I wish to give a short talk on love. As you all know, there is nothing on earth as important as love. In Heaven, too, there is nothing as important as love. My disciples and I are following a path. This path is called 'love, devotion and surrender.' Love is the root; love is the foundation of our path. We feel that God is dearest to us not because He is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, but just because He is all Love.
To be loved is a good thing. To love others is a better thing. But to love God and man in God's own way is by far the best thing. When we are loved, our life becomes meaningful. When we love, our life becomes soulful. When we love God and man in God's own way, our life becomes fruitful.
In ordinary human life we value love and treasure love precisely because we are afraid that the object of our love can be lost at any moment. In the spiritual life we value love because we feel that love is the only thing that can offer us abiding satisfaction. In the spiritual life the love that we experience, the love that we offer, is divine love. Human love is the song of possession. But before we possess others, we see to our utter sorrow that we ourselves are badly possessed. Divine love is the song of emancipation. When we try to emancipate others through divine love, we see that we can emancipate others only after we ourselves have been totally liberated.
Love is courage. Courage is self-giving. Self-giving is God-building, and in God-building God-manifestation takes place. God's total manifestation is today a dream. Tomorrow the dream will be transformed into hope, and the day after tomorrow this hope will be transformed into an inner assurance. When we get the inner assurance, our earth-bound consciousness hears the message of the Heaven-free consciousness. At that time the finite in us consciously, devotedly and soulfully surrenders to the Infinite and becomes inseparably one with the Infinite.
Love is the best form of prayer; love is the best form of worship. There is a striking difference between love and worship. We love because we feel the need of expansion, the need of oneness. When we love God, the lover and the Beloved eventually become one. The lover loses his individuality, his personality, his height, his ego-centered 'I' and he and the divine Beloved become one and inseparable. But when we worship we quite often maintain our own individuality and personality. We feel that we are at the foot of the tree while our Saviour is at the top of the tree. Always there is a reverential awe. Because of this reverential awe, we find it difficult to merge totally into the consciousness of our Saviour. But the divine lover, because of his inner oneness, dives deep into the Consciousness-sea of his Beloved and becomes the sea itself. Like a tiny drop, he enters into the mighty ocean and becomes the mighty ocean itself.
In the spiritual life the more we make progress, the more we feel the necessity of love. God has infinite Power, infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss. He has everything in infinite measure, but we feel that even an iota of His Love can quench our lifelong thirst. He can and He will give us everything that He has and everything that He is, but we will not be satisfied unless and until He has given us His Love. Needless to say, His Love divine encompasses all His outer attributes: Peace, Light, Delight and so on. In this world everything may fail us; we may even fail ourselves. But the divine love within us can never fail us, for this love has a permanent home and Source. That Source is God the infinite Concern, God the infinite Compassion, God the infinite blessingful Pride in mankind. Love ultimately gives us transcendental happiness. This happiness is not a thing that we talk about or see around us, but it is something that we can experience in our day-to-day multifarious activities. We can grow into this inner happiness at God's choice Hour.
As seekers we have to be extremely cautious when we deal with divine love. Very often human love cleverly tries to play the role of divine love. How can we tell whether something is divine love or human love? We can easily know the moment we dare to examine ourselves. Is this love for the truth within us, is it for the light within us? If the answer is in the affirmative, then we can easily know that it is divine love. I wish to tell you an incident that took place in the life of the American President Abraham Lincoln. A certain official said to him that God would be on his side. Lincoln said that he was not concerned about that. His concern was that he would be on God's side. He was concerned only about his acceptance of God's Light. Whether or not God took his side was not the question. He said that God will always be on the right side and it was his bounden duty to be on God's side. Here the real seeker, the real lover in Lincoln spoke.
Through our prayer, meditation and dedication, we can also have God on our side. But this will not satisfy us. If we really love God, we shall offer our love, devotion, surrender, aspiration and dedication to God; at the same time, our fervent prayer and most soulful meditation will be to please God unconditionally in His own way — to take God's side. If we please God in one way or another, naturally He will please us; but our sincerity will one day loom large and we shall suffer miserably because we have not pleased God in His own way. We must not expect God to please us in our own way, although He can easily do so. If we want to have something, He can give it to us; but sooner or later that thing will not satisfy us. Our sincere heart will never be satisfied unless and until we have pleased God in His own way. But if He gives us what He had intended to give us, then the seeker in us is bound to be happy and this happiness will be everlasting.
We can please God in His own way only when we have discovered and developed within us an unconditional love for our Supreme Beloved. Our love for God is our inmost cry. His Love for us is His life-transforming, life-illumining, life-fulfilling Smile. When we cry for Him, we offer Him our love; when He offers us His Satisfaction-Smile, it is nothing else but His Love that is being expressed.
Love, devotion and surrender. We offer love to God just because we know there is nothing and there can be nothing, there is nobody and there can be nobody other than God who can rightfully claim our love. We offer our devotion to God because He is the only one who can utilise our devotion for a right purpose. We offer our dedicated surrender to Him not because we are His slaves, but because we feel that God and man are one. He is our most illumined part, while the part that we right now represent needs illumination. It is our inner obligation, our bounden duty to be totally illumined from the soles of our feet to the crown of our head. Within and without we must be surcharged with God's infinite Light. When we surrender to the Supreme, we must know that we are surrendering to our own highest part, which is fully illumined. When the lower part enters into the higher part, when the finite in us enters into the Infinite, at that time we become flooded with infinite Light, Peace and Bliss.
London University Union
15 Gordon Street
London W.C.2, England
8 p.m., June 24, 1974