Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Beauty of Divine Love

Article written for SIGNews publication February 2011.

The Beauty of Divine Love

I thought this would be a good month to discuss love, especially with it being Hallmark's declared holiday.  So I began researching love from the perspective of the ancient yogis and was deeply impacted by the contradiction between the Eastern and Western definitions of the very same thing.  So what is love, true authentic love?  

According to Swami Sivananda, a modern day saint, sage and yogi, "Love is the law of life.  To love is to fulfill the law.  And to fulfill the law means eternal peace and everlasting happiness."

However in today's western perspective, a simple google search defines love as "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person."  Hollywood defines love with star-sparkled eyes, romantic dinners and love at first sight meetings.  But are these truly sustainable?  And do these ideas of love create "eternal peace and everlasting happiness" like the sages suggest?  

Personally, I have had my heart broken far too many times to say that I find google's definition everlasting or even eternal.  It simply isn't sustainable to experience love from only the physical realm or even as something "for another person."  That is called passion and like all things experienced by the senses, it too will change... and as we learned last month, desire is ever-changing and eventually leads to suffering.

True, authentic love is the very Essence of the soul.  To live is to love and to love is to live.  Love is our birth-right.  Love is the very nature of our Being.  It is who we are, not an emotion projected onto an object of affection.  Love is what makes our light shine.  It is what illuminates our eyes and fills our hearts.  Love heals.  Love unites.  Love forgives.

Swami Sivananda continues, "There is no virtue higher than love; there is no treasure higher than love; there is no knowledge higher than love, there is no Dharma higher than love; there is no religion higher than love; because love is Truth; love is God.  God is an embodiment of love."

Swami Sivananda explains it perfectly.  His words pierce our Western understanding of love with the sword of compassionate wisdom.  If we begin to apply the ancient understanding of love to our current relationships, how would this impact our life, and inevitably the world?  

Love resonates in the heart of everyone and every living thing.  It vibrates in the form of service, charity, generosity and benevolence.  When we love from a pure, non-attached place, we are experiencing the Atman, True Nature.  It is only here we can experience love in its purest form.  

Now how do we cultivate this kind of pure, cosmic love in our life?

Simple, sit with your Self everyday and take a moment or two or three to remember your very Essence.  Swami Sivananda advises, "Live in love.  Breathe in love.  Sing in love.  Eat in love.  Drink in love.  Talk in love.  Pray in love.  Meditate in love.  Think in love.  Move in love.  Take the honey of love and become an embodiment of love."

You are a moving temple of God.  Connect to that very nature that lies within you.  Remember that within every moment, every situation, every relationship and every breath lies the very essence of Love.  Thrive beloved, for you alone are a natural embodiment of love.  Now go and share it with the world!  smile

- Swami Sivananda exerts from his book Bliss Divine.

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