Love for All

From Conversations on the Science of Yoga — Bhakti Yoga Book 2, A World of Emotions

What is an example of a bhakta engrossed in love?

Swami Satyananda: For many years in the Rishikesh ashram I suffered from diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis, paratyphoid and many more illnesses, but still I did not think of leaving. I used to work very hard. That was the early period of the ashram. In order to get food, I had to walk four to five kilometres in the hot sun every day and come back, and there was only one meal a day. I did not take tea and could not even get it, but I never noticed this at all, I never thought about it.

When one loves someone, difficulties are not difficult. One becomes aware of the difficulties only when there is no one to love. If one loves the guru, or anybody, even if the whole world kicks or criticizes him, he doesn't realize it. Swami Sivananda was so compassionate and peaceful that I never felt the diseases and sicknesses I suffered from. How did this happen? Was I dreaming or was I under hypnosis? When there is deep and abiding love for someone, how can one be aware of the extraneous experiences? When one is in the warm embrace of one's lover, one does not even notice the passage of time. When one is in the grip of passion and violence, one does not think of anything else. So, when one is in the presence of the guru, how can there be awareness of oneself?

What is the ultimate of a bhakta's love?

Swami Satyananda: Love is constant remembrance and awareness of the beloved Lord and a keen longing to unite with Him. Love is expressed in the language of feeling and experience. If one can explain the psychological reactions one obtains from worldly love, one can also explain divine love.

It is very difficult to love. Every time man has loved he has stumbled and failed to assimilate it, and still humankind has not understood exactly what it is. Love is an experience in which the vision of inseparability can be achieved, where there is none whom one does not love.