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AshtaLakshmi

In Deepavali, hinduism, Knowledge digest on 25/10/2011 at 09:31

Narayana is the goal ( Lakshya hai).  Is the means for Lakshmi to reach till there. Eight types of Goddess Lakshmi are there.

First is ADI LAKSHMI (Primeval Lakshmi)- we are all sitting here and we don’t even know we have come to this world.  Have you ever thought you have come to this world? What is your age – hmm? Try to recall- 30-35-40-50 hmm? Just think that 50 years before I came here. Where was I before this? What is my source, what is my origin? This knowledge is not there. To have the knowledge of our own origin is AdiLakshmi.  Then Narayan is very near- not far. The search of our own source, knowledge of source is AdiLakshmi. Where I have come from? Who am I? Where will I go? After 30-35-40 yrs, this body won’t remain! Where will I go ? Where have I come from? Are you here right now? Be aware – Am I here right now? Have I come here or have been here all times? What is this? This knowledge is AdiLakshmi. The knowledge of self.  The person who gets knowledge of self- the fear finishes from his life forever. There won’t be any fear. Attained contentment, bliss.  This is AdiLakshmi. AdiLakshmi is only with the learned ones (wise). And the ones who have AdiLakshmi, know this that they have attained knowledge.

Second Lakshmi is DHAN LAKSHMI (Goddess Of Wealth) – this everyone understands Those who don’t have DhanLakshmi they get away from Dharma (duty), they get involveda in Adharma (unrighteousness). All Adharmi (evil doer), thief, dacoits all are in the search of DhanLakshmi (Wealth). With the desire of wealth , one does wrong deeds, likes all types of violence – hmm fraud, cheating – The desire of DhanLakshmi. He doesn’t see if he has, and with force wants to get DhanLakshmi and with force DhanLaksmi doesn’t come , even if it comes, it doesn’t give pleasure, it only gives only sorrow and pain.  Think Dhan(Wealth) as Lakshmi. Dhan (Wealth)  is not Lakshya (goal). Some people forget Dhan as Lakshmi and Dhan (Wealth) becomes the Lakshya (goal) of life. Till death collect the money (Dhan) and deposit all the money in bank and die ! One crore, One thousand crore rupee is in the bank and the person is no more .  And had not even written the Will- even troublesome ! One wealthy man, knowing he would die soon, didn’t want to die. People would come to him to console and say take the name of God, do some Bhakti, doctors have already said that they can’t do anything, so wait for your death – pray to God,  don’t be sad. He replied I am not angry because of my death, but this huge wealth which I have- don’t want to give it to all my mischievous children. The whole life I worked on this, earned lots of money but now I have to give to this to my useless children- will do something about this. Then he called one astrologer, he told need not worry . After 25 years you will be born in so and so village, with so and so name. He became very happy and made his Will by that name. Man makes Dhan as Lakshya and becomes sad. Dhan is Lakshmi, worship it like Lakshmi- honour it. Some people see fault in the Dhan(Wealth) and held it responsible by thinking  its all because of Wealth, Dhan has only made all this happen, Dhan is not good, this is also not good. Honour the wealth, make good use of it then Dhan becomes Lakshmi. It is said that Lakshmi is very chanchal ( playful,unsteady), it keeps moving. When it moves then it gets value. What doesn’t move, remains fixed has no value. If you see the picture of Lakshmi and Saraswati, you will see that Lakshmi  is on the Lotus flower, above water. Water is unsteady. Saraswati is sitting on the rock. In some pictures Saraswati is also on lotus but mostly Lakshmi has been kept on the lotus, in the water.

Saraswati has been kept on the stable place. Its like this only knowledge when comes is stable. This is the third type of Lakshmi VIDHYA LAKSHMI (Lakshmi of Knowledge,education) . Knowledge also can be misused. Even if only to study becomes the Lakshya (goal) of someone then also Vidhya doesn’t becomes Lakshmi. To study and then to make use of it. Then this is Vidhya Lakshmi.

