Thus, the benefit we receive from satsang is millions of times greater than this, because we receive the opportunity to listen to spiritual philosophy, and by understanding this, we benefit. The effect of satsang purifies our mind. Here you are sitting and meditating with closed eyes and imagining that God is close to you while you are chanting His name. Even the person who is exploring the temple at Rameshvaram is not receiving as much benefit as you are. While there, a person is troubled because there are so many stairs to climb; he feels tired, he has nothing to drink, and so on.
A person can understand where he receives more benefit. Just think whether the benefit you are receiving here in satsang is more than whatever you received on pilgrimage. Reflect on your own personal experience. In ancient times, Saints used to live in pilgrimage places. Now only shopkeepers are there. Lots of thieves hang around these places, ready to pick someone’s pockets. Lots of unsavoury characters are there to cheat innocent visitors. When a person comes home, he only remembers, “Oh what a horrible thing happened to me!” The benefit that was received from Saints in these holy places is no longer available. Even if one true Saint resides in such a place, there are fifty more who are impersonating a Saint. How could an ordinary person recognise the true Saint?
Therefore, if a devotee goes to a pilgrimage place with true devotional feelings and he meets a true Saint, and he receives the benefit of that Saint’s satsang, then there is a benefit to visiting that pilgrimage place. Otherwise, you can sit alone in your own home and practice devotion, and that benefit is equivalent to visiting millions of pilgrimage places.
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
9 January 2010
© Radha Govind Samiti
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