There are 2 types of families – one is the blood-related family and the other is the ideological family. The former is the family we are born into whereas the latter is the family which connects us to certain ideals.
A sangha is an ideological family, a spiritual community which is kept alive only by giving and sharing spiritual experience with others. Since we are no hermits living in a cave, we are fundamentally social beings living in a community.
Lord Buddha once said that – To experience nirvana (enlightenment), 3 things are needed: Buddha (the master), dharma (His teachings) and sangha (a spiritual community). He also said that the future of sangha should be filled with tremendous friendliness. A person who supports the life’s mission is a “Mitra”, a friend.
In Vedic tradition, a sangha is created by enlightened masters for the purpose of living enlightenment. A sangha is an extension of his energy body for him as a part of eN-training. We are like many unpolished stones with rough edges and a master’s energy in the form of sangha is like the massive flow of river Ganga. By the constant chiselling with each other, we become the shiny balalinga (a stone found at the end of river bed which is a sign of God)
For me, after living in a sangha for the last 8 years, for the first time recently I am experiencing the fulfilment of living with a beautiful ideological family. It certainly took us many great lessons to come to this stage of expanded consciousness.
What did I learn so far?
- Sangha is master’s extension. If you are a true seeker, living with a sangha keeps you constantly reminded of the great truths and for you to practise science of completion and living the teachings of a master. According to my master, Paramahamsa Nithyananda, he said 33% of his body lives in a form of sangha. I couldn’t agree more with this statement because the way to experience the strength of His teaching is living in a sangha. A sangha is also a master’s safety net whenever we fall into the incompletions or depression. Living in a sangha makes it easier to get out the ditch of unconscious patterns. A sangha is a place where the teachings are taught to us and till it becomes truth (satya) for us, we are supported. Sangha is a mechanism where every individual restore their integrity and authenticity. So when we are established in these satyas, we become the moving temples and wherever we sit, a sangha will happen. We will become the source of inspirations for people.
- Be clear about your life’s purpose. When we are not clear about our self, what we show to others is nothing but chaos. One process I learned in the teamily (team and family) is identifying my life mission and communicating to the sangha so that people can support me and cause my reality. With authentic listening, the sangha members listen to my life purpose with deep friendliness and respect without judgment, I also do the same for other members. This has made it easier for me to contribute in the sangha and express my creativity.
- Take responsibility for everyone’s inauthenticity. Unless we become authentic ourselves and take responsibility for other’s inauthenticity, a sangha cannot happen. Sangha can only be built on pure spiritual strength of integrity and authenticity, nothing else. I’ve learned that once a few members start to take responsibility and hold the space with authenticity, a beautiful sangha starts flowering. Here’s a scale to see if sangha is happening around you – you will notice your life starts getting aligned, your relationships are flowering, the world is happening around you, a deep sense of fulfilment is overflowing.
- Intense action-based community. A sangha needs to be filled with actions, constantly reaching out to others with many enriching programmes and leaving no rooms for a dull moment. In Singapore sangha, we are constantly creating pilot programmes and new activities for people to gather so that we can share the great science of living enlightenment. That creates an intense excitement and enthusiasm within the sangha.
- Extreme transparency is required. I can say this is one big lesson from the old sangha period where there was no transparency which resulted in gossips and speculations eventually the sangha became divided. Only with the highest purpose, extreme transparency is required for us to become enlightened. In Guru-Disciple relationship, a complete transparency with master is a very powerful way for transformation because he needs to know our instability and where we are stuck. In this transparency, we don’t lose anything, we gain everything.
- Sangha leads you to merging into Cosmos. Whenever we inspire someone and share the great truths, we are living the statement of Lord Krishna which says -“One who talks about these great truths and lives the great truths will merge in ME in the end.”
In essence, life really feels like heaven on earth when we take responsibility to create a beautiful sangha around us. With the support of the sangha, sharing and living the truths becomes such a great joy. Namaste 😀