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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 17 May 2020

               

Worldly Love and Divine Love

[Given below is a conversation between Shri Bharat Krishna and Swami on the topic of love for human beings and the love for God.]

Shri Bharat: Namaskaram Swami! I have a few questions for which I would like to know the answers. I do not know if they are important questions. If you feel that knowing the answers to any of them is not useful or are unnecessary for me, please ignore such questions. Swami, there are many ways a human being enjoys his life. We enjoy love. We also enjoy pride and ego for possessing certain special talents. We enjoy playing games, eating delicious food etc. Apart from these, there are other kinds of enjoyments we have like consuming alcohol, smoking, taking drugs, watching porn, eating non-vegetarian food etc. I know these are bad qualities, but they definitely give intense enjoyment. All these only give limited and temporary enjoyment and are on one side. But the enjoyment in loving God is totally different and it gives permanent happiness. Science says that love is also based on human biology alone. As far as I know, love is based on some inner feeling based on our awareness (knowledge) and it is a very healthy feeling. Is it correct to say that love is also biologically induced by some hormones? Is everything we feel, completely based on biological changes? If so, then how come the enjoyment based on the love for God is permanent and continuous, while the enjoyment based on other human beings and things is temporary and always followed by some pain?

Swami: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Love is a feeling, which is a vibration of the mind. Mind and body are inter-related. Hence, a feeling received from outside generates a biological change involving the action of hormones. Conversely, hormonal changes in our body’s biology also introduces feelings into the mind with the help of the knowledge that we have about the external world. It is true that feelings caused by hormonal changes are not permanent and hence, the enjoyment derived by the mind from worldly objects is also not eternal. Other human beings are also part of the world. They too are not eternal. So, the love for them is also not eternal. The only eternal and permanent item is God. So, the divine love for God alone is eternal.

Shri Bharat: Why did God make only love as a permanent and healthy feeling? Why did He not make the other bad things mentioned by me earlier so? If we ignore the fact that these bad habits are harmful to our health, what do we miss in our life by completely relying on them for enjoyment? A person who has never experienced love will never be able to know its value. Then why will such a person put forth effort in learning spiritual knowledge so as to develop divine love? Why is Your divine love always in a hidden form? Every human being is experiencing Your love, but they do not know that it is from You.

Swami: Fools concentrate only on one angle, which is enjoyment. But wise people look at the other angle of health also. If you are only caught up in enjoyment and are addicted to it, it means that the enjoyment is controlling you. It will destroy you by creating health problems for you. Enjoyment should be kept under your control. Your awareness about health problems should be able to control excessive enjoyment. Smoking, drinking and continuously watching movies will bring a horrible death very soon. Hence, you must control your enjoyment. Enjoyment is fine only when it is controlled. Smoking and drinking, even for a little time, is dangerous for health because these substances are poisonous. Love for worldly objects is called love, whereas, the same love for God is called devotion (Yā naḥ prītiḥ virūpākṣa, viśayeṣvanapāyinī…). Also, the devotee’s love for a Human Incarnation of God is mixed with the retarding factor of the devotee’s jealousy, which is based on the devotee’s ego.

Keywords:

| Shri Dattaswami | Worldly Love and Divine Love | Bahunaam Janmanaamante Yaa nah priitih viruupaaksha, vishayeshvanapaayinii

Shri Bharat: Why is it that one takes very little time to develop love for an ordinary human being, but it takes a long time to love God?

Swami: There are two sides to God’s nature. Not only does He express sweet love towards you, but He also has a harsh side in which He corrects you for the sake of your own welfare. The sweet love of God attracts you towards Him, while the harsh side of God repels you, even though the harshness is only meant for your own welfare. In human love, the harshness is hidden and only the sweet love is expressed. Hence, you are attracted to a human being more quickly than to God. Of course, the love for human beings is only temporary, while the love for God is permanent, even though it takes a long time to develop.

Shri Bharat: I have learned from Your knowledge that our love for God will liberate us from all our worldly bonds and also help us remove all our bad qualities. After learning the divine knowledge given by You, we almost spontaneously develop a fear of doing any adharmic actions (sinful actions). However, fear is not sufficient to inspire us to live a dharmic life (righteous action). Only love for God can truly help us live a dharmic life. But it takes a lot of time to develop the emotion of pure love towards God. In that case, until the love for God develops, we continue to have certain bad qualities due to which we continue to do at least some adharmic actions. We do such things unwillingly, compelled by our tendencies, although we know that we are committing sins. Will we still receive punishment for such adharmic actions done out of compulsion from our tendencies?

Swami: Fear produces an immediate change in any soul, whereas, change through love takes a long time. This is especially so since God’s love is also mixed with His harsh side of rectifying the soul. So, developing love for God and controlling one’s sinful nature through the love for God takes a long time. The fear of punishment is like first aid. The long-term control of sin through the love for God is like Ayurvedic medical treatment; it removes the illness from its root, but it takes a long time. A combination of the first-aid and the long-term treatment is necessary. The control of sin is effective when both the fear of God’s punishment and the love for Him work side by side. The former is like the external ointment (fear) and the latter is like the internal medicine (love).

Shri Bharat: Swamiji, suppose I get seriously ill, I voluntarily choose to stay in the ICU in order to get cured. I have to sacrifice a lot of pleasures during the time I spend in the ICU. Yet, I do not even think that I am sacrificing anything because it is necessary for my own good. Now the question is, after learning a little bit of spiritual knowledge from You, it is quite clear that my illness is selfishness. I do sadhanā (spiritual effort) in the form of the service done to You. The purpose of such service is to remove my own selfishness and develop devotion. But somehow, it slips my mind that I am actually doing that work for my own good—to cure the illness of selfishness. Whenever I forget that, I find myself involved in worldly enjoyments. Why is it so? Why is my effort not intense enough? Swami, I have been thinking for a very long time as to how to ask You all these questions. I have tried my level best. If I have asked anything wrong, please kindly forgive me, Swami and ignore my questions. Pādābhivandanam Swamiji!

Swami: When freshly cooked food is eaten immediately, the food is healthy and it does not contain any bacteria. But once the food cools and stays for a long time, bacteria from the atmosphere infect the food and cause illness to the body. Similarly, in the early stage of service to God, the selfishness-bacteria have not yet infected your devotion to God. But, as time proceeds, the selfishness hidden in you infects your devotion and you will recognise it from its effect which is your spiritual illness. Through repeated and frequent realization of this problem, over the course of time, this problem can be overcome. Then you will reach a stage of perfect devotion. You should not be hasty in immediately expecting to attain the highest stage, as soon as you start your spiritual effort. Generally, perfect realisation comes after millions of births, as told in the Gita (Bahunāṃ janmanāmante...).

 
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