Message from the Master
19 December 2017
'When I am talking about Love, I am talking about Divine and universal Love, God as Love and Love as God, but I am also talking about loving life. The last is something that is so often missed by spiritual seekers who are in a hurry to achieve the goal of life, God's Realisation. The tricky thing on the spiritual journey is that one should not be in a hurry, but one should also not hesitate and not be too slow. Seems impossible and contradicting, but that is the nature of life itself. But there is a solution for this. It is Love.
When we are in Love, Love leads us without fail, because Love by its own nature knows when to be slow, and when to be fast; when to flow lazily, when to flow with full force; when to be subtle, when to be bold and direct; when to introvert and when to extrovert and so on. Loving life means flowing with life, in love for life, and due to that, one will more and more know both: LOVE AND LIFE.
But as I wrote above, flowing with life means getting to know many aspects of life or Love, opposite and complementary. And this is the soil, the fertiliser, the fuel for Love to grow until full Realisation and blossoming. Those who are not in Love and who don’t have love for life are poor in every way and a poor one cannot reach the Ultimate. There is a story… I think it was about Ramanuja Acharya:
Once a young brahmana approached Ramanuja asking him to be accepted as his disciple. Ramanuja asked him: 'Have you ever loved?' He said very quickly: 'No! I am a brahmachari and I never look at women.' How unknowingly he exposed his own inner deep desires which he wanted to hide behind being spiritual!
Ramanuja asked him if he had ever loved and he immediately thought about women. What? Other than women there is nothing else to be loved? So Ramanuja said to him that he could not be accepted as a disciple. And the young man asked him in surprise why not. Ramanuja said: 'I cannot teach you as you do not have the basic understandings of life. You are inexperienced, so how do you think that you will be able to realise the Ultimate? Go and find someone that you will love and serve and only after you get some experience, then you can come to me again.'
So what does this story say? Do not try to fool yourself by skipping the steps. Do not pretend that you are something which you are not. To be a spiritual seeker doesn't mean abandoning life, but going deeper into life. It is not isolating but, on the contrary, one becomes more and more inclusive. Being inclusive is not something one does with the head, but through loving and serving others.
The young brahmana thought that his scholarship would lead him to Realisation. Education, learning, and scriptures have their place, but they are tools, not the path. The path is loving and serving, surrendering and acceptance. If he has never loved, no matter how well he knew scriptures and theories, he would not make even one step of progress; rather, he would be standing stuck in one place.
Sometimes one can see this among spiritual seekers on the Bhakti path. They are talking about Love, but it is only a theory, a philosophy, not action and practicality. They want to love unconditionally, but at the same time, they cannot even respect others who are near, who are co-travellers on the same journey. They do not share even common humanity, and at the same time, they are talking about divinity!
As I said in the beginning, 'All is Love.' Yes, true Love express itself through all levels and phases and stages of life, but spiritual seekers miss seeing that. If one cannot accept and recognise love in its lower stage, how will one grow towards more love and blossom into the full Realisation and actualisation of the potential that was always there? This wisdom is nicely described through the symbolism of the lotus: it grows from the mud, through the water, up to surface and blossoms there. And what is interesting is that once it blossoms, water cannot touch it, even though it grows in water.
Unfortunately, people often use spirituality to avoid Love and that is the greatest absurdity on the spiritual path. Love makes us open, available, vulnerable, sensitive, fragile. Of course, Love also makes us powerful and courageous and ultimately leads us towards God's Realisation. Love means unity, fraternity, serving, devotion, respecting, taking care, inspiring others by our own actions and being the example of Love.
So, all is Love. One should recognise this with love and through love.'
- Paramahamsa Vishwananda