How to get rid of bad habits? Why is satsang important?

Through holy friendships (satsang) and bhajans it is possible to get rid of bad habits and negative tendencies! Your aim should be to achieve permanent liberation.

Bhajans as well as hymns such as Vishnu and Lalita Sahasranama energize the nādis (subtle energy channels) tremendously. Uninterrupted Nama smarana (bhajans) can grant liberation! When the name of the Lord is chanted even once with complete love, faith and concentration unimaginably supreme results are obtained.  On the other hand chanting the Lord’s names a million times without concentration is a sheer waste. A tape recorder plays His names zillions of times. In what way does it benefit? The omnipresent God knows everything. Learn to be calm. Be peaceful. Atleast for 5-10 minutes a day learn to be calm and to pray silently.

It is very important to have virtuous and worthy friends. Good associations (sat sangatya) have the ability to wash away bad habits and make way for good thoughts! The subtle impressions of our past actions (vāsanas) are not in our control. To overcome desires, rigorous effort is required. Our past tendencies, the desires we entertain and the good friendships we maintain together build our character. Taking the help of good associations that is within our reach, we should first of all make attempts to overcome desires. Then, with the help of our Guru, we can overcome and destroy the bad tendencies that arise from the subtle impressions of past actions.

If you want satsang, just a little effort is enough to get it. This present birth is a great opportunity to complete or bring to an end all the karmas done in the previous births. Karma is a must. It needs to be done. A thorn can be removed only with the aid of another thorn. In the same way, karma can be set off only by karma. Good karma should be done. Sri Krishna Paramatma has declared that through karma yoga it is possible to get liberation.


– Bhaktimala Dec 99

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