Next on fourth number is DHANYA LAKSHMI (Lakshmi as Goddess of grain). Dhan is there but Dhanya is not there. Have enough money but can’t eat anything. Can’t eat bread, ghee (butter), rice, salt, sugar can’t eat anything. Then what happen? Dhan Lakshmi is there, enough money is there but shortage of Dhanya Lakshmi . You go and see in villages, they don’t have wealth there but have enough Dhanya Lakshmi. They don’t have any hesitations or shortage of serving any anyone with food for few days. Whether they have money or no, but they have enough Dhanya. The quality and quantity of food villagers eat, people in city don’t eat that much. Their digestion power is also good.  Dhanya Lakshmi- honor the Dhanya.  Food is the most important in this world to everyone. Caligy is one province in Canada, where how much ever food is needed to serve the entire planet (Earth)  grows there sufficient in itself.  How much grain grows there is enough to serve everyone on this planet for one full year. Lot of vegetables also grow there. But they take all vegetables and grains and dump it into the river. Why? To maintain the availability of it. In India, people hide the onion, then its price will rise! Earn more with less effort,  this is not Dhanya Lakshmi. Then we have not considered Dhanya as Lakshmi. Don’t waste it and misuse it. Sometimes how much food is cooked more than half of we waste and throw it, don’t give it to others. Some people have a habit, sweets will come, they will keep it inside and it will get spoilt but they won’t give it to others. When it will gets spoilt then they take out to give.  In many big houses it happens, they have enough money and variety of food is cooked, its ok to cook variety but they give it to others after it gets deteriorated. This is wrong, should honor the food, this is Dhanya Lakshmi.

The fifth one is Dhairya Lakshmi (The Lakshmi of Courage)  In house there is everything, Dhan, Dhanya all relations but are coward. Usually the children of rich families are coward. The children of Kings are even more coward, so coward, so coward. Dhairya is one Lakshmi. Dhairya is one wealth. In service sector it is seen that the workers are scared of the officers. If it’s a businessman, then they are scared of inspectors. Usually we ask officers that what type of assistants do you like ? The one who comes with fear in front of you or the one who communicates with courage with you . The person who is afraid won’t tell the truth. If your subordinate is scared of you then he won’t tell the truth to you.  Will make false story and will run away from you. You won’t be able to work with such person. You like such workers and assistants under you who works with courage and talk to you honestly. Why do you get sacred of your officers? Why because we are not connected to our life. We don’t know that there is so much power within us, the Divine power that is walking along with us, then it is the shortage of Dhairya Lakshmi. Only with the Dhairya Lakshmi one can progress in life or else cannot. The quantity of progress depends on the quantity of Dhairya Lakshmi, whether is business or in job there is a need of Dhairya Lakshmi.

The sixth is the Santana Lakshmi (Progeny Lakshmi) –  There should be such kids who are the wealth of love. There should be realtion of Love. Then it will be Santana Lakshmi or else a botheration or stress. Such children due to whom the stress is either not there or it reduces is Santana Lakshmi.  The Santan (Children) who brings peace, happiness and prosperity, that is Santana Lakshmi. And the Santan with whom there is pain, sadness, unhappiness, disputes then that Santan is not Santan Lakshmi.

And the seventh is the Vijaya Lakshmi (Victoriuos Lakshmi). Some people have all the facilities and resources even then they don’t get success in any work, they start any work it will get spoiled. This is the shortage of Vijaya Lakshmi. If you tell someone to go and get something, after sometime he will come back and just tell he couldn’t get it. Even if they go by auto rickshaw it will break down on the way. They take taxi and even if finally reach there , the respective shop will close. You will think it would have been better if I would have done this work by myself. The smallest of works can’t do – there is too much shortage of Vijaya Lakshmi. If you tell them to put the bulb, they will say that couldn’t find the stool- the bulb is too high. That’s why I am sitting in darkness, there is no stool, and how I do put it.  They will find some or the other excuse and even if there is no excuse the situations will turn like this that no work can be done by them.

