What is love?

January 25, 1968 — Morning Talks, chapter 33

What is love? Everybody says that I love God, I love the Master, but what is love? Love is the fruit of a tree. It is the ultimate goal, which develops and comes up within us. We should love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength. Is the heart one or two ?

The heart is only one, and you can only give it to somebody whom you love. If you give away your heart to somebody, then what remains with you? You will think in the same way that He thinks, not in your own way. This is the ultimate goal.

Lord Krishna said,

“O my disciple, the heart is only one
and that Lord Krishna has taken away”.

If your heart has already been given to the God-in-man, then nothing remains to be given separately to God. So first, our heart should be whole, not broken into pieces. When it is complete, only then can you give it.

Our Master (Baba Sawan Singh) was once giving a talk, and He said, “All right, if any of you can give your heart, you can go straight to heaven.” One man stood up and said, “Well, I give my heart.” The Master asked him, “Have you controlled your heart?”“No,” replied the man. “Then how can you give it?” said the Master. You can only give something which is under your control, that is in your possession.

The heart is led away by the outgoing faculties here, there, and everywhere. Unless it is concentrated, how can you give it? We have no control over our heart. It is dragged away in so many ways.

So I was just talking about love. Love is the ultimate fruit of a tree. We wish, we like to have something, but it is only a wish. The heart is given only when you withdraw it from all outside things, and it is under your control. So there are steps leading to this control.

What we have got is only — “We wish, we like, let it be done like this or that” — but it is not yet done. So there are steps leading to this and the first step is, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

What are these commandments?

“Love thy God with all thy heart,
with all thy soul, with all thy strength.”

The word “heart” is there. With all thy heart, not a heart that is cut into pieces, here, there and everywhere. So let it be complete, first of all. We love God out of some liking, some wishful thoughts, you might say. So the ABC starts from “Heed my commandments.” For instance, in the West, when the policeman in charge over there says “stop”, even the people stop. I saw it myself when I was over there. If the Master or anyone whom you love says “stop”, then stop there, don’t take a further step.

But do we keep His commandments? We don’t, then where is our love? We hanker after love, we have wishful thoughts to have love, but we have not yet got love. We have not laid the first stone of the building of love.

The foundation starts when you keep His commandments. Then He says, “All right, devote regular time to your meditations. Weed out all imperfections within you from day to day.” We say that we have got no time to keep the diaries. We have not even started as yet, what to speak of love.

Further, if we wish to have thoughts of somebody, love of somebody, we shall always be thinking of him. It is told of one Majnu (he was a great lover of Laila), that once he was seen hugging the feet of a dog. The people asked him, “What are you doing, are you going mad?”“No, no,” he replied, “I have sometimes seen this dog going into the street of my Laila, whom I love.”

If we love somebody for the Master’s sake, or for the sake of God, this is a sign that you are growing in love for your Beloved, for your Master. These are the foundation stones, not love as yet, mind that! Love is the giving away of your heart. The heart is one and when it is given away to somebody, then what remains?

Maulana Rumi says,

“When you have accepted your Master once and for all,
even the Prophet and God both are there in Him.”

So our respect goes to God once we have given our heart to where He is manifested. As I told you at the very beginning, love is the fruit of a tree. First we start with wishful thoughts, likings, to have something by comparative discrimination, or by reading scriptures.

Whom should we love? The soul should love God, because a conscious entity must go to All-Consciousness. That is but natural. It has been attached to the outward things of the world and the result is, we come and go where we are attached. Everybody is convinced, from their own level of thinking, that they love God. God we have not seen, but He is manifested in some human body. If we say that we love Him, then our foundation stone will be laid by keeping His commandments, first of all.

Second, if you love somebody, then you will also love those who go to Him. We criticize, we sometimes fight, even with those who are on the same Way as us. Then where is our love for the Master?

These are the stepping stones, but there are further steps. When you grow in love for God or the God-in-man (they are one and the same), naturally you will hanker after Him. You cannot forget Him. You would like to have the company of somebody who has first hand experience of Him, or who has been with Him.

