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!
Chapter Five, Section One, continued.
Gu[riht< kamnarihtm! àit][vxRman<
AiviCDÚ< sUúmtr< Anu_avêpm! .54.
Gunarahitam kaamanaarahitam pratikxanavardhamaanam,
Avichcchinnam suukxmataram anubhvaruupam ||54||
…(it is) without attributes, without the poison of desires, every moment increasing, unbroken, subtlest, of the nature of sheer, immediate experience…
Having advised us that there are few individual who can truly manifest the Divine within, he goes on further to describe the indescribable in order to expand on why this is the case.
It is said that Divine Love is without attributes. In other words, there is no attachment of anything that we are currently familiar with as being 'love'. There is no ecstasy, passion, focus on a particular other individual. It is so pure it is free of any sense of desire. There is no song and dance, with physical effects. It is a Love for the Whole, a Love which transforms, a Love that passeth all understanding.
As you may appreciate, what is being described here is so pure and exalted, it is beyond the reach of our ordinary perception and comprehension. All the 'love' we think we have known till now falls under the label of 'kaama' - desire. Love which is desire-prompted is, truly speaking, lust; this is not to say only physical (as we have come to know it), but anything which distracts or disturbs the mind. A child thinking only of the sweets it may prefer to have over the carrots on the plate is in the grip of lust! True Love (that with the capital 'ell') is a victory of the Spirit. Love creates, lust destroys the peace in the heart. Love will live the joys, lust merely seeks them. Love generates tranquillity, lust excites. It is imperative to grasp this significant difference between love with desire and Love without desire.
Also, in this sutra, the emphasis is that Love Divine is kaamana-rahita; free from even the awareness of desire. Moment to moment it expands in efficacy; it deepens and strengthens and this is the Love which conquers all.
What is more it is avichchhinnam; once experienced, this Love is unbroken and remains whether in waking, dream or deep sleep. It is the total identification with the Divine. It becomes the constant in our lives and in our connection with the Higher. Throughout every part of life, in action, in thought and feeling, in our intellectual work, the Love remains unbroken and ever-growing in its influence, informing each of our activities but without any taint if desire. True Love seeks no return.
It is sookxmataram; supremely subtle. In Vedanta, subtlety is measure by its pervasiveness. Thus, it is all-pervading. It knows no boundaries or limitations; no "I love this but not that", no "I love my own but not the other". As soon as we put limitations on our 'love' we are leaving place for non-love. Walking in company with the Love Divine, there is not one iota of hatred. There is only an understanding that each and everything thing, each and every place, each and every other individual, is a part of that Love. In this way we see clearly that All Is One. We see that the Divine resides everywhere.
Due to the subtlety, we can be forgiven for thinking such a Love is elusive and even unobtainable. Not so! We have been told that, with correct practice, we certainly can experience Love. What is more, it becomes anubhaava - our immediate experience. By this we must understand that all other experience is mediated via the conduits of our sensory perception. Love Divine is within us and requires no intermediary access. Anu means 'continuous', bhaavam means 'becoming'. It is a case of reconnection to the source of our being and a constant revealing of the Divine in all subsequent experiences. It is the essence of 'being'. Pure Existence. "Try! Just BE!" declares the Chhandogya Upanishad (7:24).
The difficulty of describing the nature of Love will be dawning upon you by now; it is actually beyond words - anirvaachaniiyam - like that dumb fellow attempting to explain his first taste of sugar. Such is the brilliance of this inexpressible Love, it is only found in some rare persons, for making oneself sufficiently pure and clear and empty requires a special something.
This concept of becoming pure and clear and empty exists within Christ's teachings also; “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:4)