The eigth is the Bhagya Lakshmi or Bhagya Lakshmi (Royal Lakshmi) the one who blesses ruler with the secular power). ‘Satta’,  some terrorists, they don’t have Kingdom or power but whatever they say everyone will listen. They have power to rule. Sometimes the Minister or King are sitting, whatever they say nobody will listen. In some offices also its there no one listens to the boss but an office clerk will rule and everyone listens to him. How much Raj Lakshmi is with the Trade Union, it possibly won’t be with the owner of the mill. Mill Union leader can rule, dictate and govern. It is doubtful if the President will have Rajya Lakshmi. The Prime Minister will have or no, is doubtful. But the head of a small village will have. Whatever he speaks the whole village listens. The power to rule (govern) is being given by the nature to the people. There are some political Ministers, they are governing, ruling even by being in jail. There’s lot of blessing of Rajya Lakshmi on them. There had been one Chief Minister, he was in coma still he was able to rule, govern the country. He was unconscious for 4-6 months but the Kingdom was going on  with his name, even now they run with his name. It is not necessary that they have Dhan Lakshmi, Dhanaya Lakshmi, Dhairya Lakhsmi, Santana Lakshmi, even then they may have Rajya Lakhsmi, the power to rule the country.

These are the eight types of Lakshmi, they are all connected to each other. In some or the other quantity these all are with everyone. How much do we honor it, make use of it, it all depends on us. We all have these, some of them are more and some are less in quantity. The absence of these eight Lakshmis is called- Ashta Daridrta (Misery). Lakshmi is there or no, Narayana can still be adapted. Narayan belongs to both. Lakshmi Narayan and Daridra Narayan (laughter)! Now the time is to become Lakshmi Narayan from Daridra Narayan. Narayan is always there. And there is no worship of Daridra Narayan, Lakshmi Narayan is only worshipped. Daridra Narayan is served and Laskshmi Narayan is worshipped. Otherwise everything is Narayan and Narayan. And the entire life flow is moving from Daridra Narayan to Lakshmi Narayan- from misery to prosperity. From dryness in life towards the Divine nectar.

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QA with SriSri

In Knowledge digest on 16/07/2008 at 12:37

Don’t make an effort to see the divinity in someone. Divine contains all the qualities. You have a concept of divinity in your mind as someone gentle and nice and then someone is not gentle, you don’t see them as divine. Divinity consists of all the opposites because divinity is totality. So see the whole world as a play, as a drama then you will be able to give a big laugh.

