You know, people ask, “What does it mean to follow the spiritual path? What does it mean to establish a deep and personal relationship to the Divine?” These are very good questions. What does it mean? What does it mean to attain enlightenment, Self-realization? What is the goal of spiritual life? What is the goal of your life?
Different people have different answers to these questions but for all those who have a sincere longing to know the Supreme, there is one commonality in their answers. They long for proximity to the Divine. They long for a closeness, an intimacy of love. They long for direct knowledge of the Supreme and that knowledge comes when the heart and mind are completely sincere. Without wavering, you cling to the Divine, to your Lord of Lords.
This happens to some people as a result of difficult circumstances in their lives. They realize they have only one shelter in the storm of life and that is the love of their divine guide, their divine Source and so they cling to that love and in the form that is congenial to them, perhaps the Mother Mary, Jesus, Buddha, their respective Guru, Quan Yin, their favorite saint. Whatever form they find, they are most likely to feel the presence of their divine protector. They will cling to that form and they will cling, saying, “Oh, Lord. Help me in these difficult times. Deliver me from this pain and suffering.”
Other times, people out of a burning yearning inside. Their unhappiness and restlessness are not due to outer circumstances or trouble they are in or some depression but is due to a burning need to know the Great, a burning need to be close to that supreme One.
That need, that fire of yearning must grow until the flames are red hot, blue, so hot they are blue. It must be a burning flame that burns away all other thoughts and desires from the mind and then, in the singular flame, all the lesser desires are burnt. The symbol of the sacrificial fire is that fire, that fire of love that is so passionate that it burns away all lesser desires. So some approach through this yearning, this great passion. Others approach through a longing for peace, quiet and to be rid of the disturbances in the mind. They long for a balanced, quiet center. They want to observe until they find that very calm and still place within. And it is in the form of stillness that they worship their Lord, in the form of peace that their Beloved comes to them. And they form their passion for that form. But they do not call it passion. They experience it as a calm and peace in the mind and that peace becomes their Beloved. Lord manifests for them in that way.
For others, it is knowledge. They seek the halls of knowledge, the wisdom of the ages. They search everywhere for those who are wise and can teach them. They read the very esoteric books, discover the secret knowledge that few know, the waves of knowledge. And they follow these to the halls of infinity. There Lord presents as the greatest truth, the supreme knowledge, and in that form they worship Lord. To that form they dedicate themselves.
To the mother in love with her child, the care of the child is supreme. Nothing comes before her love for her child and her passion to care for the child and when she looks into the eyes of her child, she is lost in waves of love, she meets her Beloved. She finds the love she has always wanted. And for the young couple, exploring for the first time, meeting someone special in their lives. That someone special is the beloved of their heart and their passion, their entire being goes to their yearning to be close to that soul mate of theirs, or so they feel at the time.
So, you see, the Divine comes in countless forms, in the rising sun, in the sunset, in the chirping of a bird, in a blade of grass, in a lover. In the passion of your heart, in the passion of your mind, Lord will present to you in whatever form you are most attached to and you will develop passion for that form and that dance of love is your dance with the most Beloved. That yearning and thirsting for the supreme truth, the supreme knowledge, that is your dance with the Beloved.
The Beloved has many forms, many voices. The spectrum of colors the Beloved can present before you are endless. Guru, God, Divine Mother, Shiva Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha – Lord can come in any form and in all forms. So what is this spiritual goal of yours that can present in countless forms, deep knowledge, truth, wisdom, love, beauty, connection? Many are the forms, one is the Beloved. For the Beloved has all forms and no form at all. The Beloved is in every blade of grass, in every sunrise, in every blossom on a tree, in the winds, in the rains, in the earth, in the stars. The Beloved is everywhere. For those who perceive the divine One, he is all around them taking countless forms and for those whose eyes are blinded by ignorance, he does not even exist. There IS no God; there IS no Beloved because there is an unwillingness to open the eyes and look around and to see with the inner eyes the truth of love.
For love does not desert anyone. Love is, always has been and always will be. Your Beloved never leaves you. Your Beloved is always at your side but you must have eyes to see and ears to hear. Recognize that One. That One has no limitation of form. That One can be any form and all forms. That One is elusive as a rare bird, a rare butterfly, flying in and out. As Krishna playing his flute and then disappearing and, again you hear him in a different place and you run there. You follow his flute and you see him and then he is gone. And you hear the flute in another place and you run there. And so he dances with you. But you are never separate from him. He is not only in countless forms surrounding you. That divine Beloved is the breath of your breath, the life of your life, the pulse of your heart. He is intimately associated with you. That one true love lives in all forms around you and within you. How can you draw the line between I and Thou? Where does it lie? The one Beloved is everywhere. There is no inner and outer; there is no boundary line of I and Thou. The one true Self is omniscient and omnipresent,
That one has always been and will always be. So if you want to know that divine Beloved, if you want to dance the dance of love and meet your innermost Soul mate, the love of your life, the love of your loves, the one true Self of yourself, the Beloved of your heart, all you need do is let go of your preconceptions, let go of your beliefs, let go of your definitions of duality, of I and Thou and let the Beloved surround you, dance with you, be with you in endless forms and love you unconditionally. Everything else is a self-imposed limitation of the mind.
This relationship you have to the Divine has no boundaries, has no beginning and no end. Where is the separation of I and Thou? In the heart of one whose love has been taken and whose heart stolen by that Beloved, there is no duality. That Beloved remains with you always. In the most difficult times of your life, you may cry, “Oh, Lord, take me on your lap. Care for me. I am truly yours.” And in the times of greatest joy, you may turn to that Beloved, “Ah, you are always with me. You have given your grace of my life. I am yours forever.”
So do not make this world and this life of yours drab and dreary! Make it a dance with the brightest light, the greatest love. Make it a love affair, a love story of your life. What better is there to do with a human life than to truly meet the Beloved?