LOVE AND GOD-LOVE
Love is dynamic in action and contagious in effect. Pure love is matchless in majesty; it has no parallel in power and there is no darkness it cannot dispel. It is the undying flame that has set life aglow. The lasting emancipation of man depends upon his love for God and upon God's love for one and all.
Where there is love, there is Oneness and, in complete Oneness, the Infinite is realized completely at all times and in every sphere of life, be it science, art, religion, or beauty.
The spirit of true love and sacrifice is beyond all ledgers and needs no measures. A constant wish to love and be loving and a non-calculating will to sacrifice in every walk of life, high and low, big and small, between home and office, streets and cities, countries and continents are the best anti-selfish measures that man can take in order to be really self-ful and joyful.
Love also means suffering and pain for oneself and happiness for others. To the giver, it is suffering without malice or hatred. To the receiver, it is a blessing without obligation. Love alone knows how to give without necessarily bargaining for a return. There is nothing that love cannot achieve and there is nothing that love cannot sacrifice.
Love for God, love for fellow-beings, love for service and love of sacrifices; in short, love in any shape and form is the finest "give and take" in the world. Ultimately, it is love that will bring about the much-desired universal leveling of human beings all over the world, without necessarily disturbing the inherent diversities of details about mankind.
All the same, in order to burst out in a mighty big spirit to serve as a beacon for those who may yet be groping in the darkness of selfishness, love needs to be kindled and rekindled in the abysmal darkness of selfish thoughts, selfish words and selfish deeds.
The light of love is not free from its fire of sacrifice. Like heat and light, love and sacrifice go hand in hand. The true spirit of sacrifice that springs spontaneously does not and cannot reserve itself for particular objects and special occasions.
Love and coercion can never go together. Love has to spring spontaneously from within. It is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force and it cannot be forced upon anybody, yet it can be awakened in one through love itself.
Love cannot be born of mere determination; through exercise of will, one can at best be dutiful. One may, through struggle and effort, succeed in securing that his external action is in conformity with his conception of what is right; but such action is spiritually barren because it lacks the inward duty of spontaneous love.
Like every great virtue, love, the mainspring of all life, can also be misapplied. It may lead to the height of God-intoxication or to the depths of despair. No better example can be given of the two polarities of love and their effects than that of Mary Magdalene before and after meeting Jesus.
Between these two extremes are many kinds of love. On the one hand, love does exist in all the phases of human life; but here it is latent or is limited and poisoned by personal ambitions, racial pride, narrow loyalties and rivalries and by attachment to sex, nationality, sect, caste, or religion. On the other hand, pure and real love has also its stages, the highest being the gift of God to love Him. When one truly loves God, one longs for union with Him, and this supreme longing is based on the desire of giving up one's whole being to the beloved.
True love is very different from an evanescent outburst of indulgent emotionalism or the enervating stupor of a slumbering heart. It can never come to those whose heart is darkened by selfish cravings or weakened by constant reliance upon the lures and stimulations of the passing objects of sense.
Even when one truly loves humanity, one longs to give one's all for its happiness. When one truly loves one's country, there is the longing to sacrifice one's very life without seeking reward and without the least thought of having loved and served. When one truly loves one's friends, there is the longing to help them without making them feel under the least obligation. When truly loving one's enemies, one longs to make them friends. True love for one's parents or family makes one long to give them every comfort at the cost of one's own. Thought of self is always absent in the different longings connected with the various stages of pure, real love; a single thought of self would be an adulteration.
Divine Love is qualitatively different from human love. Human love is for the many in the one and Divine Love is for the One in the many. Human love leads to innumerable complications and tangles; but Divine Love leads to integration and freedom. Human love in its personal and impersonal aspects is limited; but Divine Love, with its fusion of the personal and the impersonal aspects, is Infinite in being and expression. Divine Love makes us be true to ourselves and to others and makes us live truly and honestly. Thus, it is the solution to all our difficulties and problems; it frees us from every kind of binding; purifies our hearts and glorifies our being.
To those whose hearts are pure and simple, true love comes as a gift through the activating grace of a Perfect Master, and this Divine Love will perform the supreme miracle of bringing God into the hearts of men. All the same, human love should not be despised, even when it is fraught with limitations. It is bound to break through all these limitations and initiate an aspirant in the eternal life in the Truth.
God does not listen to the language of the tongue which constitutes Japs (mental repetitions), Mantras (verbal repetitions), Zikra (either kind of repetition), and devotional songs. He does not listen to the language of the mind which constitutes meditation, concentration and thoughts about God. He listens only to the language of the heart, which constitutes love. The most practical way for the common man to express this language of the heart, whilst attending to daily-life duties, is to speak lovingly, think lovingly, and act lovingly towards all mankind, irrespective of caste, creed and position, taking God to be present in each and every one.
To realize God, we must love Him, losing ourselves in His Infinite Self. We can love God by surrendering to the Perfect Master who is God's personal Manifestation. We can also love God by loving our fellow-beings, by giving them happiness at the cost of our own happiness, by rendering them service at sacrifice of our interests and by dedicating our lives at the altar of selfless work. When we love God intensely through any of these channels, we finally know Him to be our own Self.
The beginning of real love is obedience, and the highest aspect of this love which surpasses that of love itself is the aspect which culminates into the perfect obedience or supreme resignation to the Will and Wish of the Beloved. In this love are embodied all Yogas known to saints and seekers.
THE PATH OF LOVE, pp. 67-71
1986 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust