Guru Purnima


Saturday July 30, 1977


1. The Language of Love

I feel very hesitant to speak, because I cannot express myself in your language. And yet, at the same time, everything I express will be in “our language.” Is there any language we all know that is neither exclusively yours nor mine?
Yes. It is the language of love, since I love you, and you love me. The language of love is also called language of the heart or the language of feelings. Although this language uses no words and cannot be verbalized, it can be both heard and seen. We can see it with our eyes and hear it with our heart and mind. Because the language of words is often elaborate, it cannot always clearly convey one’s intended feelings. As a result, we often need to contemplate the other person’s words to understand the feelings inherent in them. But the wordless language of love, on the other hand, can be more directly perceived. Thus, we never need to contemplate any feelings because they are conveyed with crystal clarity. Among the countless languages of the world, the language of love is the most noble.

I believe that humans have created the language of words in an attempt to express love in words. The need for words shows a lack of love, however, for anyone who fully personifies love needs no language at all. All living beings can understand the language of love, since it is the language of the Lord Himself. It touches everyone’s heart, since it is also the language of the heart. In addition, love is considerate of everyone, since it is also the language of feelings. Thus, love is the universal language which belongs to no single place or person.

For example consider the distance between Canada and India. Both places are separated by thousands of miles. And yet, you have all gathered here in one place to be with some unknown Indian person whom you consider your loved one. Isn’t it amazing?

Ordinarily, we believe that we cannot have any kind of relationship with someone whom we have never met. This is a misconception since the theory of reincarnation or rebirth is valid.

This theory states that we have existed in past lives and will continue to exist in future lives. There is some evidence to support this theory. For example, sometimes we spontaneously feel strong love for a stranger. We love him at first sight as if he were a close family member. How could such spontaneous love ever arise unless we had known him in a past lifetime? In light of this theory, our relationship is not new; it is very old.

Surely, we have been related to each other through past lives, and I am here with you after being separated for an unknown length of time. How else could we explain our strong attraction to one another. our meeting is not a formal occasion; it is a union of love.

In cities, countless families live in multistory buildings. Most of those families never know or feel any attraction to their neighbors. Yet, you consider me one of your own without ever having seen me in person before and without any concern for the thousands of miles that have been between us.

This implies that I have been drawn here by the force of your love. I am not just an unfamiliar guest. I am your always-welcome, ever-invited family member, and we are having the first communication of our reunion. Whatever I have said about the language of love and our relationship of love is due to my seeing the love in your eyes and feeling the tide of sentiment in your hearts. Because of your eyes and hearts, I have turned my tongue toward that topic.

2. Love is the True Religion

Don’t you feel that every person is searching for something? When first attracted to some thought, action, person or object, the person is overjoyed. Each atom of his body is thrilled. But when he gives up the contact, or when he loses interest in these things, his body slumps with grief and sorrow. Each atom of his body is depressed. And again and again, with each new contact, the person experiences the illusion that he has found what he has been searching for. Yet even though he doesn’t find what he was seeking, his tendency to go on searching remains. But again and again, he loses what he imagines he has found, until eventually he becomes disillusioned. Every seeker confronts this stage. Is the person searching for something that is merely a mirage? No, he is not as foolish as that. What he is seeking does exist. That is why his tendency to search never stops.

So, then, what is he searching for?

Dharma or religion.

Is he really searching for dharma?

Yes, he is.

Dharma, or religion, reaches into every home. In fact, there is not a single home in which religion does not live.

That religion, however, is not religion in its truest form. It is merely a shadow of religion. Dharma is not easily attainable in one lifetime. In order to attain it, the human being has to invoke it for countless lifetimes. If a person were to attempt to fill a small receptacle with the water of an entire river, would he succeed?

Of course not.

Well, religion is like a huge river. The ordinary human being cannot contain religion in its entirety. In order to do that, man has to become a superhuman, a god.

Some time ago, a person asked me a question on this subject. “Bapuji, you are telling us that each individual is searching for religion. However, our intellect cannot fully comprehend the truth of this statement. Yes, we do know for sure that mankind is searching for something. However, it does not appear to us that he is looking for dharma, or religion.”

