Monday, June 19, 2017

Solitude Or Massive Congregations ?

Some people believe that Truth can only be realized thru solitude and some others prefer massive congregations.
Is one better than the other? 
They both have their advantages and disadvantages. 
Solitude is good. But an overly isolated, reclusive life can lead to unhappiness and delusion. 
In the same way, massive congregations and relationships are good. But too much social interaction can also lead to conflicts, and differences among the members and may even end in separations or splits in the groups.

I remember reading somewhere that Lord Buddha said - just like there are variations in the nature, so are the variations in life. Just like the nature repeats the different cycles of seasons, so should be the life of the Buddhas, the enlightened ones.
It is said that Lord Buddha used to follow certain patterns. He used to stay in solitude for a couple of months. Then he would start preaching small groups of Bhikhus (monks) and disciples. After few weeks of teaching at his place, he would start traveling to address bigger crowds. After few months of traveling and addressing massive congregations, he would again go in solitude for few months*.
Baba Hardev Singh ji used to say that mobile phones are good, but sometimes - or at some places - they lose signal. Therefore, having a land-line also is quite important. Similarly - he would add - "focused meditation or Sumiran in moments of solitude is also very important".   
We can get benefit in both the situations – in Solitude and in crowds – as long as we know how to keep a balance and not to get distracted from the objective of achieving the goal.
                                                         
   ‘Rajan Sachdeva’

*Some Spiritual organizations still follow the same principle. Their monks travel to different places for two months to preach small and large audiences. Then they come back and stay at the Ashram or at their residence for next two months and spend time in reading Scriptures and focus on their own meditation. 

5 comments:

  1. Yes very good, both tools are needed. I feel though that one tool should not be given preference for another. Satsang is essential, however the disadvantage in a group setting is that it can become a Social Function which loses Spiritual Essence. Solitude, as you mentioned is very very hard and a lonely path, Sadhus or Monks can have Mental Issues with such solitude sometimes. I see the value of both as a pattern. The Nirankari Mission is more a believer of Satsang, Group Worship and living in the world as a Giristh. The philosophy is predicated on the belief that Nirankar is All Pervading and can be known as such no matter lifestyle. However, ritual solitude or solitude as an exercise is very important, to be alone in worship is truly pure spirituality, even in Satsang your worship is alone, the group provides energy, but the path is still alone. But the truth is, we are alone.....when we leave the body no one or nothing comes with us. The Spiritual Path is really to prepare or to become death, nothing or no one....Solitude is king for this practice.

    David

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  2. 😊... I am in solitude from past 3 weeks. Won't further decipher this 🙏

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  3. Thanks uncle,

    we constantly hear and see examples of saints we admire setting aside time for simran in a concentrated state. I remember you also telling me that saints would choose the early morning (4 or 5 am) because the mind is more "focused and rested". Which further emphasizes that simran is to be focused on actively and not just passively recited. Thanks for the reminder. I hope to have the discipline for this going forward.

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  4. Wow Great Search.
    Thanx for Sharing.....

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  5. I still prefer and admire the old school, with passage of time our congregation have become to organized and formal. we have grown witnessing this change. earlier on Sunday or bigger congregations were formal in nature and evening sangats or smaller sangats gave us much deeper understanding of mission philosophy. I personally see a drastic change as evening sangats are getting thinner day by day.
    thanks a ton for this particular article...

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