What the World Needs
Now is Love and Compassion
by Durga Ahlund
A Suffering World
The events of this past year, the war in Iraq, the genocide in
the Sudan, the murder of innocents by terrorist all over the world,
the incidents of American maltreatment of prisoners in Iraq and
Quantanamo Bay, hurricanes, earthquakes, the latest tsunamis,
have not only caused endless suffering to others, but have affected
each of us all on a very deep level. The siddha Swami Ramalinga
informs us of the great truth, which we must understand that "all
souls are alike, they are all equal and related to one another.
When one sees, hears, knows that one of his brothers is suffering;
he too suffers, for there is a bodily relationship existing between
the two. We have all experienced the Truth of this.
The problem of problems all
over the world is how can we all just live a peaceful happy life?
The question which arises in every year is how we can as the people
of one nation; much less people of different nations, of different
religions, languages, and cultures live together in peace and
harmony?" Is there an answer which can be given to every individual
and to every nation tackling this problem? Perhaps God alone knows.
The Siddhas would say that it is only essential that we as individuals
develop our virtue, character and our usual human faculties in
order to live harmoniously and harmlessly with all in the world.
Babaji tells us we can make a start by developing our character
and rooting it in universal love and compassion. He gives us a
framework, "focus on building character first, then on building
devotion and then on obtaining Divine knowledge, then alternate
your sadhana in service, bhakti and jñana and self-study
until they interpenetrate. For there is a stage we are all capable
of reaching, where Supreme Divine Love is experienced and character,
devotion, and action are all perfectly aligned with Divine Will
and what is expressed is always a reflection of Love and Compassion."
The Purifying Power of Love
What is this love and
how can we become its instruments? Babaji tells us that
Love is more than being attracted to or feeling pleasure in being
with, or desiring, or even being ready to sacrifice for someone
or something. Love is the source of all virtues and the source
of aspiration for union. It is limitless, mysterious and miraculous.
It is strength, courage and an elixir of renewal and regenerativeness.
It is humility, patience, acceptance and endurance. It carries
with it the power of expansion and transformation. We all know
love in some form, so what we must do is to purify the outer expression
of that love, and remove its attachment and emotion, in order
to realize a true love, which permeates everything and every moment
of life. There is power in the virtue of Love…power that
can our perspective, enabling us to see the spiritual Presence
within the mundane. Sri Aurobindo says that one ray of divine
love can alter the character of one's life. This love can only
arise once we realize the spiritual relationship between souls,
and this "love" awakens a divine energy or shakti, which then
informs our actions with wisdom. Love is inherent in Consciousness,
it manifest as we go through the process of spiritual purification.
When we let go of ignorance, attachment, egoism, aversions. When
we embrace truth and wisdom, even while engaged in activities
of the world. It is not so difficult to love God as He who lords
over all and is above everything earthly. What is difficult and
necessary is to love the Lord manifested in every form, in every
Babaji tells us that compassion
is a natural expression of the inner state of the soul, when the
soul is at peace. Our pure inner state is a dynamic force and
its vibration of peace can benefit the world at large. Compassion,
like love is a quality of the heart and a virtue of the soul.
It develops as our hearts open to our connection with the Lord
and with others. So , why is that so often the deeply religious
are not compassionate? The Siddhas tell us that it takes a constant
awareness of one self, a sadhana of self-reflection and detachment
and development of the virtues of love and compassion to slowly
rid our selves of all hatred. Normally we are so concerned with
our own sense of lack that we feel we cannot afford to be compassionate
with others. With truly spiritual practices we are able to utilize
our energy to strengthen our mental discipline, to control thoughts
and emotions, to strengthen our concentration, our nervous system
and our sense of equanimity and compassion so that we begin to
expand to include, rather than to exclude others in our love.
The Mother of Sri Aurobindo
Ashram said, "compassion seeks to relieve the suffering of all,
whether they deserve it or not." By identifying with others and
enlarging our world to embrace all others , we cultivate true
compassion. And only be cultivating dispassion can we truly embrace
all others. And only when a mind is dispassionate, can it be truly
peaceful and free from fear, sorrow, anger and worry and courageous
enough to live lovingly and compassionately with all others. Once
we are free of fear, sorrow, anger and worry, love and compassion
expands. Then, we are free to give our love and compassion widely,
so that we can embrace the interests of others, understand their
perspective, and ultimately identify with them as our own brother,
and serve them as we are able.
The Purifiying Power of Dispassion
Repel even the slightest anxiety,
sorrow, anger, jealously, any disturbance of the mind. Record
in your journal and note where the disturbance comes from; detect
the source (the source is often an emotion or idea from a defect,
a fault of an egoistic claim of "I or mine," or a vital desire).
Then, discourage this emotion or idea, through will-power….will,
powered by spiritualized intelligence and your Guru. Replace the
emotion with the emotion of love and compassion or if you are
unable, transform it by chanting your Guru mantra.
On no account should
you allow any excuse for a disturbing thought, no matter, how
natural it is, or plausible it may be, or even when there is real
inner or outer justification.
Remember that it is always the
prana which is troubled. So just separate yourself from the troubled
prana and keep seated in your higher nature, and reject the hold
that desire or aversion or clinging has on you. Reject even an
emotion coming from your heart…which is causing the disturbance.
Sri Aurobindo says, "If the
source of a mental disturbance is your will or intelligence then
it will be harder to control the disturbance. Consciously align
your will and intelligence with your soul, with your aspiration
for spiritual growth. If the will and intelligence is working
for the ego and against the Divine Will, it will encourage the
movements of the lower self."
By practicing dispassion, compassion
will arise within stages. First in our thoughts, then with all
those we come in contact with in our daily lives, and then with
all those in our communities, and finally with all those in the
world. An outpouring of love from the heart grows and grows and
we become open to the immense power underlying Compassion, which
can transform everything. For compassion is a force of God, a
virtue of God, not a virtue of any religion. While all of our
yogic sadhana including occurring asana, bandhas, pranayama, mantra,
and meditation involves purification, to get beyond the egoistic
sense of "I and mine," we need the help of Love and Compassion.
Put aside all sense of being the doer, be an instrument of this
love, in whatever circumstances you find yourself centered in
Copyright: Durga Ahlund, January 2005
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