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Seminar on "Love is the Inner Awakening to Reality"

4. Dr.S.V.Raghavan

If we look at the topic we find there are the three key words, ‘love’, ‘awakening’ and ‘Reality’ and it is the latter part of the message in which Socrates’ view of love being ‘the hunger of the human soul for divine beauty’ is referred to. Thus beauty of the divine is being linked to the love of the divine. We have to think why the Master refers to the Socrates’ view in this context. Hence I would like to deal with the above view first.

All of us have heard the phrase ‘satyam sivam sundaram’ translated as ‘truth goodness or auspiciousness and beauty’ as one of the characteristic set of descriptors of the Divine. The Divine cannot be evil or inauspicious, its nature cannot be other than truth and it has to be but beautiful at least in the sense that whatever is considered as beautiful by us casts a spell on and has tremendous attractive potential for the beholder who really imperiences this beauty. There is a grandeur, order, inherent symmetry and harmony in Nature even at the level of matter which have created the sense of beauty in all discerning men of cultured minds and hearts. Thinking (cognition) and feeling (affection) together contribute in this apprehension and unceasing admiration of beauty in Nature. Nature is but an expression of God and hence it is natural to hold that beauty is an inalienable attribute of God.

Man has always attempted through the ages to capture this inner feeling in outer expression through depiction in sculptures, paintings and ornate word pictures, that is poetry. Anthropomorphism in all such representations, though quite a gross representation of Reality is perhaps an inevitable consequence of man being man.

In this context we should note that the sense of beauty referred to is not produced by external factors relating to shape and sensible features alone but something larger and deeper all of it being felt deeply in the heart. It has been rightly said that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and Laila was a great beauty only to Majnu. In a way it is to be admitted that love should emerge first in the heart and automatically the lover starts seeing the beauty in every gesture and every movement of the beloved howsoever repelling or ugly it may be in others’ eyes. There is a lot of poetic literature in all languages composed by a great many lovers of God conveying this immaterial transcendent beauty of the Divine Beloved exerting its invincible charms over the devotee. However it is quite possible that the devotee gets stuck in this phase of admiring and being held in the thrall of the perceived beauty (through the inner instrument) of the Divine Beloved and not willing and consequently unable to proceed further on the path towards the Ultimate Reality.

Beauty can be considered to be an attribute of the Divine and the seeker, the lover of the Divine is proceeding from the attribute to the possessor of the attribute. Though this beauty is no ordinary beauty, which is but skin deep and evanescent but everlasting and transcendent, it suffers from the defect of being sensory and sensuous in nature at least in the way we relate to it. There is the play of the lower mind and the impulsive emotional part while we contemplate on its various aspects. There is a great deal of contortions and distortions in the field of aesthetics as referred to on p.78 in BP V.2 article on ‘Methods and practices’. This is the result of the influence of the very powerful lower mind or self on the higher even inverting it so to speak so that it can keep company with the lower.

When Socrates says love is the hunger of the soul for divine beauty he is indicating perhaps the frustration of the inner being in finding the beauty of lasting character with a permanent appeal in His manifestation and hence is turning towards the Great Architect Himself with a deep hunger for imperiencing the Divine Beauty. But for the earnest seeker after the Supreme Reality, the base and substratum of all that is, pursuit of even the Divine Beauty cannot yield the desired fruit. In this context we may recall what our Master says regarding the ultimate state, ‘the most peculiar feature of our society is that when it is in full bloom, it is all covered with desolateness, which further gets transformed into wilderness. For this reason it is devoid of charm or attraction-SS-P.363’.

Thus Reality in its nakedness is barren desolate and the way to approach it should be such that the seeker is not trapped by feelings of attraction or charm, that is to state in different words, the aspect of the Divine we should adopt for meditation should be devoid of all sensory inputs and connotations. This is what we do when we meditate in PAM on light without luminosity.

