Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Story 48 - Story of Raasa leela – 08

Krishna replied thus to gopis:

O Dear ones! Mutual love is due to selfishness. This relationship is not dharma (righteous). If one’s selfish motive is not fulfilled then the same love will get turned to enmity. But those who love others without expecting love in return are compassionate people. This is like a father loving his child without expecting love in return and even when the child doesn’t love him. This kind of love has dharma and the relationship is without any taint whatsoever.


Relationship based on love can be of three types:

1. Mutual love or loving a person who loves us(which is due to selfishness)
2. Love without expectations or even loving a person who doesn’t love us (which is due to compassion)
3. No love or relationship at all with anyone – not loving both those who love us and those who don’t love us.

We will see Krishna’s categorization of the third type tomorrow. We have to understand here that Krishna is here giving a complete picture about love. We can even consider this short reply of Krishna to the gopis to be a PhD on love. A clear understanding of this will help us in identifying where we stand and as to how we can progress in the spiritual path through love.

The above categorization based on love is based on how we react to others. There are people who love us, there are those who don’t love us and there are those who don’t care about us at all.

We need to first know that our love shouldn’t be based on expectations. Any love which is based on expectation isn’t pure love but mere attachment. Such a love is based on one’s selfish needs. This selfish need will convert a person from a friend to a foe and a foe to a friend. It is therefore that we see people killing each other in the name of their needs. This isn’t restricted to just friends but even families. We find children killing their parents and parents killing their children when their selfish needs aren’t satisfied.

Swami Rama Teertha narrates a beautiful incident which happened in upper Himalayas. Water was rising higher and higher in the Himalayas. There was a mother monkey and few of her children who were caught in the rising water. They climbed up a tree in order to avoid drowning in the water. But the water kept rising. Thus they reached the topmost branch of the tree but water was still rising. Suddenly the mother monkey kept one of her child on the branch and stood on the child to avoid the rising water. She continued this with her other children when water kept on rising.

This story thus clearly proves that any relationship based on expectation will turn hostile when the needs are not fulfilled. Majority of the people in the world thus cater to mutual love or they love a person who loves them back. It is for this reason as well that we expect love from others. When we get love, we reciprocate it. But when we don’t get love, it turns into hatred. AMMA thereby says that marriage is supposed to be a relationship in which both husband and wife help each other to realize the ultimate reality of Lord; instead we find the husband seeking love of wife and wife seeking love of husband; thus two beggars of love are getting married. It is for this reason that divorce is becoming more common than ever.

The second type of relationship is those of people who love everyone (even those who don’t love them). These are compassionate people – only realized masters can have this compassion to love others. But if sadhakas or seekers are able to get this attitude of compassion, then they will soon realize the ultimate reality of Lord as compassion demonstrated through love for everyone will negate duality (as everybody is seen as one) thereby removing ignorance and making them realize their very nature of ultimate reality of Lord.

There is a beautiful Tamil song of AMMA which goes thus:

Ezhaikalkum selvarukkum ore oru amma
Chiruvarrukkum periyavarkkum svantham intha amma
Methaikalkum bhediakalkum bhedam illai jagadamba
Evarayum kaappaatha thunai irupaal jagadamba

O AMMA, you are there for both poor and rich,
You are “my mother” for both small and big,
You don’t have any difference for learned and ignorant O Mother of the world,
You are always there to protect everyone O Mother of the world.

The above song in brief illustrates the compassion of realized saints to love everyone. There have been cases of people coming to attack AMMA; but she has treated those people the same as any of her disciple or devotee. This is because such Mahatmas see the ultimate reality of Lord everywhere. Thus every thing in the world is but the ultimate reality of Lord for them. Thereby they cannot differentiate between things and objects of the world.

It is this second type of love that we all as seekers of the ultimate reality of Lord should strive for and practice in life. When we are able to love everyone irrespective of whether they love us or not, we are going beyond expectations (which causes trouble as in the first type of relationship) thereby ever being blissful in contemplation of the Lord.

But other than these two types, there is a third type of relationship wherein the person is indifferent to both who love them and who don’t love them. This relationship might seem to be quite simple but is a deep interpretation of various people of the world; Krishna would be explaining about the same which we will see in the next day.

Let us try to get away from selfish love and try to show love for anything and everything in the world with the knowledge that everything is but an illusion of names and forms in the Lord so that we may ever contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord and rejoice in the bliss emanating from such contemplation.

Krishna continued:

Those who don’t love both those who love them and don’t love them are of four types: first are the atmaaraamas or those who have attained bliss in the Atman; second are the aapthakaamas or those whose all desires have been fulfilled; third are moodaas or those who don’t know about respect & love; fourth are neechaas or low-people who even betray their Gurus.

The first two sets of people see nothing but the Atman everywhere. Moreover there is no purpose for loving others in them. Hence they are fully satisfied and happy with themselves (with the knowledge and vision of the Lord in the entire world). Thus they don’t love anybody.