Further, you would like to be near Him, as near as possible. If you are not there, but you hear someone who speaks of Him, your heart becomes full and overflows through your eyes. This is a symptom that you are growing in love for Him. These are the blossoms which herald the appearance of the fruit.

If rain is expected, first you will have clouds. If there are no clouds, there will be no rain. If there are no blossoms, there will be no fruit. So to develop this love, we must first obey His commandments, second weed out all imperfections, and third devote time to the spiritual practices.

You should also have the company of somebody who just reminds you of your ideal. Avoid the company of all others in whose society you are attached to the world or forget Him. If you cannot have the company of those who can help you to remember Him, then it is better to live alone. Live with the Masters speaking through books, through the scriptures. You will be better off.

A further symbol that in your love you are drawing closer to Him, is that you will feel separation. You will hanker to see Him. When you hear about Him, your heart will become full and tears will roll down from your cheeks. These are the symptoms to show that the fruit is ripening. These things are the blossoms. Ultimately, when the fruit comes, you are for the Master, and the Master is for you. These are the steps and we have now to judge where we stand.

We should not hear anything which is not according to the scriptures, that is not in accordance with what God would say, even against any propaganda which may be carried on. You follow my point? We say we love God, we love our Master. This is all right, but where are the outward symptoms? How does it start?

Love is the giving of your heart once and for all. It cannot be retaken and given to somebody else. We can only give our heart when it comes under our control. We cannot give it otherwise. We can only have wishful thoughts. So this is something very practical that we have to wade through, I would say. Rome was not built in a day. Love is developed in the direct company of the Master or indirectly when you become receptive, even from thousands of miles.

The time will come when you will say, “Who is living in this body? Am I?” You will forget yourself; you will see the Master in there. When you fold your hands, they will be the Master’s hands, not yours. So love is the ultimate fruit of the goal. That is why Saint Paul said, “God is love and love is God.” We have not gone into the depths of “What is Love?” All speak of love, but where do you actually stand? If a man says that he loves God but hates his brothers, that is no love.

I think Christ said once that,

“If you do not love your brothers,
how can you love God, whom you have not seen?”

If you have no love for those whom you can see, how can you have love for Him whom you have not seen? You follow my point? This we can watch. A man can have self introspection and see for himself. I know what I am making for my own Self after this life. Everybody can know if he will simply tap inside. He can unravel himself and see like a strict judge where he stands. Can we boldly say, “I love my Master, I love my God?” This ideal appeals everywhere, in homes, societies, countries, all the world over.

These are the various aspects of love that I am explaining. Yesterday was one aspect, the day before another aspect and today I have put yet another aspect before you. So from today, you should judge where you stand. Are you really loving God? Are you really on the Way? If so, then it is all right. That you can better judge in your actions, not talk. As I told you, the ABC starts from keeping His commandments.

These are the symptoms to show that you are beginning to love God or the Master. It all starts with keeping His commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments”, Christ said. Really, your love lies in the fact that you must be of service to others.

Those who love God and hate their brothers and others of His creation, how can they love God? This is only mere lip talk. Go into the depths and find out where you stand. Loving each other, sacrificing one’s own self for the other, this is the first thing to show.

You should love all who come, whether they are disciples or not. This is the beginning of growing into love. Just to think about it won’t help you. You must put it into practice. You must live up to it. Some think that they will create a heaven for themselves by serving the Master, but you can create heaven right here by living humbly, simply, lovingly, at the feet of the Master.

Kabir once said,

“I went to the House of my Father and found that He was not there.
I came to know that He was living with the Saints here on earth.”

You can create heaven on earth. This is what is meant by “Let Thy Kingdom come on Earth.” It can come only if you live in this way. Now decide, by going into your hearts, where you stand. Boasting won’t do, you must provide it by your actions. These are fine details, which are not given in the books.

Many things are wrought by the attention. The very words given with attention can go to the heart. A living book will help you, and the Master is a Living Book. Those who are chosen are fortunate. They should prove worthy of being chosen. You would not like to leave the heaven at the feet of the Master and go to another heaven above. God resides in the company of a Saint.

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