If you don’t accept this fact, it is not your fault. The term dharma, or religion, has many synonyms: love, happiness, peace, bliss, God, and many other similar words. Dharma is both a means and an end. When dharma is attained, it manifests as love, happiness, peace, bliss, or God. Dharma, or religion, is the final achievement of human life. Once it is accomplished, nothing else remains to attain.

Now, tell me, are you not searching for love, happiness, peace or bliss? Yes, you are searching for these. Therefore, what you are seeking is called dharma, God or love. When the human being attains love, all his meanderings cease. The restlessness of his mind also ceases. At the beginning of his search, he learns to love himself, and then he is able to love others.

When one learns to love himself, then it can be said that love resides very close to us. And yet why doesn’t one attain love in one lifetime?

Because of extroversion.

Until the seeker discovers the true direction in which he should search, he goes on suffering from various illusions. And when he finds the true direction, he encounters various favorable experiences which confirm the correctness of his direction.

Dharma lives neither in temples nor in religious scriptures. Dharma lives in the temple of the mind.

Unless the seeker enters into the true temple, he cannot possibly attain the true religion. Only when one makes initial preparation and practices self-control and virtuous conduct do the closed doors of his mind fly open.

Dharma does not mean sectarianism. Dharma means genuine actions to obtain God or surrender to to Lord.

Dharma means love, unity, harmony, and character. Love is the universal religion; unity is the universal religion; harmony is the universal religion; character is the universal religion.

The opposite of dharma is adharma, which means hatred, duality, disharmony, and wanton behavior.

The dharma which was propagated in ancient times by the rishis and munis of India is known as sanatan dharma. Sanatan dharma means eternal religion, divine religion, human religion, universal religion, or religion of love. Although the ladder of dharma can have many steps, it leads only to one destination.

If God is one and indestructible, then the dharma to achieve Him must also be one, indestructible, and eternal. A mortal human being can never create an eternal religion; only immortal God can create an eternal religion. Dharma is the birthright of every individual, for the omnipresent Lord who is the eternal seed of love lives in everyone’s heart. The unique characteristic of true religion is that it takes us from pain to happiness, from sorrow to bliss, from restlessness to peace, and from attachment and hatred to eternal love.

The pilgrimage of dharma is the pilgrimage of love. The sadhana of dharma is the sadhana of love. Only true religion can destroy the impurities of the seeker’s body and mind and open the doors of progress. Without religion man is blind. If he is to begin his spiritual journey, he must remove his blindness by reading genuine scriptures, keeping the company of saints, and serving the guru. Only then can he find the path to God.

Without self-control and virtuous conduct man is crippled. Only when he practices self-control and virtuous conduct can he become a pilgrim on the path to God. One cannot attain truth unless he approaches it scientifically. True science is only that knowledge which can be experienced at all times and in any country.

3. How to Realize True Love

There are two spiritual paths, the pravritti path and the nivritti path. The pravritti path is meant for those who still seek pleasure, wealth and religion; the nivritti path is meant for sanyasis: those who seek only liberation.

One begins the spiritual journey by traveling on the pravritti path. Only after completing this path can he begin to travel on the nivritti path. Even the great rishis and munis of ancient India practiced the pravritti path for many years. It is true that compared to the sadhana of the nivritti path, the sadhana of the pravritti path is average. But compared to the path of adharma, the pravritti path is extraordinary. For the average seeker, the pravritti path is sufficient, for it isn’t possible for him to handle the rigors of the nivritti path.

The pravritti seeker is like a house which needs only the light of a lamp, not the brilliant rays of the sun. Thus, even though we are all traveling to the same place of pilgrimage, we each must start our humble journey from where we live. Picture a large city with people setting out on a pilgrimage from countless homes. At first, their travels would form many trails until they had all reached the outskirts of the city. Then, traveling together, they would form a highway. From this illustration, we can see that although there are minor differences at the start of our individual pilgrimages, we eventually meet on the same path.

