Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Definition of Love by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Love is incomplete. And it will have to remain incomplete. If something is complete, it means that you have marked the boundaries; found its limitations. For love to be infinite, it has to be incomplete. Love is infinite and it finds expression in infinite ways. They can be categorized as eleven ways of expressing love, or eleven ways in which love finds its expression.

  1. The first one is Guna Mahatmya Shakti, imbibing the qualities of the Divine, appreciating the qualities of the Divine. When you love somebody, what is that in him or her that you love? You’ll find some qualities. So-and so is kind, so-and-so is caring... Qualities do not have form. Loving God in this sense means imbibing all the qualities that God represents. Normally one picks all the negative qualities in a person. Even in God, you will pick some negativity! The moment your mind is not in love, it behaves thus. When you are living Divine love, you will enhance and rejoice in Divine qualities wherever you find them.
  2. The second is Rupashakti. Some may not be able to appreciate the qualities, because they don’t see the qualities as qualities. And qualities cannot be seen without a form. When you’re unable to appreciate the subtle qualities, you can definitely appreciate the form that is in the form of you. And forms are everywhere! When you appreciate a flower, you appreciate the form. When you see truth in the form as a quality and glorify it, it takes you beyond the qualities. In the same way, if you love a flower, and deeply appreciate it, you will see that it dissolves into the formless. You will see the space which is hiding deep inside that flower.
  3. The third is Pujashakti, the interest in worshiping, honoring. Love can find its expression in the form of puja, form of honoring. And one who has done this will know the taste of it. As the state of your wholeness, your mind says, I want nothing. I just want to be worshiping like this all my life.’’ Pujashakti is a sign of love. If you love someone, something, and whenever there is love you’ll see that you start worshiping that which you love.
  4. The fourth is Smaranashakti, which means remembering; that something which stays constantly on your mind. Have you noticed that when you love something, and have a desire, that desire lingers on in your mind? Sometimes, as soon as you get up, the same thing rolls on in your mind. When there is strong desire for something that thought pours in all the time. In the same way, when you hate something, it runs through your mind all the time. This is called smarana. How wonderful it will be if the Divine just rolls in your mind like that?
  5. Dasyashakti is the fifth. It means being a servant of God. It means saying, I am just the servant of the Divine; He’s taking care of me. I do whatever I have been asked to do. My life is here not to get something out of here I have come to this world to serve Him. Service is expecting nothing in return. Whatever service He wants from me, I’ll do it. Whomsoever He will send in front of me, I will be useful to them, and I’ll help them. This is Dasyashakti.
  6. The sixth is Sakhyashakti, companion of God; a feeling of companionship with the Divine. Many may not like being a servant. Sakhyashakti is a feeling that I am the beloved of my Lord. He is my beloved. I’ll do whatever I can to please Him. It is wherein you are able to share fearlessly with the Divine. And this will have to come from you. It’s not that one is superior to the other. Gita was taught to Arjuna, and Arjuna made Krishna his friend, sakha, companion. That’s why Krishna was called Jagad-guru, the teacher of the whole universe. He was both a master and a companion.
  7. The seventh is Vatsalyashakti. Vastsalya means affection, being affectionate. Can we treat the Divine as a child, as a naughty person? In vatsalyashakti, devotion can take the form of the care you have for a child, or mothering the Divine. The devotee then orders God. There’s such a sweet feeling behind it. The devotee tells God, See, if You do like that, I’ll be angry with you. If You don’t make Your presence felt today, I’m not going to talk to You tomorrow. So just like a mother deals with a child, a devotee deals with God. Feeling that closeness is: vatsalyashakti.
  8. Kantashakti is the eighth form. It is the beloved husband-wife, relationship. Feeling that the Divine is part of you, and He cares for me so much that He cannot exist without me! How can He exist without me? 
  9. The ninth form is Atmanivedanashakti, offering one’s very self. That is a great form of love that, ‘‘my very breath, my very existence is yours. Every particle of my existence is offered to you. Every breath I breathe in is yours. I am Yours. That total surrender, letting go. You do whatever you want with this life! It is yours! This flavor, of not even keeping any bit of me, I inside, is Atmanivedanashakti. 
  10. Tanmayatashakt is the tenth form. This is seeing everything as you. That everything belongs to you. The totality of prana, the flow of prana, finding itself everywhere is tanmayatashakti. Being soaked in the Divine love is called tanmaya, tanmayatasakti. Anyway, everything is already soaked in Him! It only has to be recognized!
  11. Paramavirahashakti is the eleventh form. Viraha means extreme agony and the pain of longing, of separation. This also a sign of Divine love. Love can never be complete because there is longing. It’s the longing that makes love incomplete and infinite! So the pain of longing itself is Divine love. In that painful longing, prayer dawns; blessed are those who go through that pain.
Usually, when people love something and there is a longing for it, they try to get rid of it because it’s painful. The more you try to run away from it, you are destroying not only the longing but also the love. But if you can accept the pain of longing, that brings you the recognition of infinity.

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