by M. Govindan Satchidananda
Part 1 of this editorial, began with the saying "The amount of Grace you receive depends upon how much sadhana you do, how much karma yoga or service you do, and how much love and devotion you manifest". We discussed the meaning of "grace" ("all that we receive which helps us to evolve and come closer to the Divine") and "sadhana" ("yogic disciplines and practices") and "karma yoga" (to do action that is our duty without expectation of some personal gain).
The yoga of love and devotion has been aptly described by Siddhar Thirumoolar in his "Thirumandiram", verse 270:
" The ignorant prate that Love and
Siva are two,
But none do know that Love alone is Siva
when men but know that Love and Siva are the same,
love as Siva, they ever remained".
and in verse 274:
" Worship the Lord with heart melted
Seek the Lord, with love
When we direct our love to God
He too approaches us with love."
and in verse 280:
" What we scorned and what we gained,
the righteous Lord in Love rewards as merit befits;
Who, with burning zeal, seek Him with heart of love
To such, well-pleased, He His Grace awards."
and in verse 283:
" Like the sweet love in sex-act experienced,
so, in the Great Love, let yourself to Him succumb;
thus in Love sublimed, all your senses stilled,
Bounding in Bliss Supreme, That this becomes."
and in verse 288:
The Lord God knows them who, by night and day,
Seat Him in heart's core, and in love exalted adore;
To them wise with inner light, actionless in trance,
He comes, and, in close proximity, stands before."
This reminds us of the fact that mystics in spiritual traditions around the world agree on the fact that love is both the means to Self realization and the end result.
How to cultivate such love and devotion for God? By seeking ways to feel love towards others, be they divine forms, human beings, animals or plants. When we can meditate on the glory and greatness of God as an impersonal being, as "Satchitananda", "Absolute Being, Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Bliss", we feel blissful, and begin to identify with these. When we contemplate on the personal forms of the Divine, in the form of His incarnations or as gods and goddesses, we also begin to identify, through love, with their divine qualities and essential nature. This may manifest, for example when we participate in spiritual or religious ceremonies, devotional singing or chanting, or visiting of holy places, where we view the images of divine personalities. We become like that which we most often think of or meditate on. Drawing inspiration from these during the trials of life, we find the strength to overcome obstacles and the joy that keeps a smile on our face.
Interacting with gentleness and sweetness with infants, children and even not so innocent adults, we feel love and empathy. Even if one lives alone, one may cultivate this love with pets, such as cats and dogs.
In the fellowship of devotees, one may also learn how to love selflessly, through acts of service, or "satsang" ("sharing of truth"). As Thirumoolar says in verse 545:
" the Jnanis seek the Lord of Celestials;
They who seek the Company of Jnanis
Will attain Siva Truth;
They indeed Walk in the Path of Virtue
And are truly blessed;
To resort to such
Is indeed Bliss Supreme."
The spiritual path is long, with many "ups and downs", and therefore, devotees may give or receive inspirtation and support to one another during difficult periods, by meeting from time to time.
Seeking the Divine with a mind which is undisciplined and changeable requires much patience. Its like a game of"hide and seek" that children play. As Thirumoolar said in verse 539:
" In the troubled thought that knows
The only thing that stands still
Is devotional Patience Exceeding",
Whenever one is assailed by negative thoughts or problems, the most effective means to dispel them is simply to chant "Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum" or another name for the Lord that one holds dearest. Chant it with love and devotion. The Lord's Grace will descend and one will experience fulfillment.
Copyright Marshall Govindan March 1995. Todos los derechos reservados
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