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Pure Love Will Always Win

A heart without love is lifeless;
Can you call that life
Merely because there is
Breath in the body?
It is just a pair of bellows.1

Listen to any of Swami’s discourses and you will find one four letter word being consistently repeated in all: LOVE. Yes, in fact Swami extols selfless love so highly that He acknowledges His essence as being nothing but pure love. Vedas and millions of seekers over billions of aeons have not been able to fathom the glory of God, but with great ease describe Him in one single word: love. Swami goes a step further and addresses not just Himself, but also all human beings as “premaswarupa” (embodiments of love).

What is love? The hallmark of love is “thyaaga” (selfless sacrifice). Love seeks nothing from anyone. It bears no ill-will towards anyone. It is utterly selfless and pure.1 Feelings directed selflessly toward humanity and toward God constitute the real definition of pure love, the rest being mere attachment. The question that quickly comes to mind, then, is: Do I have love in my heart? The answer is, yes. We are all living embodiments of love. We may not recognize this fact because our love is enveloped with endless layers of desire, stress, and undesirable qualities. Everyone loves something. Some may love money, others their relations, some others their possessions, and almost everyone, themselves. So we all have this quality of love. Only the direction of love needs to change toward God, instead of worldly possessions. Selfless love is such a powerful magnet that God Himself will get drawn to it, almost effortlessly. In fact, all forms of “sadhana” (spiritual exercises) have as their aim the discovery of this pure selfless love that is already present in each one of us, as the very core of our existence.

Four types of love. Love of the Divine is of four kinds. One is Svaartha-Prema (love based on self-interest). The second is Samanjasa-Prema, the third is Paraartha-Prema, and the fourth is Yathaartha-Prema. Svaartha-Prema is like a lamp kept in a room. The lamp illumines only the room. This kind of selfish love is confined to a limited group and does not extend to others. Samanjasa-Prema may be compared to the light from the moon. This moonlight is visible both outside and inside. It is, however, not very effulgent. The light is dim. This kind of love extends to a wider group but is not very intense. The third is Paraartha-Prema. It is like sun-light. It illumines both inside and outside with brilliance. But it is not continuous in the sense that the sun is not visible at night. But this is not a permanent absence, because the sun rises again. Actually, the sun is always there. Likewise, this selfless love may appear to be absent some times, but it will appear again. The fourth one is Yathaartha-Prema or Aathma-Prema This love is present always, inside and outside, in all places and at all times, in all circumstances. This is Divine Love. It is imperishable. It is eternal. It is immanent in everyone. When this love is manifested by a person, he achieves the peace that passeth understanding.

The power of love. One may question the practicality of love in today’s world, a world that is filled with fear, hatred, and terrorism. Speaking of terrorism, an incidence comes to mind. Once two devotees (husband and wife) of Swami were traveling by air. Unfortunately, the aircraft was hijacked by terrorists. Within a few minutes of takeoff, the travelers became victims of a torrent of bullets, rained mercilessly. Fear and death enveloped the environment. In the midst of the death dance, the Sai devotees remained absolutely firm in their faith, constantly contemplating on Sai and incessantly chanting the divine name. The power of the name was such that none of the bullets could hit the two devotees.

As the terrorists approached the Sai devotees, the wife fervently prayed to Swami for His grace and intervention. Sai Maa’s response was immediate; He telepathically spoke to the devotee, ordering her to look at the perpetrator with pure love. She followed Swami’s instructions and looked at him with a heart filled with intense love and compassion. The effect of the loving glance was so powerful that the terrorist could not stand still; he immediately lost balance and succumbed to his knees, dropping his gun. Such was the power of love; it overcame hatred instantly. They ultimately made it back home very safely.

How to manifest divine love? The technique is very simple. Mere repetition of God’s name will manifest the qualities of love, compassion, and devotion. The repetition, however, must be continuous, whether at work or play the mind should be constantly in the company of God. Lovingly chanting the Lord’s name is a very potent remedy for all problems in today’s world. Divine love is the only panacea for all your troubles and miseries arising from insatiable desires and frustrated ambitions. God's love is like a lighthouse beacon. It shows you the right path. Divert the boat of your life towards the lighthouse of Divine love. You are then bound to gain the shore of bliss. You do not need any special type of penance or meditation. Meditate on love. Fill your mind with love. Even while attending to your daily chores, regard all of them as offerings to the Divine. God is omnipresent. See God in everything and every being. Let love grow in your hearts like the waxing moon. Divine love will not wane like the moon. Let such steadfast love be enshrined in your heart. As Thukaaraam said: Dhil me Raam, haath me kaam (Raam in the heart and work in the hand). With love of God you can secure anything. Without that love, you will only be steeped in misery. 2

Royal road to secure God's grace. In the Dwapara Yuga, when Krishna was being weighed in a balance, all the jewels of Sathyabhaama could not balance His weight. Rukmini then came and declared that the mere chanting of the name of Krishna would be equal to His weight. By the additional offer of a leaf, a flower or a little water, the scales will be tilted against Krishna. So saying she placed a thulasi leaf on the scale. And lo! It went down. The tulasi leaf carried the full weight of Rukmini's boundless love for Krishna. All the jewels of Sathyabhaama were of no avail. But Rukmini's invoking the name of Krishna and offering a thulasi leaf with a love-filled heart titled the scales against Krishna. Such is the power of the Lord's name and a love-filled offering to the Lord.