Q:Guruji, tell me what to do with my ego. It is disturbing me so much in my life.
Sri Sri:Just give a big hug to your ego. Let it be there. Why do you worry about the ego? Why do you want to get rid of it? First lesson in art of living is accepting. Whatever you don’t accept will be on your neck….will be bothering you.  Accept and it will stop bothering you. Wake up and look at the whole universe.
Wake up to the fact that time is enormous. Time is infinite and see that in contrast with your life. These 60-70-80 years of your life is so insignificant in this vast ocean of time, then what is ego, where is ego? You are nothing.  You are nobody; you are so insignificant in this planet. The planet will go on. 6 billion / 6 and a half billion people like ants dying and again being born.  So what! Who cares whether you live or die …it’s all finished.
Anyway it’s going to be finished in a few years. Now the environmentalists are even warning you. The word will end in 2012 or 2013. Another five years to the planet. Scientists are saying water is going to go up, sea level is going to rise. Many countries in the world are in danger. Where is your ego? What is your ego?
Wake up and see this whole existence. If you can’t, if you are little sleepy, drowsy then just make friends with your ego. Keep it. Oh I want to have a big one. Let it be there. Grow your ego as much as you want. Don’t fight it. When you wake up and see it dissolves. If you don’t want to wake up, sleep with your ego. Keep it hold it tightly. There is no problem.
In between when you feel you have an ego and want to get rid of it that’s when all the problems come. Just be natural. Being natural is the antidote for ego or agree to be foolish.  Why can’t you be foolish? You’re anyway foolish. When you are not conscious then somebody anyway calls you foolish. Because if there are some people who are more intelligent than you…in their eyes you are anyways foolish.  If you consciously agree to be a fool this trouble of yours will disappear.
I think it’s an important role that everyone should play in their life.  Act being foolish for some time….then you will not be afraid of someone calling you a fool. Biggest armor for ego is it doesn’t want to be called a fool by anybody. So if in your eyes you are a fool the ego has evaporated. That’s it or it has expanded…. limitless.
I think that’s the best thing. In your own eyes….you know in your heart that you are a fool, but you don’t accept. You don’t agree with it. You don’t want to exhibit, show that you are foolish. One day act being a thorough fool. You will see you are free from this ego troubling you day and night. Be a buffoon.
Just for a day and then you will be so natural. No point in being a buffoon in closed doors…out in the streets. There should be hundreds of people seeing you being a buffoon…and call ‘Hey fool’ be a laughing stock of people even for a day you will find yourself at peace.

Q:How can I know when my action is right? Maybe it is better to wait and let things happen in their own time?
Sri Sri:You have a question. You have the answer. How do you know when action is right? Wait for its result. Some results will show immediately. Some results will come in it’s own time.  What all you need to see is whether your intention is correct. If your intention is right, action will always be directed.  But if in the intention there is something wrong, even though the action seems to be good at face value it is not going to yield good results.

Q:Thank you Guruji. I saw you getting out of the car smiling today. At that moment I felt love for life and you.  What to do to feel like that all the time?
Sri Sri:Treasure those moments in your heart. Don’t crave for them. Craving will be an impediment but treasuring those memories will be of real value.  In life you get few moments where the spark gets ignited, where the fountain bursts open, that initial moment when the fountain bursts open is so important so beautiful. If a fountain is running for several hours you don’t pay attention.
Same way moment you jump into hot tub the first moment is really the thrill. If you are remaining for 5-10 minutes you don’t feel it any more. Those initial moments of contrast are so valuable. Those moments are to be treasured.

Q:How can I get courage to reach my goal ?
Sri Sri: First of all, you think you don’t have courage ? You simply have to know you don’t know what you have! If you think you don’t have your trying to have it is not going to work.  Next thing, know you have it. You have the courage. Even then you can’t do it. You have fear.  Know you are not alone. The divine is with you….a greater force is your great strength. Ok?

Q: What happens when people die. Where do we go after that?
Sri Sri:We will take up this tomorrow.

Q: Guruji what is infinity ?
Sri Sri:   <<   >>.  That is it !!!! Where words cannot touch, words and thoughts return that is infinity. That’s why in Sanskrit they said infinity is truth and knowledge ” Satyam Gyanam Anantam”   God is infinite.

Q: Guruji, of the five elements , two are male (fire and air), two are female (earth and water) so what is space ?
Sri Sri: Space is neutral (laughter) Actually this is just one form of understanding. This is beyond gender. Mother earth is represented as female again akash (space) cannot be classified as any gender, but we have to look beyond this. Don’t get caught up with this.

Q: when do we know we are becoming a deciple from a devotee?
Sri Sri: Next !!

Q:Guruji, to ask you an intelligent question, we need to plan. It does not happen spontaniously. How does one balance spontaneity and planning?
Sri Sri: This is spontaneous !!  (laughter) but you can be planned an yet be spontaneous. This intelligence is to be spontaneous and yet be planned. Ignorant one gets caught up in planning and there fore losses spontaneity.