The third and fourth people are the category unto which we shouldn’t fall.


Krishna here is speaking about the third type of relationship based on love wherein the person doesn’t love anybody in the world.

We may think that a person who doesn’t love anybody in the world is a bad man and will never progress in the spiritual path. Even though this is true, Krishna is here clarifying the actions of certain spiritual masters who have gone beyond the duality that they cannot see anything other than the ultimate reality of Lord. Thus for them it is but impossible to love others (as there are no others at all). Loving others is for two reasons – one when we see duality or differences in the world and two when we expect something (meaning we have some desire to be fulfilled through them). But the first and second type of people who don’t love anyone cannot have any reason for loving others. The first type which is aatmaaraamas are people who are ever immersed and playing in the ultimate reality of Lord. This means that they don’t see anything other than the Lord. Thus it is impossible for them to love others (loving others is possible only when we see duality at the empirical level). The second type which is aapthakaamas are people whose all desires have been satisfied – thus they also have no reason for loving others. Thus they also will be ever immersed in the ultimate reality of Lord.

Does this mean that Mahatmas like AMMA are not aatmaaraamas or aapthakaamas because they see duality and love others?
No, this only means that there are different levels or states in which a Mahatma might choose to live. Even though externally AMMA is doing actions and an aatmaraama doesn’t do action, both of them are internally ever immersed in the ultimate reality of Lord. Therefore when Tsunami hit the entire world it didn’t leave AMMA’s ashram at amritapuri as well. But even when her ashram including many groceries and rooms were destroyed, AMMA didn’t even bother. Instead she was concerned about the welfare of the people who were there at the time of Tsunami and later concerned about the huge number of people affected by Tsunami in the entire world. This is what determines whether a person is ever established in the Lord internally or not. Any moment AMMA’s ashram and activities are completely destroyed; still she will be ever blissful. Even when people cursed her and praised her, she was still the same blissful person.
Thus it is not external activity that is used for determining whether a person is realized but the inner attitude of being unaffected by all situations (both good and bad).

Yet there are many other saints who are unlike AMMA. Ramana Maharshi was a perfect example of this. He was unlike AMMA. AMMA serves people with her physical body, her words and her mind. But Ramana Maharshi served none but was ever established in the ultimate reality of Lord. AMMA seeks out people in each and every corner of the world whereas Ramana Maharshi didn’t bulge from Tiruvannamalai at all. Just because Ramana didn’t do service for the world like AMMA does doesn’t mean that he wasn’t a realized saint. He was a realized saint as is clearly known from the bliss emanating from his place, his words and his very presence. Ramana Maharshi was an aatmaaraama who was ever immersed in the ultimate reality of Lord therefore couldn’t do service to the world. Once followers of Mahatma Gandhi went to Ramana to get his blessings. They asked Ramana as to why he didn’t help the suffering people of the world. Ramana replied that he didn’t see any suffering and hence cannot help – what he saw was the blissful Lord beyond the illusory names and forms of the world.

The truth is that the entire world is but an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord. If we remember and see the ultimate reality of Lord behind the illusory names and forms, we will rejoice in bliss that very moment. If we forget to see the Lord then we will suffer even though we may sit in air-conditioned room and sleep in 5-star hotels. But some Mahatmas will come down from the aatmaaraama and help out the suffering people in the world out of their compassion. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t aware that the world is an illusion. This just means that they are playing their role of being a savior in this illusory world. Any moment this savior role has to be dropped they will drop it without any sentiments. This is unlike a social service person who will become sad when he has to die as he cannot help others!

Krishna has explained the two types of people who cannot but stay away from social service or worldly activity to show that there can be Mahatmas who are always immersed in the Lord thereby not doing any activity for the world.

The last two types of people who don’t love anybody are the ignorant one and the low-person. The ignorant one doesn’t know and thereby lives like an animal. We cannot escape by telling that “I was ignorant”. If we drive in a highway and hit a person thereby killing him, we cannot escape from prison by telling “I was ignorant”. Ignorance can never be used as escapism. We have been endowed with intellect to analyze, discriminate and understand things. If we don’t use it for our spiritual well-being we cannot consider ourselves as humans but we will be in par with animals. The fourth types of people are the low-people who will betray anyone for their selfish motive. They will kill their own kith and kin if that satisfies them something. They don’t love others at all but show as if they love in order to get benefit out of them (this is different from the type of people who love others seeking love). Judas is an example of such a type of people wherein he betrayed his own master Jesus for the sake of money.

The importance of this categorization based on love is that we should know where we should fall or what we should follow in order to progress in the spiritual path. We should always try to love others without expecting anything – seeing the ultimate reality of Lord everywhere so that we progress in the spiritual path and realize our very nature of Lord in this very birth itself.

Let us try to get away from selfish love and try to show love for anything and everything in the world with the knowledge that everything is but an illusion of names and forms in the Lord so that we may ever contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord and rejoice in the bliss emanating from such contemplation.

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