Love, Fear and Reverential Awe. Monday's Inspiration 37
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them...there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4: 16-19.
O Love! my Love; Unutterable Glow. A Sonnet
Love shines in the night, as well as the Light,
She heals the afflicted; gives the blind sight.
Lives with the downtrodden; carries their plight,
Burns like a flame, in my 'clutter' of night.
Love tends to my mother's sacrifice-soul,
Beauty's effulgence, emerge from Her rays.
Strengthen's mom's fortitude, peace is the goal,
Redolent roses, cascading Her ways.
The lustre She brings, does sparkle at dawn,
This core's now filled with bewildering bliss.
My soul She feeds in the glistening morn,
I'm drunk with Her graces; dazed by Her kiss.
"O Love! My Love; unutterable glow,
Thy sunbeams adore; more please, I implore!"
Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. 20th May, 2018.
~ Awakening The Inner Light ~
I looked at the smile of the child bouncing up and down the YMCA Terrace, Nairobi, and her face was filled with joy. Her brother was jumping and dancing with her and her mother might as well have been also, as her Spirit also radiated the same Light.
This reminds me of Love, this unparalleled gift from God … that yearning of the one for the One … this very pulse of life … the same Absolute, nourishing the faith which moves mountains, if we can only show as much as that of a grain of mustard seed. Consider this lofty piece by Jesus, The Christ.
“He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17: 20.NIV.
This, among favourites quoted both from the Bible and other sources, highlights the revelation that Love is not only the key to happiness, but happiness itself. This is why the Apostle dwells on it so much:
"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." ~ 1 John 4:7
John also tells us that Love erases or drives out fear and indeed if we feel fear, it implies a sense of being afraid of His Justice, which can only mean that we are not perfect in Love. Consider the similarity of the visionary Sage Sri Chinmoy below:
“…we must not fear God's Justice and we must not fear God. If we fear God, we will never be able to reach God; we will never be able to get anything from God. If a child is afraid of his father, he will not be able to receive anything from his father... on the contrary, the child feels that the father will use that power to protect him if he is in danger…" He continues:
"A child does not have even a dollar, but if he knows that his father has thousands of dollars, he goes and tells his friends, "Look, I am so rich; my father has so much money." How he identifies with his father's wealth! “–Sri Chinmoy
It seems here that Sri Chinmoy is identifying Love with faith and trust, or perhaps a ‘trusting surrender’, such as the child feels for his own father. “Perfect Love, casteth out fear.” (1 John 4: 18.) Sri Chinmoy takes it further, even to the point that reverential Love, however meaningful, is not enough:
“Only through love do we become one. The moment we are afraid of someone, his reality and our reality become separate. I am your spiritual leader, but how am I going to give anything to you if you are afraid that it will just burn you? " He continues:
"Reverential awe is one thing; fear is something else. In reverential awe you feel that someone is a little higher than you, so you have to behave well. God is infinitely better than you in every way, so you feel that you must have that kind of reverence. But deeper than reverence is love, true love.” –Sri Chinmoy
Like all sincere spiritual teachers, Sri Chinmoy uses analogies, metaphors, stories to illustrate a spiritual point of view and here again, he calls upon the child for support:
“A child does not need reverence; he does not have to show reverence because he knows he has love, which is infinitely more effective. A child does not have to go and touch his father's feet every second. No. The moment he shows his father his love, his heart that is enough. “
Since God created us, then like our own father, everything He has is ours. We only need to ‘grow up,’ that is to say, to become nourished and matured in His Love and His precious Pearls will be ours. It is even unhealthy to be afraid:
“To approach God with fear or through fear is very unhealthy. We only love God. We feel that what our Father has, we also have. Unfortunately, we are still children; that is why our Father is unable to give it to us. The father does not give his vast wealth to a child. But when the child grows up, he gets what his father has and what his father is. If we can love God soulfully, then God will give us everything. “Sri Chinmoy.
This sweet abandonment of the child … this spontaneous sense of purity, innocent joy and identification, we need to develop, as well as a reliance on the Divine in perfect Love:
“When a child is playing in the mud and then all of a sudden he is called, he is not afraid that his mother will beat him because he is dirty. He will go running to his mother and his mother will immediately take his dirt, his filth, as her very own. She will wash him in order to show others that her son is also very clean. We have to take God like that. No matter how many undivine things we do we run towards Him and feel that with His Compassion He will just clean us immediately.” Sri Chinmoy.
Furthermore, we will be spiritually satisfied. Satisfaction' is the feeling of inner joy that someone receives through Love; through dedication and devotion to God. True fulfillment, which is inner satisfaction, comes from Love, Devotion and Surrender to the Will of the Supreme. When that happens, we learn to see God in sorrow as well as in Joy:
“Both Light and shadow, are the dance of Love.” –Jalal Uddin Mohammed Rumi.
Rumi further says that we are born of Love; that Love is our Mother… asks us to “be drawn by the pull of that which we truly Love.” For Rumi, ‘Love is the way that the messengers from the mystery tell us things.’
So finally we see that fear, apart from carrying the spirit of negative connotations anyway; even reverential awe, which is sacred and further up the ladder, is not enough purely because oneness is missing. We do not feel the same bond that the mother feels for the child and vice versa:
“In the spiritual life, what is necessary is real divine love, and not reverential awe. True love is the love of oneness. “–Sri Chinmoy
“…the divine love within us can never fail us, for this love has a permanent home and Source. That Source is God the infinite Concern, God the infinite Compassion, God the infinite blessingful Pride in mankind. Love ultimately gives us transcendental happiness. This happiness is not a thing that we talk about or see around us, but it is something that we can experience in our day to day multifarious activities. We can grow into this inner happiness of God's.”
Finally, I wish to end with a sublime piece from the poet-Seer Kabir:
“Make Love with the Divine now, and in the next life you will have the face of satisfied desire.”
Wisdom from Mirabai, the Seeress
This Sky by the Seer-Poet Hafiz
This sky where we live,
Is no place to lose your wings.
So Love, Love, Love. -Hafiz
Wisdom-Quote From Sri Chinmoy
"...when we worship we quite often maintain our own individuality and personality. We feel that we are at the foot of the tree while our Saviour is at the top of the tree... Because of this reverential awe, we find it difficult to merge totally into the consciousness of our Saviour.
But the divine lover, because of his inner oneness, dives deep into the Consciousness sea of his Beloved and becomes the sea itself. Like a tiny drop, he enters into the mighty ocean and becomes the mighty ocean itself." -Sri Chinmoy.
Love and Reverential Awe
Which way do you prefer the Absolute?
Questions & Answers
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