A person’s mind is influenced by his environment. And since the world is filled with violence and hatred, it is very difficult to search for love, and to acquire it, and to protect it in such an environment. The world is full of bhoga, or hedonism. In fact, it is a virtual battlefield. Yet one has to fight—even with one’s own family and friends—to transform it into a land of yoga and tapas. This is a very arduous task. Imagine a thirsty traveler who has been running barefoot in the hot desert. The blazing noon sun is scorching his bare head. Just imagine how pathetic this scene is. Every individual being today is suffering from a similar situation.

The impact of the environment on the individual’s spiritual growth was well-understood in ancient India. For this reason, each new generation was educated in the forests. The greatest benefit of this arrangement was that the newer generation was protected from the influence of any bad impressions that might have imposed upon them by their contact with the older generation.

Every human being may attain either dharma or adharma through the various instruments and faculties he possesses: body, organs, mind, prana, intellect, ego chitta, and soul. When his sense organs are constantly focused outside himself, his mind is filled with vices, pain, grief, restlessness, attachments, and hatred. Day by day passions and desires increase. Consequently, the person’s mind is tortured increasingly by the army of thoughts which march toward these vicious tendencies. Eventually, the person yearns for happiness, bliss and peace. He feels an urge to change. Under such conditions, the only unfailing way for him to become loving is to change the direction of his thought flow.
In order to earn a living, a person has to perform many tasks which are very important to him. However, the pursuit of his tasks always brings him pain. From this lesson, he learns to pursue only those activities which bring happiness and to subordinate all his former activities. Observing moderation in diet, fasting, exercise and celibacy, or self-control, to the best of one’s capacity are among those worthwhile activities which are very useful for physical purification.

In addition, pursuing other worthwhile practices such as contemplation of scriptures, keeping the company of saints, serving the guru, praying to the Lord, chanting mantra, asanas, pranayam, mudras, and other disciplines facilitate introversion or turning within.

Furthermore, loving behavior converts even a mediocre person into a great person. Progress comes to him who engages in self-analysis, speaks truthfully, lovingly, moderately, and observes silence when necessary.

4. Anecdote: Reflections

When one practices sadhana, his mind and body are purified. This purification hastens his spiritual progress.

To illustrate, I will tell you a story. A king once built a grand palace. In spite of its grandeur, he was not quite satisfied. So, he decided to have works of art painted on his walls. He invited well known artists from distant lands who came eagerly. [end of side 1 of rr #49, 1981] From among them, the king selected two famous artists whose reputations suggested their worthiness for the task and whom the king himself held in high esteem.

He told them, “I want to decorate my audience room with enchanting paintings. I will reward you appropriately if I am satisfied with your work. Until your paintings are finished, no one will be able to enter this room. Not only that, but a curtain will separate you, and a guard will be posted so that you do not see each other’s paintings.”

Both artists agreed to the king’s terms and began their task.

A year passed. During that period, a lot of speculation about the project had arisen among the citizens, and they were very eager to see the paintings of both artists. Finally, the paintings were ready, and, on an appointed day, the paintings were displayed publicly. A large crowd gathered in the audience room, and the atmosphere was charged with excitement. Then, at last, the curtain which had separated the two artists was drawn aside. Awestruck, everyone stared in silence. The paintings were exactly alike! How could this possibly happen? There had been a curtain between both artists. Neither artist could see the painting of the other artist as he worked. Moreover, a guard had watched over both to maintain the arrangement. Yet, both of them had created paintings that were enchanting, beautiful and identical! Recovering from their initial reaction of silent amazement, the people pressed the artists to disclose their secret.

Smiling broadly, one of the artists pulled the curtain and again separated the two paintings. Now the secret was revealed. Only one wall had been painted. The second wall had merely been polished to a high shine so that it reflected the image of the first wall.

The polished wall is the purified sadhak. When the sadhak purifies his mind, intellect, chitta, and ego, then the light of knowledge, love, and truth can be reflected through him. This light reflects happiness, peace, and bliss from him to everyone who comes into contact with him.

