It’s 2:00 am, that sweet tasting time of night where the world is asleep. This means several things:
I can write poetry
Read a book
Catch up on creative work
I have chosen to blog.
Most writers wait for a muse to come knocking—I wrestle her out of bed. I am more awake and work more hours than that nymph.
A few days ago, a friend of mine took me to eat at the Hare Krishna temple in Los Angeles. It was the worst food I’ve ever eaten in my life.
I am a lover of temple food because often they are made with selflessness, deep love, great care, and excellent ingredients.
Superb monk food in Vietnam, delicious Indian at the Siddha Yoga ashram in Colorado… but my Hari Krishna experience actually gave me a headache worse than an MSG attack and it seemed they did everything possible to give you another justifiable reason to hate Vegan food. I will never go back—
Meanwhile, I was attracted to a little pamphlet called BHAKTI YOGA. As redundant as it sounds, I am a lover of bhakti. That is like saying, “I am a lover of love.”
Every time I see literature on Bhakti, I’m drawn to it because it speaks the language of love spoken from a higher and deeper perspective.
Here are a few passages that moved me…
“Love is one of the words we use most and understand the least. The problem is that there are many kinds of love.”
“Actually, we are caught in a web of temporary, unsatisfying loving relationships because we have forgotten how to love God. So the spiritual love between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is the most important kind of love. it is the only love that is truly eternal.”
“Every other kind of love we experience is just a reflection of the original loving exchange between the individual soul and Supreme Soul. This special love is called, in Sanskrit, bhakti. And the process for awakening that love is called bhakti-yoga, the art of eternal love.”
“Everyone in this world is engaged in some sort of service, and the impetus for such service is the pleasure we derive from it. Driven by affection for his wife and children, a family man works day and night. A philanthropist works in the same way for the love of the greater family, and a nationalist for the cause of his country and countrymen. That force which drives [them] is called rasa, or a kind of mellow (relationship) whose taste is very sweet.”
“Bhakti-rasa is a mellow different from the ordinary rasa enjoyed by mundane workers[…] The relish or taste of mundane rasa do not long endure.”
“A living entity cannot steadily remain either in sense enjoyment or in renunciation. Change is going on perpetually, and we cannot be happy in either state, because of our eternal constitutional position. Sense gratification does not endure for long, and it is therefore called capala-sukhu, or flickering happiness.”
“Bhakti-rasa, however, the mellow relished in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, does not finish with the end of life. It continues perpetually and is therefore called, amrta, that which does not die but exists eternally.”
“We prepare for our next life by our actual activities in the present life.”
The language of bhakti is the most beautiful of all languages and inspires music and poetry. It is a language of song.
The only way I can describe Bhakti is how a bird song makes your heart melt…or when the pure laughter of a child pierces through the air.
“The spiritual love between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is the most important kind of love. it is the only love that is truly eternal.”
It’s true that the deepest and most eternal love a person can have is through a connection with G*d. Regardless of whether this god is personified or realized—it begs for an ascension of consciousness in the heart. It’s here that Beauty is unveiled in the human being, and this love for beauty, to me, can be compared to the convergence found in the Tiferet (in kabbalah mysticism) and the Trinity (in Christianity).
The whole concept is to synthesize and integrate Spirit into one’s being. Then we become the shab—lover of life.
What does it mean to be a lover of life? Does it mean to love life? No, it means Life is seen through the eyes of Love.💙