Trying to explain that which has no explanation is a useless task. But Advaita many centuries ago discovered that it was more effective to explain what it is not. What remains therefore, however inexplicable it is IT IS. In Advaita they call this “Neti, Neti” which means: “Neither this nor that”.

To define Satsang, its Sanskrit translation goes something like: “In the presence of truth.” Which does not specifically tell much; however, we can say what Satsang is not:

  • It is not a study group.
  • It is not a meditation group.
  • It is not a reading of texts of dead Masters.
  • It is not a question and answer session.
  • It is not a talk or a conference.
  • No techniques or methods are used.
  • Nothing is done with the body.
  • Nothing is done with the mind.
  • Nothing is shared among attendees. Not even they contribute anything except their presence.

For this encounter to be truly Satsang, the presence of a being who has freed himself from the slavery of the mind is essential.

In Satsang everything happens spontaneously. What the teacher said, normally very little, comes in the moment, without preparation or script.

What is communicated in Satsang has nothing to do with words or concepts. Not even the experiences shared by the Teacher are important. Something inexplicable happens: the mind slows down and a sublime feeling of peace and well-being emanates from the Teacher and permeates most of the attendees. Those sincere in their search. 

All this happens without any control or decision on the part of the Teacher, it just happens. Something more powerful makes it happen. Science discards it, philosophy cannot explain it, religion condemns it, modern spirituality puts it aside. But it happens, oh yes for sure it happens.

Advaita has been passed on from teacher to disciple for more than five thousand years. Like a contagion. Satsang is the event in which this silent transfer occurs. 

Luis de Santiago