It would be wonderful, in my opinion, if the new generation of the entire world could be educated in the forests according to the system which was followed in ancient India. If such a purifying environment for the youth were possible, the world’s population would become very bright, influential, and of superior character. There would need to be a spiritual master, or acharya, to supervise such a task, of course; but this task could not be accomplished by just an ordinary acharya. To accomplish such a task, an extraordinary, genuine acharya is needed. And only an acharya whose pure, benign character could influence not only his nation but the entire world can be called a genuine acharya.

In ancient India, such dharmacharyas, or great masters, directed big universities. Not only did they present virtuous thoughts to each new generation, but they practiced what they preached. This method was found to be the best way to establish dharma, since it nourished dharma in the life of each new generation.

In modern times, however, religion is propagated in thought but not in practice. Dharma is a subject to practice, not just to think about. Until man integrates dharma into his life, he cannot realize its true importance. Only genuinely religious men and women can accomplish the task of integrating dharma in their lives. The first step of religion, or dharma, is love.

5. Family Dharma

The practice of dharma must begin in the family. The supreme doctrine of sanatan dharma is “the entire world is one family.” We are the family of God. If we are the children of one father, we are surely related to each other aren’t we? Then, why don’t we feel this? Because most of us have not yet developed genuine religious feelings in us. And so, we must start by loving our small family. Sanatan dharma commands: “Know your mother, father, and guru as God.” Surely, we must first recognize the divine qualities in someone before we can consider him God!

It is worth remembering that father, mother, and guru are our well-wishers and have divinity in them. We cannot prosper unless we dedicate ourselves to them. Since we lack the ability to appreciate virtues, however, we cannot see the divinity inherent in them. The scriptures have very wisely commanded: Know your mother, father, and Guru as God.”

The home is our temple. The command and will of mother, father, and guru are scripture; and love is dharma. The family is the supreme sect of religion. If love is not established in the family, then religion and God never enter into it.
The family is where love has the most potential to manifest. If love doesn’t manifest there, then it won’t manifest anywhere else. Family dharma is the dharma of love. In fact, family dharma is the first step toward attaining God.

For now, let us put aside any thoughts of loving the whole world. Let’s focus our efforts on loving the members of our own family. After first learning to love our own family, it will become very simple for us to love this entire world. If we devote our heart to loving the family, then the heart will be totally engrossed in love. And the heart which is totally engrossed in love will spontaneously love the entire world. Remember: love bestows happiness, and hatred bestows only pain.

The love between a husband and wife is the foundation of family love. If the wife does not become engrossed in the activities of her husband, and if the husband does not become engrossed in the activities of his wife, then disharmony occurs in the family. Their lives become painful. As a result, the entire family becomes unhappy.

Marriage is very important event in human life. Success in marriage generates success in life. Unfortunately, divorce is becoming quite frequent everywhere. In my opinion, such a tradition is undesirable; because as divorce increases, the importance of love diminishes in society. When relatives separate from one another, their dedication and tolerance for each other decrease day by day.

Nonetheless, we cannot deny the need to make provision for divorce in some exceptional cases, because it can be a solution to some complex problems. But the river of life begins to flow in the opposite direction when divorce becomes the rule rather than the exception.

Love without dedication and tolerance cannot be called love. These two are essential ingredients of love. Another way of saying this is that dedication and tolerance form an impenetrable fortress to protect love.

Like love between husband and wife, love between brother and sister is also family love. Many wild flowers bloom in forests or in mountains without the attention of a gardener. However, the special flowers which bloom in a garden need to be cultivated by a gardener. Like those special garden flowers, the flower of love blooms only in the garden of the family. Love grows only when relatives lovingly cultivate it as the gardener does. You study the Bible, which you consider to be religious scripture. You consider its words to be the word of God. Then when there is a quarrel between you and others, why do you forget the Biblical prescription regarding tolerance? No other temple can be created until the home becomes a temple of love.

