Once Sage Vasistha and Sage Vishwamitra were debating the relative superiority of satsang and penance. Sage Vasistha proclaimed satsang to be superior; whereas Sage Vishwamitra said it was penance. Unable to decide, they went to the Deities. The Deities said, ‘‘Only Sheshanag (The serpent who holds the earth on its hood) is capable of answering the question.’’ The Sages went to Sheshanag and put the question to Him, to which He replied, ‘‘Please lighten the load of earth from my hood. Only then can I think and answer your question.’’ On this, Sage Vishwamitra made the following resolve, ‘‘I offer the benefit acquired as a result of a thousand years of my penance; may the earth on Sheshanag’s hood rise a little”. The earth did not respond. Then Sage Vasistha expressed His resolve, ‘‘I offer the benefit gained as a result of being in satsang for twelve minues. May the earth lighten its load.’’ The earth immediately obliged.
1. Anand obtained from chanting is experienced automatically merely by attending a satsang, even without chanting. We get such experiences when at a spiritual level of 50%.Since the collective sāttviktā (Sattva component) of all seekers attending a satsang is high, everyone attending benefits, meaning the Raja-Tama in each slowly starts reducing. It is much easier to experience Anand by attending a satsang than experiencing it by increasing sattvikta through chanting. That is why a seeker keeps attending satsangs more often and wholeheartedly. If the satsang is conducted by a
spiritually evolved seeker, the benefit is more.
Since the spiritually evolved have much more sattvikta and the proportion of Anand waves emanating from them is very high, a seeker experiences more Anand.
2. We develop closeness with other seekers attending satsangs. As a result, the younger generations forget age-old animosity between families and mingle with each other like one big family. Such attitude sows seeds for development of the concept that ‘The entire universe is my home’. A bad company has exactly the opposite effect and hence should be avoided.