Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Love As A Spiritual Experience

Nicely written by Venu Nair

Terms like love, joy, peace etc are so widely used in our life. So when in spiritual contexts they are used there is every possibility these terms would be taken for what we usually denote by them in everyday life. Earlier also, there were discussions about what love means or what love doesn't mean in spirituality.

What we usually mean by love is the attachment, fancy, infatuation, urge to possess, dearness, emotional proximity, paternal, maternal or fraternal affection etc. All these are, in fact, qualified by some amount of selfishness. How so ever forcefully a mother proclaims that her love for her child is selfless, it is marked by the feelings possessiveness and expectations that are, very naturally, a part of such mundane relationships.

But, when "love" as a spiritual experience is considered, it is much different from all those feelings of affection originating from a personal relationship. Hence it is purer and really selfless. Here, love has no reason. It is love not even for love's sake. IT IS LOVE AND LOVE ONLY. A question like "for what sake is this love?" doesn't arise at all. To put it in another way, anything and everything can generate love in a person. It originates from the divine source very much present in the person. Hence the person cannot control or regulate it. Nor can he generate or end it in himself. It is a way the divine source in one expresses Itself.

Hence, when a spiritual seeker starts experiencing this wonderful feeling of love, it is a marked evidence of the spiritual progress he is making. Such love originates when the consciousness of a person increases to a very high limit, as per Hawkins' scale of consciousness. This love is not simply a blessing for the evolved person but also a great influence on others as the flow of energy affects the consciousness of others coming in contact with the evolved person. As Bhagavan says love is the only remedy for all the sufferings in these times.

While coming from India after a wonderful "darsan" of beloved Amma and beloved Bhagavan in 2007 December, I happened to chat with an officer at Changi Airport in Singapore, during my wait to board the next flight to Brunei Darussalam. The chat was just about flight schedule and such commonplace things but as soon as I was about to take leave of him in order to go to the toilet, I felt a sudden surge of the beautiful feeling within and I grasped his hand for a handshake. The man spoke in a strange and excited voice, "Wow, there is love flowing from you to me!" Folding up his sleeves, with wonder in his eyes, he showed goose pimples on his arms. And with love overflowing, this poor me (ha ha) went to the toilet to attend to the nature's call. Later on return I understood that he belonged to a "budhist" sect and had been doing "kriya yoga" for over twenty years.

Love is a wonderful blessing that God gives us, beloved ones. There is no point thinking what it is, where it leads to or what its use is! IT COMES AND CONQUERS YOU! You can just be there, that is all! Let beloved AmmaBhagavan bless each one of us to create heaven on earth!

Sri AmmaBhagavan Saranam!

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Contemplative Questions

Here is a set of questions that would provoke you and put you through some soul searching. They are not about religion nor about ethics. They are merely about you.

They are not meant to serve as solutions nor are they meant to lead you anywhere. These questions are meant to serve as tools to discovering yourself.

1) Do you perceive the Presence of a benevolent force guiding, protecting and shaping your life? What name do you give that Presence? When did you best feel this Presence?

2) What is your opinion of God? Is your opinion drawn from religion, books, parents and or your personal experience of life?

3) Do you pray? Do they get answered? How often?

4) Do you think it is possible to relate to the Divine? What relationship would you opt?

5) Here is a story for you - Two fierce enemies once did a penance to placate god and receive boons vying with each other. God appeared to the first man and asked what he wanted. He said "give me twice of whatever you give my enemy". Then God appeared to the second one. Even before God could say anything he asked, "God, would you please tell me what my enemy asked for? On knowing his prayer request, he said, "then God, blind me in one eye."
Now what would you wish for yourself, your best friend and your worst enemy if God gave you a chance?

6) Have you ever experienced a coincidence or chance that seems to have involved so many people and factors that you can't stop wondering if a mastermind was behind this operation? If yes, do you savour the experience often and have you shared it with someone close to you?