When someone slaps you on the right cheek, then present your left cheek to him. (1)

No matter how evil he is, a relative is a relative; he must be tolerated. A hidden stream of love always flows in his heart. The dormant feelings of love in another’s heart can awaken only through tolerance.
Although the Lord is the personification of love, we seldom allow Him to enter the temple of our hearts. This failure makes it difficult for us to practice any true religion in the world.

Truly, the wise proclaim that love is the only path, love is the only God, and love is the only scripture.

Impress this verse upon your memory and chant it constantly if you want to realize your dreams of growth. Only love purifies the body and mind. Love is the all-seeing divine eye and the wish-fulfilling touchstone. Every living being is a stream of love. Let us allow someone to taste our love, and let us taste someone else’s love. Love flowing in another’s life is the source of our happiness, and the love flowing in our own life is the source of another’s happiness. This is a universal law.

From the moment of his birth, the human being who is fortunate enough receives his share of love’s gifts in the love his family showers upon him. Indeed, for such individuals, each relative is a dharmacharya who gives him his first initiation with the gift of love. Such a fortunate person should preserve this most precious gift in the treasure of his memory forever. He should plant this seedling of love and nurture it in the garden of life.

You all have flowerpots in your homes. Don’t you wish to plant and nurture the seedling of love in the flowerpot of your heart? The flower’s fragrance merely perfumes the house, but love’s fragrance perfumes the entire world.
Tremendous advances in material science have been made in this land of science. However, a person’s mind is adversely affected when he continually dwells on inert objects and when he lives among machines. He actually becomes inert and machine-like. If a human being becomes mechanical, is he progressing or regressing?

It is desirable for a person to become fully human or a divine being. But as long as people continue to focus on physical objects and forget their spiritual development, their achievements will be inferior, not superior. Man must develop his inner being to become love. Man may beautify this world as much as he wants, but without love, it is like decorating a corpse. To beautify this world, we must carry out experiments on love. Only the science of love can bring unity and remove the separation among all living beings.

Love brings unity by healing the split between the body and the heart. When the body and heart unite, one merges with the soul as the countless rivers and streams merge into the vast ocean. Love is the only worldwide religion. Without love, light is not kindled in our body, home, or in our world. Whether the scripture you hold in your hand is the Vedas the Bible or the Koran, it is trivial without love. All that is important is whether or not you have love in your heart and your life. Love is the only guide on the true path, and only love draws a human being toward love. Love is God’s only envoy, everyone’s well-wisher, and the true guru.[Bapuji said to me before I came here, ‘when you read each word and you are right there with it, and you’re no place else, the words will go in like an arrow and pierce your heart’. And that’s what’s happening. I hope you’re hearing them like Bapuji’s saying them, It’s so beautiful.

Yes, to give love is to give life. Love is the highest gift of all. even the greatest emperors have begged to receive love. With love, one lives; without love, one dies. The Lord is certainly clever. He preserves the nectar of love in the heart of each living being. When any living being opens the doors of his heart to satisfy another’s thirst for love, the doors of the recipient’s heart also spontaneously open. Thus, by allowing the other’s love to enter their own heart, they both feel fulfilled.

The path of love is very ancient. When I was born, I received the initiation of love. Now, with the same love, I initiate everyone else. Countless times, I have dipped into the world’s highest scriptures, and I have received only love from them. Love is my only path. I am, in fact, a pilgrim on the path of love. Lord Love is everything to me. In love, there are no barriers raised by language, no costumes, no egos, no distinctions of any kind. All that exists is the beloved.

The joy of love is sweet, and the pain of love is bittersweet. One who tastes the joy of love becomes eager to taste the pain of love. And one who tastes the pain of love becomes eager to taste the joy of love.

Lovers have been quarreling since ancient times. Some attest to the sweetness of love’s joy, and others attest to the sweetness of love’s pain. Those who understand the true nature of love dissolve their disputes easily. But the truth is that there is really neither joy nor pain in love. Love is simply very sweet. In short, joy and pain are but delusions, since love is simply blissful compassion. Love is not far away. Love is as close as each of our hearts. We can find it living there without walking a single step to search for it.

Victory to the path of love! Victory to the Lord of Love.