Cultivating True Love

Love, like all beautiful things and qualities, is Divine in its origin.  But as these Divine powers enter creation they get conditioned by the medium and the state of consciousness of the person holding it. Love in matter becomes the binding force between atoms and molecules. This is the first thing needed to pull creation out of the chaos into which it had plunged. The plunge into chaos is of course another side of the story. But with this plunge, or shall we say its biggest gain was the birth of love. The Divine as Love plunged into creation to pull it slowly out of the chaos. Love, therefore, is the original power to link and thereby carry creation to the Creator. However, in this process, Love also acts to modify and transform existence into an image of the Divine.  This is the great gain of creation that through it the nameless formless Truth can manifest in terms of name and form. The One Divine Existence and Consciousness can become many divinities. However, the Chaos and Inconvenience resists hence the process is slow and often with struggle taking a number of steps and stages. At each of these evolutionary gradations creation draws a little closer to the Divine Idea. Each Divine quality too gets accordingly modified so to say. Sri Aurobindo describes this modification of the power of Love beautifully in Savitri thus:

A mystic slow transfiguration works.
All our earth starts from mud and ends in sky,
And Love that was once an animal’s desire,
Then a sweet madness in the rapturous heart,
An ardent comradeship in the happy mind,
Becomes a wide spiritual yearning’s space.
A lonely soul passions for the Alone,
The heart that loved man thrills to the love of God,
A body is his chamber and his shrine.
Then is our being rescued from separateness;
All is itself, all is new-felt in God:
A Lover leaning from his cloister’s door
Gathers the whole world into his single breast.
Then shall the business fail of Night and Death:
When unity is won, when strife is lost
And all is known and all is clasped by Love
Who would turn back to ignorance and pain?

In other words what we ordinarily call love is a modified diminished form, often distorted and even perverted by the small and narrow human vessel and the intrusions of the ego and desire element in it. It is the ego that has made love what it presently is. With the progressive dissolution of the ego as a result of the ascension of human consciousness further beyond man, love will be restored to its original purity and truth. And yet even for this evolution what greater power can there be than love itself? It is true that it is distorted and limited at the human level turning into likes and dislikes, surface attractions, calculations. It also carries with it the strong stamp of animality. Yet with a steady application of the transmuting Power of Grace and Divine Love into our human love this energy or power gets gradually transformed into its godlike and divine quality. This is true of all the divine elements in us that are now so much subject to the limited human consciousness. They must break free from these limitations and discover their source in the Infinity of God.

The swiftest means to achieve this is, of course, bhakti, faith, devotion, surrender since we naturally and spontaneously grow into the likeness of the one whom we love. Yet it is equally true that bhakti is a gift of Grace and comes as the crowing movement of the Integral Yoga. Unless one is truly blessed most seekers go through the mazes of the mind and the wanderings of the vital in their seeking before they enter the straight and sunlit path of the soul which is primarily marked with the growing intensity of love, faith, devotion and surrender. Yet this inner union with the Divine remains incomplete if it does not extend itself in our manifold relationships. The true bhakti does not remain contented with his inner adoration of the Divine. He emerges into the world-play to serve His Lord and loves all creation since it is He who is here wearing a million masks. This is the grand culmination of the journey of love as recounted beautifully in Savitri:

“O Death, I have triumphed over thee within;
I quiver no more with the assault of grief;
A mighty calmness seated deep within
Has occupied my body and my sense:
It takes the world’s grief and transmutes to strength,
It makes the world’s joy one with the joy of God.
My love eternal sits throned on God’s calm;
For Love must soar beyond the very heavens
And find its secret sense ineffable;
It must change its human ways to ways divine,
Yet keep its sovereignty of earthly bliss…

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