University lecture — love and perfection1This evening, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a short talk on Love and Perfection. We are all sailing in the same boat, the boat of aspiration. One day this boat of ours will reach its destination, the Golden Shore, which is our ever-fulfilling and, at the same time, ever-transcending Reality.
Love and Perfection. Love is perfection and perfection is love. Love is the soul of perfection; perfection is the goal of love. Perfect love and perfect perfection are one and inseparable. Perfect love lies in our self-giving and self-offering. Perfect perfection lies in our liberation and eventual God-becoming. Love without perfection is a blind force; it can be a destructive force as well. Perfection without love is a precious jewel without a safe; it is impossible to keep that precious jewel.
Fulfilled love cannot and does not exclude perfection, for fulfilled love is itself perfection. Similarly, perfection cannot and does not exclude love, for fulfilled perfection necessarily carries love with it.
Animal love, human love, divine love. Animal love is not conscious of the soul's life. Human love is conscious, but does not care for the soul's life. Divine love is the flower and fragrance of the soul's life. Love is reality's life. Today we are nothing but reality's life. Tomorrow we shall become Immortality's life. Love and life grow together in the same family. Love offers its powerful arms to life, and life offers its soulful eyes to love.
God created the universe with His Silence-Power. He sustains the universe with His Sound-Power. In order to realise the highest Truth, our consciousness climbs high, higher, highest on the ladder of aspiration. When it reaches the highest pinnacle, we realise the Ultimate Truth, the Truth Transcendental, the Truth of the ever-transcending Beyond. In order to manifest the inner divinity that we bring down from above, we need the help of the cosmic Sound, the Sound-Power.
When we reach the Highest we become the realisation of Perfection. When we manifest the Absolute, we become the manifestation of Perfection.
Love is peace. Love is delight. When love illumines, it is peace; when love fulfils, it is delight.
//anandena jatani jivanti//
//anandam prayantyabhisam visanti//"
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we retire."
We are all seekers. A seeker eventually becomes a Divine Lover. A seeker sees the ultimate Truth and cries for infinite Light, Peace and Bliss. But there comes a time in his life of aspiration and self-discovery when he comes to realise that unless and until he becomes a God-lover, he will not be able to fulfil himself. As long as he remains a seeker, God plays hide and seek with him. But when he becomes a divine lover and offers God his unconditional surrender, when he asks God to use him in God's own Way, at that time God-realisation dawns in his life of aspiration and dedication.
All Masters of the highest magnitude showed us how love can be offered to mankind. When we think of the Son, the Saviour, we see nothing but a flood of love within and without. Once he was criticized mercilessly by some of his adversaries as he was walking along the road. His disciples asked him why he had to walk along that road when people were mercilessly abusing him. The Saviour replied that he had to give them what he had, and what he had in his heart was unconditional love.
The Buddha was prepared to give his life to save the life of a bird. In his heart of love, he felt his inseparable oneness with the life of a bird.
Gauranga, a spiritual Master, once was badly hurt by an adversary. He said to his adversary, "You have given me your anger, your passion, your undivine qualities. Since you have given me something, I also wish to give you something, and what I have is my illumining Love. I accepted from you what you had to give, so please accept from me what I have to give."
A human being has two major instruments: the mind and the heart. The poor mind cannot grasp the meaning of love but the heart continually loves and the soul constantly supplies the heart with love. The mind finds it difficult, extremely difficult to love anything other than its own existence. And there even comes a time when the mind finds it difficult to love its own existence. It sees and feels a barren desert within and without it. But the heart feels it is the bounden duty of its earthly existence to accept the imperfections and limitations of the body, vital and mind as its very own. The heart, which has free access to the soul, has received this message from the soul, that unless and until all the members of its family become perfect, perfect perfection cannot dawn in the heart either. So the heart accepts everyone as its own and tries to serve, feed and illumine all the members of its inner family.
The heart comes to realise that human love — unlit, obscure, limited love — acts like an express train, whose destination is frustration. But divine love grows within us slowly, steadily and unerringly and proceeds like a local train slowly and steadily to its destination, which is illumination. The heart discriminates human love from divine love and then transforms the one into the other. Then, finally, it manifests divine love in and through each individual being and each creature in God's Creation.
Love and perfection are one and the same. Perfection right now is a far cry, but today's impossibility cannot remain impossibility forever. Today's weakness can easily be transformed into tomorrow's solid, adamantine strength.
The power that builds the palace of Truth is not the same as the power that destroys the palace of Truth. When we cry from the inmost recesses of our heart, we see the inner flame climbing up high, higher, highest, and the Grace from above descending. When we see the two of them meeting together on a higher plane of consciousness, we call that plane the plane of perfection. There union is perfection. When Grace descends, it descends in the form of God's Smile. When our ascending cry and God's descending Smile are fused into one, our love of Divinity and God's Grace of Immortality become perfect in our life of aspiration, in our life of dedication, in our life of unity's multiplicity and multiplicity's unity.
Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, 13 February 1974↩