CONVERSATIONS WITH ANNAMALAI SWAMI
Q: Does satsang mean 'association with jnanis or can it also mean 'association with good people?
AS: The real sat, which is being, is within you. You associate with it and get satsang every time you turn your attention towards it.
You do not need a jnani for such satsang. You can get it anywhere.
On the other hand, worldly people who are living near jnanis are often not getting satsang because they are not tuning in to the jnanis Sat.
Some people who live near saints are just like little insects called 'unni' (cattle tick) which live on the udders of cows. They drink the blood there instead of the milk. Some people who were physically associated with Bhagavan ignored his teachings and failed to make contact with the grace he was radiating. They worked and ate at the ashram, but they got little benefit from being there. These people were not having satsang, they were just human unni.
There was a group of brahmins who were associated with Bhagavan who did not subscribe to the advaitic view, 'All is Brahman. All is the Self.' In those days we used to read a lot from the Ribhu Gita, a text which repeatedly says 'All is Brahman’.
These brahmins refused to join in because they didn't agree with the philosophy. 'Where is this Brahman you are talking about?' they would say. 'How can it be everything? How can you go on chanting "All is Brahman" when that is not your experience? Maybe these teachings are useful for people like Bhagavan, but why should people like us parrot these statements endlessly?’
Bhagavan himself encouraged us to recite this text regularly.
He said that constant and frequent repetition led to samadhi. In giving us this instruction Bhagavan was giving us a method of experiencing some of the sat that was his real nature. In effect, he was offering us a highly effective form of satsang. But these brahmins didn't want it. They wanted instead to complain about the contents of the book. When such people willfully turn down a method of associating with Bhagavan's Sat, how can it be said that they are having his satsang?
- Living by the Words of Bhagavan p. 326