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Where Is My Sangat?

spnadmin

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In Sikh Sikhi Sikhism, on another thread, we are seeking a gurmat understanding of the meaning of sadh sangat from the shabad guru? But sometimes this sangat is not easy to find, spot or identify in our daily lives and interactions with other people. Often we do not find "sangat" in gurdwara.


As one member said
As I've expressed in another post, sometimes I feel depressed because of all the references to "the Company of the Holy" (Sukhmani Sahib, for instance) when I can't really find any in real-life. Makes me think "Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is all the holy company I need", but then, I wouldn't be here, or poking my nose in the UU church either.
What advice, what direction, can we take?
 

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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I can only speak from personal experience. For me there are 2 forms of sangat.

Most of m life I haven't felt connected to sangat in the Gurdwara. Where I grew up it was more social than Gurmat orientated. One of the places I lived the Gurdwara attendance was huge->5000 people weekly but I would go home feeling more lonely than before as I never made friends. I even used to do seva in the Gurdwara but still got to know no-one. I did ardaas daily for more than 2 years asking for sangat. Then circumstances were such that I moved to New Zealand earlier than intended and I found the most amazing sangat. I learnt so so much and developed confidence due to that sangat. That sangat is also the reason that I became really connected with Sikhi and that I started feeling Waheguru's presence more in my life. Without that sangat I would have remained a drifter and confused the rest of my life. Waheguru Ji provided for more when I needed it most! Because of that sangat I am more involved in the Gurdwara in my new city and that is helping me to connect with other like minded souls-introductions have happened due to my interest in Sikhi with people I probably wouldn't have got to know otherwise! I miss the sangat from NZ but am very thankful they were a part of my life and they have opened doors for me and left a lasting effect even though I am not physically part of it anymore. The effect of sangat goes beyond physical presence.

On the other level, I have more non-Sikh friends than Sikh friends as I have always lived in white dominated areas and enjoy spending time with people from all backgrounds. Many of these people are amazing-some are really good people from the way they serve the world (lot of voluntary work or jobs in fields which are very demanding and based around working for others). Others have the most amazing personalities-they never speak ill of others or handle all lifes problems with the most amazing grace without ever asking why me. Others are extremely caring people and look beyond themselves. I find all of these people inspirational and try adn learn from them. I count them as my sadh sangat too.

Jasleen :veryhappykaur:
 

Astroboy

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I am finding it tough to understand what I am looking for when I am in the gurdwara. Before leaving the house on gurdwara day, I have my focus on light meditation and listening to melodious kirtan. But when I am in the gurdwara, something else takes over. For one, the aromatic smell of langgar cooking entering the gurdwara hall is a major distraction. It triggers my physical senses and I have a tough time focusing on the preconceived idea. It is a loosing battle fighting with my stomach juices growling off and on.

And then it is my innerself trying to shut out the incoming sangat from further distractions. Instead of keeping an inner focus, I tend to look at the people coming in. I just can't resist the temptations. I guess I am there not just for God but also for socializing. It is important because I don't usually get to meet Punjabi/Sikhs people anywhere else.
 
Oct 21, 2009
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India
In Sikh Sikhi Sikhism, on another thread, we are seeking a gurmat understanding of the meaning of sadh sangat from the shabad guru? But sometimes this sangat is not easy to find, spot or identify in our daily lives and interactions with other people. Often we do not find "sangat" in gurdwara.


As one member said What advice, what direction, can we take?
It would be better if we find the meaning of related terms i.e sadh, sangat and Satsang’. These are given below.
1.ਸਾਧ=
ਸਾਧੂ, ਸੰਤ, ਸੰਤ ਜਨ, ਭਗਤ ਜਨ, ਗੁਰਮੁਖ, ਗੁਰਮੁਖ ਬੰਦੇ, ਉਹ ਮਨੁੱਖ ਜਿਸ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਆਪ ਨੂੰ ਸਾਧਿਆ ਹੈ, ਜਿਸ ਨੇ ਆਪਣੇ ਮਨ ਨੂੰ ਵੱਸ ਵਿਚ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ, ਪ੍ਰਭੂ ਸੇਵਕ। ਹੇ ਸਾਧੂ! ਸੱਧਰ, ਸਿੱਕ, ਤਾਂਘ। ਉਦਾਹਰਣ: ਅੰਚਲੁ ਗਹਿ ਕੈ ਸਾਧ ਕਾ ਤਰਣਾ ਇਹੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ॥ {ਗਉ ੫, ੧੭੨*, ੨:੧ (218)}।
2.Sangat=
(noun) Society, company, party, union, league, association. (2) Friendship, connection.
3. ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ=
ਸਤ ਸੰਗ ਵਿੱਚ/ਨਾਲ, ਸੰਤ ਨਾਲ, ਸੱਚੀ ਸੰਗਤ ਦੁਆਰਾ/ਵਿੱਚ। ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਤ। ਉਦਾਹਰਣ: ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਕੈਸੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ। ਜਿਥੈ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ॥ {ਸਿਰੀ ੧, ਅਸ ੨੮, ੫:੧;੨ (72)}। ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਮਹਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਉਪਜੈ ਜਾ ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁ ਮਿਲੈ ਸੁਭਾਏ॥ {ਸਿਰੀ ੩, ਅਸ ੨੨, ੭:੧ (67)}। ਧਨੁ ਧੁੰਨ ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਜਿਤੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਪਾਇਆ ਮਿਲਿ ਜਨ

On the basis of above ‘sadh sangat’ would imply the company/society of Sadhu/Saint or Gurmukh. If I refer to Guru Granth Sahib ji I do not get a ‘tuk’ or shabd that seems to contain the definition of ‘Gurmukh’ or ‘sadh sangat’. May be you have come across some shabad that contains the definitional aspect: Kindly share.