Question : Guruji, when does doubt rise in love ?
Guruji : you know doubting is the nature of the mind. For e.g . when someone says you are too good, we start doubting. When some one says oh you are no good, than you don’t doubth that. You doubt your happiness n=but you dongt doubt your probl;ems. You have to simply understand that life is love and love is not just an emotion, it is your very existence.

Q:Dear Guruji, how to protect myself against negative emotions of other people. I’m very sensitive and quickly overwhelmed by negative emotions of other people.
Sri Sri:Know you are such a positive person that any negative emotion comes you turn it into a positive. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be scared of others negative emotions.  You don’t know. It can come to you anytime…waking, dreaming or sleeping. But it doesn’t affect you when you are sleeping, does it?  Because you don’t know, when you are sleeping any negative emotions from anywhere in the world can pass through you.
You have the ability to transform negativity into positivity. You are much more than negative and positive emotions. Nothing can touch you. A cloud cannot do anything to a rock. Be like a rock. Emotions are like clouds they come and caress the stone and move away.
No rock on top of a mountain is scared of a cloud saying ‘Oh dark clouds are coming. Or white clouds – O I love them!’ Be solid. You are radiating sun. You radiate energy. The negativities are like clouds. Observe it…know it.
Someone is angry and they pass by, their anger catches onto your mind. You feel that anger is welling up inside.. watch it as a cloud.  Laugh at it or take a deep breath and say ‘Hmmmm’. But don’t keep doing it all day. ‘O negative energy is coming so I am going to say Hmmm’. They will send you to a mental hospital. Look at anybody and say ‘Hmmmm’.
You observe….watch. You will see emotions come for a second and vanish.  When they seem to grip you take a couple of deep breaths and sometimes make Hmmm noise you will see it has transformed, vanished. Don’t be scared of others negativities.

Q:Advaita and bhakti we need both in daily life. How can we effectively incorporate this in daily life even though they seem contradictory?
Sri Sri:Life is full of contradictions. …sometimes you eat cold ice cream, sometimes you want hot tea. If you ask me how can I eat cold ice cream and hot tea, both are a part of life. You want both, sometimes this…sometimes that.
In the same way it happens in your life naturally and that’s how it is in nature. On the atomic level there is only one thing “the whole universe is made up of one substance but on the molecular level they are different, there is duality”.
Molecules are a reality. The diversity is a reality. When you go further deep into diversity you find the uniformity. There is union, the oneness of atoms. That is also a reality.
The oneness of sub-atomic particles is a reality and diversity of molecular structure is also a reality….they coexist at the same place, at the same time.  In the same way, Bhakti and love and devotion can co-exist with awareness. It is all one…because bhakti and devotion is not an action. It is a state of mind, not an emotion. Bhakti is the nature of one’s being. It is a pinnacle of emotion and the nature of one’s self, so that doesn’t vanish, though it is experienced in duality more vividly.  As reality it dos not contradict the oneness or Advaita.

Q:If everything is changing what is it that which is untouched, permanent?
Sri Sri:Everything is impermanent. This is what is now…and only then you can know.  It is easy to know, to see that things are impermanent. So when this understanding becomes clear then you see the reference point by which
you see change.  There has to be a reference point which is not changing in order to know everything is changing. If everything is changing, there is no way to know unless there is something that does not change. When you know everything is changing, and then turn inward you will see that there is something so unique…so beautiful that does not change.
It is an indirect experience. Adi Shankara, the exponent of Advaita philosophy called it aparokshanubhuthi – indirect experience. Paroksha means indirect. Anubhoothi – the non indirect experience.  You can’t directly experience and not indirectly. It is neither this nor that, you can neither catch it nor miss it. Nobody can miss it. Yet nobody can catch it. That is the real mystery and that is what life is all about.
[Nobody can say that I have never slept in my life, yet no one can say I know sleep. It is in your experience yet you do not know it. That one thing is sleep…that one thing which causes the sleep, which is in sleep and which enables you to wake up from sleep is the self. That is even more a mystery, without which you can’t exist. There is no existence at all and yet it is not felt or known.  Through knowledge, through grace, that is self knowledge.

