorial.
Shri Morari Bapu says, “Sant Samaj, the assemblage of Saints, is like a moving Prayag, the sacred pilgrimage, which spreads joy and wisdom. Bhagwan Vedvyaas emphasizes that Saints should be the direction; the focal point of the society, for counseling and guidance. As per Sanatana Dharma; Dharma, Arth, Kaam, Moksh, the four aims of life, are achieved by bathing in this holy prayag.
Bapu says it is very easy to influence people (prabhavit) but it is difficult to show the truth, the light (prakashit), and even more difficult is to help them grow and evolve (viksit). This is exactly what Sadhus and Saints do; they show the direction to the society, help an individual to see the Supreme truth and assist all to evolve.
The main question that comes to mind is; how does one recognize a true Saint? Especially in today’s world, where we see frauds in the name of religion are doing the rounds, to misguide innocent people. Bapu states, one needs to be aware and look for few clues as indicators:
One - Peace – when in the company of true man of God you are engulfed in the environment, which radiates peace and quite. You can feel the mind automatically slowing down. The constant chatter of mindless thoughts diminishes.
Two - power of discretion. One gets Vivek(wisdom) from satsang and this vivek increases in the company of Saints.
Third- there is no discrimination, whether of caste, creed or class. Love for all is the motto of a true Sadhu.
Fourth- the only purpose and desire a Sadhu has is to do service for the upliftment of the society.
At times, a single Saint of a high caliber represents the whole society. In Indian history, we have evidences when such lone Saints have appeared, who represented the ultimate spirituality. They could be easily identified by their Samaan and Saral Chit; gentle and equal state of being. Such a Sadhu ought to be judged not by his influencing capabilities but his behavior and love towards all. Truth fills their words. Such a one may or may not have the full knowledge of Vedas but has a heart full of compassion. He does not hold any grudges or ill feeling for anyone. He may or may not build an ashram but builds a definite purpose in life. One example from the nineteenth century is the famous RamaKrishna Paramahansa.
The Sant Samaj constantly contemplates on the main issues concerning Adyatma (spirituality); the ultimate query about Brahm Nirupan, discussion of Brahm without form (nirgun) or with form (saugun) or both. Then, Dharm vidhi; the various techniques and methods, applied in the field of religion. Our Rishis were true scientist, constantly working in this area. This is called Tattva vibhag; discussions on the science of ultimate truth. Lastly, Bhakti; love and sacrifice as an integral part of religion. The whole of adhyatma can be amassed in the above queries.
Bapu throws light on what one needs to do, if fortunate enough to get the company of a true Saint. His advice is that at such a pure confluence one should just- stay quiet, listen and try to understand the language of their silence. One can feel the kindling of new interests, and this leads us to take heed to the words spoken by such a pure soul. This is termed Shravana (listening) which is supposed to be the first form of bhakti. The next stage is that of takeaway. One accepts few truths in form of good qualities and lastly the stage of imbibing. In summary, these steps of; initiating interest, listening, receiving and imbibing, take place automatically. In addition, our life acquires a more meaningful direction.