Turning now to the key words referred to in the beginning of the article, we see that love is treated as identical with the awakening to Reality. I would take the liberty of taking it as Love of the Divine begins in its real sense only after the awakening to the Immanent Divine Reality in the heart is accomplished. The seeker after Reality is proceeding initially towards it through a sense of awe and wonder created by the magnificent work and display of Creation and is overcome by the insatiable thirst for getting at the core of it all. As the Master puts it the above longing for Reality itself gives a new life, that is, the inner life opens up before him, the hitherto unknown world, as he was so long busy enjoying the sensory objects, material and mental.

‘Longing for Reality brings the person to the right path. It gives a new life to the sleeping condition of a man and prepares him for the highest approach reserved for human beings’ (SDG p.128).

The enabling factors in this great pursuit are his efforts and experiences in the past lives, the inspiring teachings and examples of the great sages and saints who have traveled the path before and not the least and in fact the prime factor, that is the love of God Himself towards His offspring. As it has been said only those attain Him who are so chosen by Him.

Our present state is graphically described by the Master as quoted below.

‘When we were born into this world for the first time we were pure, because the source from which we have descended is purity…and in our innumerable births we have gathered around us different types of grossness by our actions.. so that in course of time we become to resemble the silk-worm that has spun a cocoon around itself..his life is one of artificiality and full of grossness both in the level of action as well as results. The original purity has been reduced to a faint glimmer that is barely perceptible.. all memory of his original source or homeland is now forgotten (SDG-P.19).

We are totally oblivious to our real nature because of the complex network intentionally woven by our selves enmeshing the inner core of Reality and we can truly say we are asleep in the spiritual sense. It is only the Master of caliber, an awakened soul Himself and who has traveled the entire distance and has established Himself in the Ultimate condition who can bring us out of the stupor and torpidity through the exercise of His own inner powers. It is only the person who is wide awake can wake up another from his slumber. The Master says elsewhere that it is the Master or trainer who awakens and accelerates the dormant forces in the abhyasi and propels him on the path through the process of Pranahuti.

When this process of awakening is accomplished successfully the aspirant imperiences the presence of the Divine within and without and is overcome by strong emotional feelings even ecstatic, feels acutely his smallness and irrelevance in the scheme of things and also awe and wonder. As he progresses deeper into the imperience, he realizes that nothing is greater than He. As the Great Master puts it He was immersed in a sea of wonder while imperiencing the above condition. He also starts feeling that everything is His including his own little being with all its so-called belongings from the subtle to the gross. This promotes now attachment to the Supreme and detachment from all else.

The further growth in this sphere makes him remember continuously the Great Principle and this further deepens the attachment which slowly takes the shape of love, that is an all absorbing and steady undivided attention towards the Divine, waiting upon It without any expectations and concern for self.

The genesis of this love makes him forget the impulsive self and its demands on his time and energy and is further impelled to become regular in his sadhana doing it with rigour and enthusiasm. The priorities change unconsciously almost and the Divine takes precedence in everything and he is prepared to sacrifice everything for It. Having by now recognized that the great enabling factor in his spiritual life has been His Master or one of His dedicated instruments (trainer/guide), he decides to serve the Master’s cause with unflagging zeal and enthusiasm, which is the practical expression of his love and devotion to the Master.

Love is characterized by undivided attention, implicit and unquestioning obedience and subordinating the ego totally before the Master acting always in ways which would please Him, extending full cooperation to the Master during his own spiritual training and fulfilling His Master’s mission which has now become his own.

As it has been said love is a magnificent obsession and he now cannot hold any other thought other than His or service to His cause in whatever manner possible. Slowly he is prepared to efface himself and become a non-entity endeavouring at all times to become an absolute dependent expression of the Divine, which is our Real Nature to which we had been oblivious and have been awakened to that Reality by the enlivening act of Pranahuti performed by the Master/Guide.

As abhyasis of the Sriramchandra’s Rajayoga we know that living and working always in tune with the Master of the Day, Sriramchandraji’s Consciousness fulfills the above demand of our real nature. This is how the individual karana sarira is aligned with the Mahakarana (BP V.1 Karana sarira) which alone leads to a balanced and therefore happy existence here living in total peace and harmony with all creation subserving all the while through body mind and spirit the Great Cause of Nature in this present age, namely, the transformation of man from devilization to Divinization.