Q: Guruji, Why am I not like you?
Sri Sri: This is my wonder too!! But I feel you are like me. If you look from my point of view you will see we are not different. You and me are not separate. Can air be like yours cand mind? Like can you say this is my air and that is your air?!?! No! Sunlight, water, cannot be two. The one which you think is yours and mine actually they are not separate.

Q: Guruji, can you please explain the meaning of Gyatri mantra?
Sri Sri: Oh! Gyatri mantra encompases the whole universe. There are 24 letters that make gyatri mantara. There are 24 vertebra in our spinal cord. One is omkar, two becomes So hujm, then like wise 16 and then 24 becomes Gyatri Mantara. Gyatri Mnatra is the expansion of that one omkar. If one is instructedyou can can certainly chant the mntra. The meaning of the gyatri mantra is let the divinity sink through my intellect. Let our life be purified. But again if you just say Ohm, that also means the same.

Q: Guruji, this mandap is like a Srichakra. Can you explain the essence of Srichakra?
Sri Sri: It is nice no?!?! Then just sit and meditate. Why do you wantto know the meaning and the essence etc!?? I myself don’t know the meaning!! (laughter!!)

Q: Guruji, the imbalances in the body, (vata,pitta, kapha) causes a lot of other problems. How does one handle the vata Imbalance?
Sri Sri: Consult a Ayurvedic doctor, and triphala, it will bal;ance the imbalance. Also drink a lot of water. Eat food on time. Do asanas do pranayama, do Sudarshan Kriya. All this will help.

Q: Swami Ramakrishna had said that Vivekananda will have to go once he comes to know who he was. How did he know this?
Sri Sri: No no that is not correct. It is not like that.

Q: Guruji why does congeneital disorder happen?
Sri Sri: I don’t know. Question continues.

Q: Why did God do this to the children?
Sri Sri: Will put up a complain against God. Sometimes because of improper food this may happen. 

Q: Guruji, when interest starts developing towards devotion, what should one do?
Sri Sri: Good. Very good. But simultaneously you must take care of the responsibilities as well. One should not run away.

Q: Guruji, we are asking you questions everyday. Can you please let us know what have we missed out on asking you!?!
Sri Sri: You should only have one question. “Who am I?” And that question you should ask yourself. That question itself is good enough to get that dive in you to go inward.

Q: Guruji, is it ok to donate some body parts after we die?
Sri Sri: Yes.. yes. It is definitely ok.

Q: (Question asked by a physically challenged person) Guruji, what is moksha?
Sri Sri: Good .. good very good!! The desire to know what is moksha is a good thing. Are you doing better now? Yes! Wow!! How much better do you feel now? 75% Wow!! Very good!!

Q: Guruji, how do you become more disciplined?
Sri Sri: Be less feverish. If you are attached to the benefits then you become feverish. But when you have a commitment, then you automatically become more discipline.

Q: Guruji what is prarubdha?
Sri Sri: I have spoken about it in ‘Intimate note to a sincere seeker’.

Q: Guruji is it necessary to go to temples periodically? Does not worship happen when we are doing seva and meditation?
Sri Sri: Yes yes seva is a form of worship.

Q: Guruji, can you tell us about the swami who is sitting next to you?
Sri Sri: Swami yogananda ji is 99 years old. He does wonderful yoga. His teeth, his eyes, his stomach, everything is perfect. He has been with Bhagat singh, during those times.. He wants to live for more 100 years.  Ask him what he eats, and he will tell you, you should eat only once.  (laughter!!)

Q: Guruji you have given so many techniques. Are techniques important to pursue in the path?
Sri Sri: The root meaning of the word technique is ‘tantra’ these techniques are there to help one overcome obsession and other things in the mind It is not just a way of life.

