Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Dharma and sanga. Our innermost nature is what dharma is. Yes, our innermost nature is dharma and sangha is our association, our environment.So events and attitude are influenced by only two things.The first is by your own true nature and another by your environment, the people whom you are with, you know.In a group if someone says, ‘Come lets go and have a drink,’ we will say, ‘Ok, lets all go.’ We will go.In a group if someone starts talking negatively, slowly another person will join a little later, then the third and the fourth. Soon you’ll find that everybody starts talking negatively – this is the influence of the groupA child is influenced upto 25 percent by the environment, by the friends in the environment and the school they grow up in. Another 25 percent is from the parents’ genes and tendencies. The next 25 percent is their own originality, their karmas, their samskaras, the impression that they come into this world with. The remaining 25 percent is through their own self-effort and their understanding. So parents have got only one-forth influence on their children. Only one forth. Similarly, our sangha which means our association has an influence on us. Usually what we call sangha is a group of people who are on the spiritual path. People on the spiritual path can help you with that much-needed energy, biodiversity energy for you to move on that path. That is why when you sit and meditate in a group, it is better than when you are alone.How many of you feel that way? In a group you feel like doing yoga, pranayam, even service activity. When you are alone, you get tired. You don't feel like doing it. But few of you join together and you do a lot of work. If you have to wash the dishes alone, you will feel so bored. But if 7, 8 or 9 of us are washing the dishes, time just flies like that. You don’t feel tired. I have told you don’t feel exhausted isn't it? How many of you have this experience?At home if someone is asked to wash that many dishes, you would crib. And here you do it with the smile, you do it happily joyfully. So sangha can or the group sangha can help you move up in life. It puts you in touch with the dharma; and sangha only happen with the enlightened.That’s why Lord Buddha said Buddham, sangham and dharmam. Three things - the enlightened one, the company of people and your true nature - all these things important and they all are one and the same.