The Lord is not swayed by wealth or scholarship, power or position. Love alone can move Him. Saint Tukaram sang: “Oh Swami! I am not endowed with knowledge. I am incapable of performing Yajnas and Yagas or doing severe penance. Here is one easy path that I know to win your grace. That is the path of Divine Love. It is the royal road that will lead me to the Presence of Rama." Tukaram declared emphatically that Rama cannot be realized by any other path except the path of love. This is the inner meaning of the statement: Love is God and God is Love.4

Love is like mariner's compass. Love is Divine. Impart your love even to those who lack love. Love is like mariner's compass. Wherever you may keep it, it points the way to God. In every action in daily life manifest your love. Divinity will emerge from that love. This is the easiest path to God realization. God is everywhere. There is no need to search for God. All that you see is a manifestation of the Divine. All the human beings you see are forms of the Divine.3

Supreme example of Vibheeshana. How the love of the Divine manifests itself in a devotee is illustrated by the example of Vibheeshana, the younger brother of Raavana. Vibheeshana submitted himself to many indignities at the hands of Raavana out of the love he had for Raama. In the battle against the Raakshasas in Lanka, Raama and Lakshmana destroyed many of the great Raakshasa warriors on the first two days. On the third day a formidable warrior stood before them. Vibheeshana told Raama: "If you conquer this warrior, the whole of Lanka will be yours. He is a greater warrior than even Raavana." Raama fought with this mighty Raakshasa the whole day, but could not vanquish him. Raama was on the point of giving up the battle for the day. At this stage-, Vibheeshana, who was behind Raama, said: "This is not the time to give up the fight. You must rally all your strength and destroy the enemy. You should not miss this chance. I am telling this out of my love for you." Egged on by Vibheeshana, Raama continued the fight and destroyed his opponent.5

The formidable warrior fell on the battlefield. The moment he learned that the warrior was dead, Vibheeshana also collapsed on the ground. Recovering himself after chanting the name of Raama, Vibheeshana got up and confessed to Raama: "Svaami! This is a mark of weakness on my part. I should not have succumbed to such weakness. Having filled myself with your love, how could I succumb to such weakness?" Raama observed: "That's all right. But why did you collapse so suddenly?" Vibheeshana replied: "Svaami! This happened because of bodily attachment. It was due to parental affection. That mighty warrior was my son." He was Vibheeshana's son! See what Vibheeshana did. To ensure the victory of the Lord, Vibheeshana did not hesitate to get even his son killed in battle. 5 Such was the extent of divine love in Vibheeshana. He could bear no one to stand in opposition to the Lord, not even his own son.

Divine Love as glorified by the Vedhas. About Divine love the Shruthi (Vedha) declares: "It did not originate from the firmament. It did not grow from the earth. It has no birth and .death. It is all-pervading. It emerges from the heart when the knots of ignorance are broken." This is how the Vedhas glorified Divine Love. Even Naaradha, the author of the Bhakthi Suthras, could not describe the nature of Divine Love. He described in various terms the state of mind of the devotees filled with love of the Lord, but he could not describe prema (love) itself. He compared Prema to a priceless gem. Likewise Tulasidas also referred to Raama's name as a precious gem. Where is this love to be found? It can be got only from Bhagavaan Himself, who is the very embodiment of love. Do not treat lightly this infinitely valuable love, which is eternal, pure, sacred and powerful beyond words.5

Love is the panacea. Sri Sathya Sai Baba has declared that the root cause of all diseases is the mind. Stress, constant pressure, imaginary fears, and feelings of intense hatred and anger—all release toxic chemicals in the body and cause diseases such as blood pressure, heart diseases, depression, etc. Love is the most potent remedy to overcome all these ills. The person whose heart is filled with pure love enjoys perpetual bliss and fears none. He becomes a worthy receptacle of God’s grace and a living truth for all mankind to follow. When asked for the secret behind drawing millions to Him, Swami always says that His pure and selfless love attracts millions of devotees to Him. He is the living example of the power of love, a love that transforms, heals, and ushers all toward the goal of liberation. It is His love that forms the key to the governance of the entire universe. The gist of love is aptly described through Swami’s dictum to all His devotees: Love All, Serve All.

1 Discourse in Sai Kulwant Mandap on 20-6-1996.
2. Discourse on 23-11-1996 in Sai Kulwant Mandap.
3. Discourse on 5- 7-1996.
4. Discourse at Prashaanthi Mandir on Easwaramma Day, 6-5-1985.
5. Discourse in Sai Kulwant Mandap on 27- 7-1996.

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