Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Most of us use the term “love” to describe the feeling one has in various relationships. We have love between parent and child, between brothers and sisters, and with our relatives. We have love between friends. We have love for one’s country. We have love for one’s belongings. We even find in some countries people having love for their pets. Most of the time when we think of love we think of love between man and woman. Then, we have love for all humanity, and for one’s planet. And, of course, we have love for God.
The experience of love in each human relation or for even a nonliving thing such as one’s home or one’s possessions differs. But each form of love involves some similar characteristics. In the case of love for something of this world, there is an element of attachment for the object of one’s love. We have a great need for that which we love. We have warm feelings of the heart for that which we love. And we have a fear of losing the object of our love. Whether it is one’s family, one’s friends, one’s lover, one’s belongings, or one’s country, these elements of love are present.
Each of these experiences of love involves a feeling of the heart. We feel happy when we are with those we love. We feel a sense of peace, of calm, of contentment, and of fulfillment with them. We have an inner joy and bliss in their company. We experience a kind of completeness when we are with those we love.
In order to return to God we need to develop universal love. Most of us have love for a small circle of people which includes our family and close friends. But as we progress spiritually, our heart expands and we develop love for our community, our society, our country, and the entire globe. The ultimate state of love is having love for all creation in the cosmos. We know the joy we feel in having love for our family and friends. If we expand that to having that love for all creation, we can imagine how great the love in our heart would be. This sort of love is pure and spiritual. It is the kind of love that God has for creation. Love is divine, love is godly, love is a spiritual quality.
In divine love, there is a spiritual urge for the soul to merge back into its Creator, the Oversoul. When God split off parts of Himself to create souls and He sent them to the world, there was a pain of separation. The closest analogy we have is the feeling of a parent who sees his or her child growing up and leaving the home to go out into the world on his or her own. There is such a deep bond of love between the parent and the child that, when the child departs, the parent feels a deep tug or pull in the heart. Even though the child moves far away, it is a constant string of attachment and love that the parent feels in his or her heart. This constant love is with the parent day and night. He or she goes on remembering the child, thinking about the child, feeling love for the child. There is also a constant pull which magnetically draws the child back to the parent. The parent feels as if he or she is not complete until the child rushes back to his or her arms.
Similarly, God is a parent to all the souls. While they are in the world, passing through life after life, He remembers each one, He loves each one, His attention is on each one. This is not hard to imagine since we know that parents sometimes have more than one child and have love for each of them. God is always waiting for a soul to turn its face to Him and to return to Him. He knows the souls are lost in the world and its many attractions. He longs for them to remember Him and to come Home. This longing is experienced as a pull in our soul. From time to time in life, each soul experiences a kind of melancholy yearning, a kind of feeling that they are missing something deep inside. When this inner pull to return Home becomes strong, we undergo what is referred to as a spiritual awakening.
Rather than keeping our attention tied to the earth by attraction for physical temptation, we should strive for true love. We think that we will have happiness and bliss from a worldly lover, but God is the greatest lover. In fact, he is the Beloved. Sant Darshan Singh always used to say that when we achieve union with the Beloved, we no longer know who is the Beloved and who is the lover. All mystics and saints throughout the ages have written about the bliss of divine union. Many have described it as the union of Beloved and lover. The love of God is greater than any worldly beloved. God’s love is so all-encompassing, so all-embracing, that we lose awareness even of our own self. We become oblivious to time and space, to even our own name. We are lost in such a great bliss that we never want to come out of it. A worldly lover may leave us or hurt us, but the love of God is constant. He will never leave us. He will never abandon us. He will never cause us pain. He has nothing to give us but perpetual love, constant joy, and eternal bliss. He is our lover, our friend, our parent, our everything.
When we are imbued with love of God, we also become one with Him. Then, everyone He loves, we love. Everything He loves, we love. Our heart becomes His heart and we develop love for all creation. When we look at any beings in this universe, we see them with the same eyes through which God looks at them. We feel love for them, for they are also a soul, a part of God. We love them as we do ourselves. We treat all beings as our very own. We see God’s Light in them. We see the form of our Beloved in each of them. That is why Sant Darshan Singh advised:
Embrace every man as your very own,
And shower your love freely wherever you go.
The more time we spend in meditation, the more we will experience this love. This will draw us further and further to the inner realms until we merge with love itself, God Himself.