Love One Another
In Philosophy of the Masters, Great Master narrated the following story:
When Saint John became so old that he was not able to walk and was able to speak only with great difficulty, another follower of Christ took him to a gathering of children to deliver a sermon. He raised his head and said: “Little children, love one another.” Once again he said this and then repeated it a third time, after which he was silent.
At that the people closest to him said: “Good man, haven’t you anything more important to say to these children?” To this he replied: “I give this advice over and over again, because of all the qualities, that of love is the greatest need of mankind. If you would love each other and the current of love would fill your minds, you would possess all other good qualities. Love, and all things shall be added unto you.1
In essence, this is the message of all mystics and saints: to love one another and to fill our mind and heart with the current of love. Nothing is more important than moulding our lives on the basis of these two commandments, because love is our greatest need and love is the only thing that truly gives value and meaning to a human life.
As Saint Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians:
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.2
Again, the Great Master says:
Love is the richest of all treasures. Without it there is nothing and with it there is everything. He who does not have love in his heart is not entitled to call himself a human being. …Wherever there is love there is life. Where there is no love, life is worthless.3
To fill our heart and mind with love – therein lies not only our need, it is for that purpose this human life has been given to us, as beautifully expressed in The Book of Mirdad, where the master says to his disciples:
Love is the law of God. You live that you may learn to love. You love that you may learn to live. No other lesson is required of man. And what is it to love but for the lover to absorb forever the beloved so that the twain be one?4
Love is the law of God. Great Master explained this in the following way:
The world is beautiful and we are naturally attracted towards it, because the Creator of both man and the world is the same God, who is love. God has filled both man and the world with currents of love, and the world is supported by love. Love’s magnetic power is at work throughout the entire world. The sun, moon, earth, stars, sky – all are sending out currents of love to others.5
So the sweet scent of love permeates all nature, the entire universe. It’s the binding force, not only between all that lives, but it is the power that gives life to all forms. In Call of the Great Master, Daryai Lal Kapur quotes Great Master in a satsang, saying:
Look at the human body. How skilfully the five tattwas (elements), namely earth, water, fire, air and ether – antagonistic to each other in their nature – have been mixed together to form the human body. Earth is destroyed by water, water is dried up by fire, fire is consumed by air, and air is swallowed by ether. But how skilfully these five enemies of each other unite in a love embrace to run the body!6
Isn’t it amazing that although divine love is present in every little particle of the universe and in every cell of our body and our entire being, our mind and heart are not filled with it, as Saint John tells us? As a result, we live in conflict with ourselves and others, causing suffering in all sorts of ways. How is this possible?
According to all mystics and saints, this is because we have a very limited consciousness. Our consciousness is limited because our mind is so strongly oriented to worldly things and attached to what is visible and tangible. It is full of impressions that we have been collecting since we have started living in this creation. If we could withdraw our attention from the world and focus it on God, and if our mind could be cleansed and purified of its impressions, our consciousness would expand. Then divine love would reveal itself in our hearts and flow unconditionally and automatically towards all and everyone. Great Master clarifies this in the following way.
Love is a soul quality and is inherent in all of us, but not everyone can avail himself of it. …As soon as the soul is freed from the filth and attachments of the world, real love automatically makes its appearance.7
Hazur Maharaj Charan Singh further explains:
There is such a great load on the soul that its love is crushed under that weight. …So we have to lift the weight of the senses, of the mind, of karmas or sins, before we can experience that love. And we feel real love when we go beyond the realm of mind and maya, when there are no coverings on the soul, when the soul shines, when it knows itself. Then it experiences the real love for its own Father, for its own origin. Love has the quality of merging into another being, becoming another being. Ultimately, we lose our own identity and individuality and become one with the Father.8
The moment we become one with the Father, our heart and mind will be completely filled with love – love that will flow unconditionally and automatically towards all and everyone, because then we will see the divine in all. That will be the end of all suffering.
So the question is how to free ourselves of this weight on our soul, which limits our consciousness, so that we might realize who and what we really are – and so that divine love can fill our heart, our mind and our whole being to the brim.
…the only way to experience that love is to withdraw it from the senses by simran and dhyan and attach it to the divine melody within.9
The key lies in shifting our focus of love and attention. Instead of focusing on worldly things, we should focus on the Word, the divine within – remembering God continuously through inner repetition of his name (simran) and contemplating on the form of the Master (dhyan). Why do we contemplate on the Master instead of God? Great Master explains:
We have not seen the Lord, and we do not know how to love him. …A Master is a lover of God. In him there are boundless currents of true love. He is the physical form of that love. To love him is to find the most important medium for developing love for God, because he is a manifestation of God, and his heart is full of love for Him. His face shines with the light and energy of God. By seeing him, love and longing for God increases. To love such a person is to love God himself, because by loving him we always remember our Lord.10
Then Great Master continues by quoting Maulana Rum, saying:
If you are searching for the reality of God, look at the face of your Master, and by looking at God through the lustre of the Master’s forehead, you will fall in love with Him [God].11
When we fall in love with God and express that love by practicing meditation, living a Sant Mat way of life and being a good human being, loving and kind to all, God responds to that love in abundance so it grows and grows. It is that love that will cleanse our heart and purify our mind. It is that love that will free us from our ego and help us to surrender to the divine, so we might become one with Him.
Of course, this will not happen without a struggle. We need to realize that there will be a struggle, since we have difficulties in shifting this love and attention from the world to the Word. We have difficulties in letting go of all our worldly attachments. The beauty is that this struggle in itself is purifying. It will bring us to that point that we give up, bow our head for our Beloved, and surrender our all. In his evocative and distinctive poetic style, the early 20th-century Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran spoke about this path of love, this path of the Master, and love’s purifying process:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind
lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses
your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them
in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know
the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge
become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace
and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness
and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh,
but not all of your laughter, and weep,
but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,”
but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires,
let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody
to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks
for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate on love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise upon your lips.12
This is the path of love we are all invited to follow, so we may truly learn to love the Master and thus God with all our heart, all our mind, and all our soul, and from there to love all that lives. Then the purpose of life can be fulfilled and our journey through the creation will end. How fortunate we are! How grateful we can be. Let’s reflect on this and make best use of this life by shifting our focus from the world to the Word, and by fanning this love for God with the help and support of our beloved Master.
- Maharaj Sawan Singh, Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. 2, Beas: RSSB, 2009, p. 118
- New American Bible, Corinthians 13:1-3
- Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. 2, pp. 113–114
- Mikael Naimy, The Book of Mirdad, London: Watkins Publishing, 2002, p. 62
- Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. 2, p. 114
- Daryai Lal Kapur (quoting a satsang by Great Master), Call of the Great Master, Beas: RSSB, 2005, p. 57
- Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. 2, p. 119
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. 3, Beas: RSSB, 2010, p. 386
- Maharaj Charan Singh, Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. 3, p. 386
- Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. 2, pp. 144, 146–147
- Philosophy of the Masters, Vol. 2, p. 147
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1923, 2019, pp. 18–21