The Only Fertilizer

From Steps to Yoga & Yoga Initiation Papers, Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Pleasing others, swallowing the poison which someone gives to you, is no less than a divine trait, quite usual to Lord Shiva. Why then shouldn’t we too live happily, easily and gladly in this life of various seasons. One should continue the life of a householder so long as he is wanted there. If he wants to take to sannyasa, he must do sadhana. So long as he has not entered in the plane of God-consciousness, let him at least enjoy life in all its fullness.

I don’t know why we forget this; that we have come to experience the bliss, of which meditation is a higher form, and the world a finite expression. A dhobi’s dogs live neither with their owner, nor at the river. They neither live happily in the world, nor control the mind by meditation. They neither do sadhana nor lead the fearless life of a householder. The more one worries, the more one suffers. A boy worries about toys, a young man about women, a father about children, middle-aged men about fast-deteriorating health, old about young, and still older about the forthcoming pangs of death and hell. Still we are in search of happiness.

O brother, in the babool tree one won’t ever find mangoes. Love is a divine force to annihilate worries. It is one of those heavenly drinks which frees man from the thraldom of dissatisfaction and spiritual unrest. Love, we have misunderstood it. Love does not demand. It is a dedication. Love knows nothing but sacrifice. Yes, at the altar of love I sacrificed my body, my soul, my all – all that I claimed to possess. ‘Take it’ is the real meaning of ‘love’. ‘Give me’ is the watchword of an exploiter. Love does not exploit; love only enriches.

Love is the only fertilizer of the soil of life. Passion is not love. Greed is not love. Romance is not love. Attachment or attraction is not love. Love is an innermost feeling of the soul. Love is a state when our soul relaxes its tensions, when strains and burdens have been set aside, and the soul of man rests in the blissful lap of ‘someone’ divine. During meditation we can practise this love. When we are all alone, I mean really alone, we are with him. When this condition has materialized, do you think worries would still exist?

—Letter to Swami Satyabratananda, April 1958, Bhagalpur