The meaning of ‘satsang’ includes ‘sadh sangat’. These terms, in my opinion, may be used interchangeably in the present context. Precise question that bothers: would every one visiting Gurudwara be within the purview of ‘sadh sangat’. People have made Gurudwaras as rendezvous for discussing business or office. Some lack the basic etiquettes to be observed at the Gurudwara. Other category of the sangat may be those who really come to Gurudwara for listening to keertan or for doing Path in congregation. But- Does it make them Saint/sadh? A ‘saint’/sant is a term that has been assigned very high quality of Spirituality and so should be ‘sat sangat’.

I am reminded of a Tuk that Gyani Maskeen ji used often in his discourses: Know that to be satsangat where only one Naam is the subject matter/ discussed/contemplated/recited/explained.

ਸਤਸੰਗਤਿ ਕੈਸੀ ਜਾਣੀਐ। ਜਿਥੈ ਏਕੋ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਖਾਣੀਐ॥ {ਸਿਰੀ ੧, ਅਸ ੨੮, ੫:੧;੨ (72)}

This clarifies the meaning of ‘sat sangat’ and, therefore’ sadh sangat’.
Thus the outer periphery of the term is determined and fixed for the limited purpose of this definition of ‘sadh sangat’.

We return home from Gurudwara as if we had met some friends and have come back doubting whether I was really in the company of holy or was it the congregation of persons like me. In case it was so, it shall not qualify for ‘sat sangat’/’sadh sangat.’

I stopped going to Gurudwara and my visits to Gurudwara are now on the days that my wife decides as per her convenience. Her purpose is to see some friends whom we do not visit due to her busy schedule.

It makes me conclude that there cannot be better saint/sadh than our Living Guru.[Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji]. That for me is the meaning of ‘sadh sangat’ as stated above and is in consonance with the poster had stated.
The company of ‘sadh sangat’ is limited to once a week or sometimes once a month when I am in the company of my Living Guru at Local Gurudwara.

May be you have better answer.
 

Brother Onam

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I love to go to gurdwara, but, truth be told, I rarely partake of langar (let guests and visitors enjoy), and I spend most time with eyes closed. It helps keep mind on the bani and environment of holiness. If I'm looking around, I'm spending too much time wondering about proportion of sardars versus plump guys with polo shirts and shaved faces.
In the sight of Waheguru, I'm sure Sadh Sangat is really a question of who, among the human family, live out their daily lives in a spirit of holiness -how we speak, eat, relate to our natural environment, serve the needy, shun excess in materialism and mundane ambitions, lift people's spirits and consciousness- transcending labels or professions of faith. Some of the most legitimately "spiritual" people I ever met, I met in jail, having been arrested, time and again, for protesting apartheid, nuclear weaponry or other injustices. People who cheerfully and willingly put comfort and security on the line to really stand for justice, no different than the sacrifices made by our Sikh martyrs and heroes. I should think they would be counted among the true Sangat, in the sight of the Most High. In Viet Nam, during that awful war, I'm sure some of those Buddhist monks were among the true spiritual lions...
The point, I think, is that ultimately, the task is to live in a way that creates a realm of holiness about us, and thereby fosters a place that draws believers in.
The quote by Panth Gyani Singh Maskeen was on point: let us all gather around the One Naam.
 
Jul 18, 2007
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London
Great question, I have been thinking about this for a while.

To be honest my attendance at the local Gurdwara has drastically reduced, personally to me its great if you can find genuine sangat, but I felt I wasn't getting what I thought the Gurdwara as an institute of learning/social gathering/development was meant to deliver.

To me at a deeper level sangat means to have company of good traits, the company happens when I discover, use and develop those traits. The experience is ever lasting and not for an instant, its fulfilling, not just from the mind point of view but inner feeling.

Development of this can be done anywhere, with no resources at all and it begins from within. As Gurbani is the truth, this truth should be able to be accessed by all of mankind, should it not?

Not just those who have a Gurdwara nearby? and automatically everyone inside the Gurdwara is sangat? Strange concept if we think about it.

There's a famous quote:

"Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny."

I would imagine the thought is what Gurbani aims at to develop, the action is the internal sangat that you need to visit on a regular basis to reap a habit. The habit then becomes you, and no doubt you will attract the "external sangat" in the form of those who have done the same to compound the power to become a true collective sangat.

Just my thoughts, apologies if it sounds like ramblings :peacesign:
 

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