When you keep an iron nail next to a magnet, after sometime the ordinary nail starts exhibiting magnetism. If you pour ice in hot water, after sometime the ice melts and the water becomes cold. History speaks of the Paras Mani, the Divine stone, the touch of which changes everything into gold. A rotten fruit causes all the other fruits in the basket to rot. The case of human beings is no different. There is an English proverb that a man is known by the company he keeps. When two people spend a lot of time together, after sometime they start becoming like each other. This happens because in every interaction that we have – with a person, or an animal or a plant or even a thing, there occurs an exchange of prana. In the realm of ether and to a clairvoyant’s eye, this is visible as change in colour of the aura – a yellow interacts with a blue to become green, the same yellow when interacts with a black, becomes brown. No wonder our ancestors emphasised upon the importance of good company or satsang, the company of evolved beings.
History abounds with examples of the effect of company on a person. Manthra, the housemaid’s company, diluted the thought process of the just Queen Kaikeyi, who under her influence demanded King Dashrath to send Lord Ram for exile. There is a story in Ayurved where the rishis who came down from the higher reaches to settle in the plains, began to age owing to interactions with commoners. Likewise, there are instances of evolution of beings in the company of Gurus and evolved beings. Ahilya transformed from a stone to a woman, by the mere touch of Lord Ram and she got salvation. Arjun got the gyan of Gita in the company of Lord Krishna and he won a losing battle.
Satsang basically means being in the company of sat, that is truth, because only when you are in the company of truth, do you realise truth. A company of falsehood always leads to the destruction of the body and the soul. Satsang need not necessarily be with a person or with people. It could also mean vedic chants, which themselves emit phenomenal positive energy, or it could also mean reading sermons of evolved beings, though it is always best to be in the company of Gurus because the Guru would know your frequency of energy and how to upgrade you. Let me give you a practical technique which is easy-to-do in your house or office, without resorting to buying books or travelling. A simple kriya detailed in the shashtras, the Sanatan Kriya. As you sit in silence and do dhyan with your Guru as detailed in the kriya, you automatically come into the satsang of your Guru, of saints and of subtle energies.
Kusang or negative company does the opposite of what a satsang would do. If satsang is tamso ma jyotirgamaya, kusang is jyotirma tamso gamaya or in other words instead of going from darkness to light by satsang, you are asking the Divine Mother to go from light to darkness by kusang. A very good indication of whether you are in satsang or kusang is by observing your action tendency. If you find that you are doing charitable acts, spiritual acts, going deeper into meditation, avoiding alcohol and parties, then the energy you are with is definitely satsang. And if the opposite of this is happening, if you turn your face from an injured animal, if your actions are causing harm to environment, if you are immersing yourself into grosser pleasures and if your time for meditation is reducing, then it is kusang. Never let anyone else judge you, always let your experience and the course your life takes, judge you.