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BIG LOVE

And Spiritual Bliss

Introduction

Love is the greatest healingBig Love medicine, the most powerful warrior, the connectedness of all things and the goal of every spiritual path.  Love and love alone gives meaning to life.  We are born to be love.   Without love we are lost.

As we begin to awaken into the profound joy of love, we also begin to notice that there is very little love in the world and there is very little love in our own hearts.  If we ask ourselves when was the last time we felt love for another person – pure selfless love – what would be the answer?  If we feel such love for another person on a daily basis, we are an extremely rare soul.  It is common to confuse attachment for love.   Most people never feel any love for any other person, God or Nature year in and year out.

We can experience love for parts of the Divine such as other persons, plants, animals and Mother Nature, and, in the same way, there can be love for the whole of existence.  This we call devotion to the Divine, devotion to our Beloved or devotion to God. 

As we awaken into the bliss of divine love, we begin to see that there is no purpose to life beyond learning to abide permanently in love.  Since God is love, abiding in love is abiding in God and is the same as God realization.  Since love is our true nature, love is also Self-realization.

Love makes living effortless and beautiful and banishes boredom to the nether regions of non-existence.

Amma comments on why there is so little love in the world especially in Western cultures.

"The Path of Love, otherwise known as the Path of Devotion, is the best one for Western children. Of course, this is a general statement. In the West, society is such that people, even from early childhood, are intellectual and take an intellectual approach to everything. It is the product of their 'modern' education. They are fed with all kinds of factual information about the empirical world, and the emphasis is on science and technology. So their analytical minds are well-developed, but their hearts are dry. In most cases, the hearts of people in the West remain under-developed and imperfect. The head is big, but the heart is shriveled up and dry.

"What is the cause for this dryness?" the Western man further asked.

Mother elaborated, "The social norm that prevails paves the way for this dryness of the heart. One gets one's first lessons in love from one's mother. But in the West, the roles of mother and father become confused. Mothers become fathers and thus lose the quality of motherly love. They have no real love for their children. The instability of married life is another factor. The husband-wife and the mother-father relationship is so weak and fragile. A child who lives in this kind of situation cannot be loving. He or she cannot be affectionate. Such children do not even learn the most basic lessons of love. Of course, love cannot be taught like one can be taught to read and write. What Mother means is that there are no proper circumstances created for them to develop love in their lives. They grow up seeing the conflicts, arguments, disputes, hatred, fighting and finally the separation of their parents. They never experience what love is, which is what they are supposed to learn from the mutual love between their father and mother. The parents are the two Gurus which the children see from birth until they come into contact with the world. If the seed of love is not sown at home, it cannot sprout or blossom.

"The Path of Bhakti teaches love. First, you develop one-pointed love towards God. When that love becomes the center of your life and as the devotional practices become more and more intense, your vision changes. You come to understand that God dwells as Pure Consciousness in all beings, including you. As this experience becomes stronger and stronger, the love in you also grows until at last you become That. The love within you expands and embraces the entire universe with all its beings. You become the personification of Love. This Love removes all dryness from you. This Love is the best cure for all emotional blocks and for all negative feelings. Therefore, Mother thinks that the Path of Love is the best for Western seekers."  Amma, Awaken Children, vol. 4

We would do well to pause and reflect that Amma says Love is the best cure for all emotional blocks and all negative feelings. Could we receive any greater blessing than this?

This begs the question, “How do we learn to love?”  Most of us grew up in conditions just described by Amma.  Our hearts are shriveled and dry and we have even forgotten what love feels like.  Being absent from love is the same as being absent from God because God is love.

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

The reader is then advised to read this book as a means of gaining insight into the profound and cosmic meaning of love and thereby be inspired to take up the task of consciously and persistently striving to expand the still dim spark of love that has been waiting for us so patiently.

Your author has previously published two books on the practice of bhakti or the awakening of love for the Beloved; for God.  The titles are Finding God’s Love and Bhakti Sutras of Narada and they can be reviewed at www.devipress.com.  There are techniques and practices that one can take up like so many torches in order to light the fire of eternal Love and this will liberate us from our self-imposed prison of suffering, chaos, darkness and ignorance.

There are some spiritual teachers who say love is a mere emotion and that any feelings of love we may have are no more than base emotionalism.  They will say the same for bliss.  This position is the view of the intellect because the intellect will never be able to understand or experience love and bliss as these dwell only in the realm of the heart.  The intellect will deny both.

There is such a thing as primordial love meaning it is self-luminous and not dependent on anything for its existence.   It is true that the flow of this love from the core of being will have an impact on our emotions, mind and physical body but it is much more than the emotions, mind and body. 

Your author will contend that it is not possible to have deep spiritual awakening and not experience this self-luminous love.  In fact, this love is the summum bonum or highest pinnacle of existence.  Even in samadhi, when the mind ceases to exist, self-luminous love is there. Some call it bliss.  We can know that those who dismiss love have not experienced deep spiritual awakening. Love and awareness

Teachers who say “open space” is the goal and that we should ignore love and bliss, are only partly right.  They simply have not gone far enough.  What is correct is that open space is the goal but love and awareness are the nature of this open space of being.  If one finds the open space of being one can’t help but find love.  Love and awareness are the same thing and both words denote THAT which is empty like space.  Both love and awareness are empty, silent and changeless and this is the stage upon which the play of form has danced for all eternity. 

In his treatise The Crest Jewel of Discrimination, Adi Shankara states that Maya (form) is without beginning or end.  In other words, there never was a time that form did not exist and there will never be a time that form ceases to exist.

Love is the ocean of non-duality which connects and binds all of the seemingly separate objects in the universe.  As long as there is form there is love and form is eternal.

Ramana Maharshi comments:

“Ramana:  Bliss is the Self.  All becomes dear only owing to the love of Self. 

“Questioner:  Love postulates duality.  How can the Self be the object of love? 

“Ramana:  Love is not different from the Self.  Love of an object is of an inferior order and cannot endure.  Whereas the Self is Love: in other words, God is Love.”  -  Ramana Maharshi, Talks with Ramana Maharshi

And this from Nisargadatta Maharaj:

“Questioner: Are awareness and love one and the same?

“Maharaj:  Of course. Awareness is dynamic, love is being. Awareness is love in action. By itself the mind can actualise any number of possibilities, but unless they are prompted by love, they are valueless. Love precedes creation. Without it there is only chaos.”    - Nisargadatta Maharaj - I Am That

There is no joy, bliss or happiness like love.  It is the very pinnacle of any spiritual endeavor.  Love and love alone gives meaning to life. 

Boy and dog

 

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