Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
The Narada Bhakti Sutra is our guide for a while… the nature of Love (with the capital 'ell') and a full exploration of it. As always, you are encouraged to seek out the full text from Chinmaya Publications (links in side-bar); but for those who prefer e-readers, this version is recommended. Whilst awareness and interest can be raised by these posts on AV-blog, they cannot substitute for a thorough reading and contemplation...and practice!
We saw last week that Sri Narada held up the example of the gopis who were the intense devotees of Lord Krishna. In order to further raise our thinking of the nature of capital 'ell' Love, Narada-ji continues;
Tadvihiinam jaaraanaam-iva ||23||
Love without the knowledge of His True Nature (is) like the illicit love for the paramour.
|art by Lirulin-yirth|
A clear and resounding comparison of the love with which we are all too familiar and the genuine, capital 'ell' variety of Love! What is required to shift into the Love Divine? Capital 'k' Knowledge. The understanding of Reality, which none of our material sciences, no matter how advanced they are, can actually pinpoint for us. Love Divine does not succumb to passion, lust, base physical actions. To quote Gurudev directly, "True Love ennobles, it enlivens, it enthrals. Pure Love totally transports the devotee into the climes of joyous satisfaction and a breathless state of perfection. In the love of the gopies for Krishna, there was nothing base, ignoble or fleshy. It was the expression of a total merger of their personalities with the Supreme Truth…"
Without an understanding of Infinitude, the essence of Being, our relationship with our Divine Nature fails. We can certainly entertain all sorts of notions of devotion, but without that key piece of Knowledge, all our efforts are actually still of the lesser form of love. This is not to 'diss' love as we experience it currently. However, we must be clear at the very least of what the difference is and then we can clean up our 'house' and make the love we can manage right now as pure and untied as possible. All elements of selfishness and lust which arise within our standard form of love must be scooped out. Rising above our desires, we begin to glimpse and, indeed, experience, aspects of the Divine such that we switch to a desire for more of That. True Love, once accepted into our small beings, gets fanned by the joy it generates and starts to emanate from us. At this point we can begin to permit ourselves to become the instrument of the Lord - like the flute of Krishna, to be played as He sees fit. When we are centred on lower love (lust), we depend upon the other for completion of it. When we are centred on Higher Love (Divinity), we carry our dependence within ourselves and can never be disappointed by it. Love actually lives in joy, lust is forever seeking it. Once moved into Love Divine, lust becomes a memory; the two cannot co-exist. There is no substitute for the exquisite sweetness of Love Divine.
This is emphasised further in the concluding sutra of this section;
Naastyeva tasminstat-sukhasukhitvam ||24||
In the profane love for the paramour, the sense of happiness in 'giving happiness' surely does not exist at all.
In our day to day existence, we are forever saying things like 'I did that to make him/her happy', 'he/she made me happy by…' This sutra is making it clear to us that happiness, as such, is not something which can be given or received and therefore our assigning 'happiness' to the acts of others or ourselves is to delude ourselves as to the actual nature of happiness.
It is heard a lot these days, is it not? "What makes you happy?" What is mistaken for happiness is, in fact, mere lustful satisfaction. Very often, as an example of Divine Love given expression, the love of the mother for her children is given. Even this, though, falls short, as far too many of the human race fail to experience this love in its purest expression - for all sorts of diverse reasons. Parents who are able to provide safe and nourishing environments for their children still cannot, in the end, provide 'happiness' for those little individuals. Each must, ultimately, develop their own sense of what is happiness. Those who are fortunate, will fall into the paths which will lead to spiritual development and there the potential for reaching True Happiness becomes theirs.
Happiness is a state which ought not to falter. It is not wild ecstasy, nor does it get supplanted by gloom and doom. Happiness is the state of mind wherein contentment resides and permits us the ability to cope more readily, absorb with less pain, to give without hesitation, to act promptly and to ever have the Divine present in our thoughts.
The motto of the Chinmaya Mission is "Maximum Happiness to Maximum People for Maximum Time". It is achievable. Release clinging, cloying, lustful love and reach up to Love Divine.