Everything originates from love, is made of love, and is made for love. Therefore, we simply need to increase love to increase the effectiveness of our actions and to progress to Passionate Enlightenment. But how do we do that?
First we must know that for love to exist there must be a giver and receiver. It takes two to tango, and it takes two exchanging energies and emotions for love to reach its highest form.
This may seem obvious, but this fact is often overlooked by the spiritual seekers who look through the eyes of the impersonal preliminary understanding of the Divine, which denies duality.
The Need for Individuality in Love
Before we dive into the process of growing and developing this love, please know that not all love is created equal: Love comes in different intensities. We may be head over heels in love with our boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or children, but just be moderately in love with our neighbors, friends, and acquaintances. This is natural.
The sad truth of life is that the love of this world, whether for family, friends, and lovers, is most probably infected with the selfishness of God Syndrome and therefore not pure. We identify with our physical and subtle bodies, and we can only love other physical and subtle bodies, and therefore cannot fully love at all.
You can only fully love the soul of someone if you fully know who you are as a soul. Therefore if you are not fully enlightened, your love will be based on the body, and this bodily based love is love of a much, much, much smaller intensity than the full-fledged love of Passionate Enlightenment.
Beyond Worldly Love
The purest, highest love is love for the Divine. The dharma of the soul, above all things, is to primarily love God. This concept is often misunderstood by spiritual practitioners who sometimes think that to primarily love God means we are not supposed to love our fellow human beings.
Though a love based on the body is inherently faulty, we still must love other living beings if we are to be happy and to love God. A soft heart that is affectionate to all is one of the qualities of an advanced spiritualist.
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The difference between loving people when enlightened and the faulty love of this world is that enlightened love is not an isolated action; the Divine is part of the equation. First we love God, and through the Divine we powerfully love and connect to all living beings. This is the way of enlightened love.
When we are not fully enlightened, the ability of the soul to love is not fully developed. It is like a seed: There is something there, but it is not fully mature yet. The fully grown tree of love of God in enlightenment is where the real power and joy are.
The Goal and the Process Are the Same
To grow the tree of fully enlightened spiritual love of the Divine, you must know that both the process and the end goal are the same. The goal is love, and therefore the process to attain that goal is also love.
We have some love in us now and as we offer it onto the Divine that love increases. Then with that increased amount of love we can offer more love, which in turn increases our love, enabling us to offer more. This process continues until we are fully Passionately Enlightened.
Another way to view this is if you see loving the Divine as water, every time you offer love you are pouring water on your sprouting seed of spiritual love. Needless to say, serving with fully mature love is your Eternal Dharma.
Think of the sweetest relationship you have ever had or heard of. Remember how it made or makes you feel; remember the joy and the pain and how your heart melted. Now imagine the intensity, sweetness, and beauty of that relationship multiplied by infinity. Such joy is but a shadow of the relationship you can have in this full and complete unabridged understanding of the divine. Such a relationship is your Eternal Dharma.
What Is Love?
When speaking so much about love it is important to define what we are speaking about. Love takes on many shapes and forms, and exists in many levels of intensity.
This is a subject for an entire book or training program, but in simplified essence, I see love as both an energy and a giving of energy. Every time we give energy, we are giving a bit of love.
You are desire, simply wanting and choosing to love the Divine is everything. This world can be a difficult place, full of much darkness and suffering. Spiritual knowledge gives us hope in this often-miserable reality, but spiritual growth is something we must choose.
The choice can be tough; the journey is rocky. There will be times when we are deeply inspired and motivated to love and serve, and there will be times when we just won’t be. In either case, we must persevere, try, and want. From there everything will follow.
© 2017 by Vishnu Swami. All rights reserved.
Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, New Page Books
a division of Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371.
About the Author
Vishnu Swami, also known as the Maverick Monk, relocated to study Veda at a monastery in India at the age of 11 and later became the world’s youngest ‘Swami’ at age 23. He has appeared on television and radio and in newspapers internationally, and was featured in an award-winning spiritual documentary in Hollywood. He continues to empower and inspire thousands through his writings, speaking, and online college-accredited courses at Vishnu-Swami.com.