Recently, Sri Suki Sivam, in a Pattimandram (debating assembly) in Mega T.V. shared one important illustration about the need of ‘Sat-sangh’.
A church father noticed that one of the wealthiest members of his congregation didn’t turn up for two successive weeks. After his third week of absence, the Father went to his house after the service. As it was a cold country in the winter, the rich man was enjoying sitting before a fire. After some initial talk, the Father pulled one of the burning pieces of wood from the fire, kept it aside, and continued talking. Over time, the wood stopped burning.
At no point did he ask the rich man why he hadn’t been at the church recently. When the Father was about to leave, he put the extinguished piece of wood back in the fire and it immediately began to burn. When the rich man came out to say good-bye to the Father said that he would come next week without fail. He got the message that however rich he might be, without participating in sat-sangh he cannot survive in his spiritual life.
Sri Suki Sivam also mentioned that the late Kundrakkudi Adigalar said that in Hindu temples the priests keep account for all the vessels and other things they use, but they never keep an account of the people who visited or did not visit. The truth is that Hindus go to the temple for personal sadhana and ritual needs and not to have any ‘sat-sangh’ with others and the priest. A Hindu priest is just like any other professional, and need not take care of the personal spiritual, religious or social needs of individuals.
Thankfully, Hindus find this in many places. Household rituals related to life (samskaras) are performed in the home and reminded by the family priest (prophet). Spiritual needs are sometimes provided by a preceptor and other forums like bhajan mandalis. Social needs are taken care of by the family, community, and society.
Anyhow, Sri Sivam, again proved that he is not only a good speaker but also imparts valuable practical teaching for the life.