Q: Guruji, we have so many profound experiences. What is its significance of experiences in our life?
Sri Sri: Don’t spent so much on your experiences so much on your experiences. Commitment is more important. There is a connection between the mind and the mood etc. Like the moon waxes and wanes you experience feelings accordingly. Pleasant feelings come and go, unpleasant feelings come and go Who cares how you feel? Love is your very existence. Love is not just an emotion. Don’t get caught up with feelings. Become strong. Your smile should be so strong you know. How many of you feel really strong? Many of you could not relate to the person who you were before? Is n’t it?

Q: What should be our goal in life? What does this hall (Referring to Vishalakshi Mantap) signify?
Sri Sri: Goal in life? Good question. Its good for you to ponder. This hall (laughter!!) Tell me something, you come from the city how do you feel after coming inside this hall? You feel energetic, yeh you feel good right? That’s the objective. That’s the significance of this hall.

Q: Guruji, we are always smiling since the time we met you. How do we spread this smile around?
Sri Sri: You have to talk to people. Bring people to knowledge.

Q: Guruji what is the difference God and Guru?
Sri Sri:God is like space, and space is everywhere. Inside you there is space, inside me there is space. God is the space ok let me put it in this way. There are electromagnetic waves. But you cannot actually see them right? But you can experience through television. Do you see what I am saying? The electromagnetic waves manifest in the form of television. You can only see the sky through the window. You cannot see the sky if there is a closed wall!! Can you? No. We are all made up of love and the guru is the embodiment of love. That’s why they say, God, atman, Guru, self are all one and the same. That means we don’t have to worry about anything. You simply become compassionate and spread love.and smile.]

Q: How to get out of entanglements?
Sri Sri: By doing pranayamas, sudarshan kriya, meditation. Because when you do these your vision expands and the smaller things drop away.

Q: Around the Guru, there are always distractions. How to overcome these?
Sri Sri: The moment you recognize that you have got distracted, then you have started coming back to the source. So when you are here for meditation and you feel like doing something else, know that you are moving away from knowledge, the Guru.and when you recognize that, you become focused again.

Love Divine

In Knowledge digest on 29/05/2008 at 10:05

Love Divine

H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Love is incomplete. And it will have to remain incomplete. If something is complete, it means that you have marked the boundaries; found its limitations. For love to be infinite, it has to be incomplete. Love is infinite and it finds expression in infinite ways. They can be categorised as eleven ways of expressing love, or eleven ways in which love finds its _expression.

1. The first one is guna mahatmyasakti, imbibing the qualities of the Divine, appreciating the qualities of the Divine. When you love somebody, what is that in him or her that you love? You’ll find some qualities. So-and-so is kind, so-and-so is caring… Qualities do not have form. Loving God in this sense means imbibing all the qualities that God represents. Normally one picks all the negative qualities in a person. Even in God, you will pick some negativity! The moment your mind is not in love, it behaves thus. When you are living Divine love, you will enhance and rejoice in Divine qualities wherever you find them.

2. The second is rupasakti. Some may not be able to appreciate the qualities, because they don’t see the qualities as qualities. And qualities cannot be seen without a form. When you’re unable to appreciate the subtle qualities, you can definitely appreciate the form that is in the form of you. And forms are everywhere! When you appreciate a flower, you appreciate the form. When you see truth in the form as a quality and glorify it, it takes you beyond the qualities. In the same way, if you love a flower, and deeply appreciate it, you will see that it dissolves into the formless. You will see the space which is hiding deep inside that flower.

3. The third is pujasakti, the interest in worshipping, honouring. Love can find its expression in the form of puja, form of honouring. And one who has done this will know the taste of it. As the state of your wholeness, your mind says, ‘‘I want nothing. I just want to be worshipping like this all my life.’’ Pujasakti is a sign of love. If you love someone, something, and whenever there is love you’ll see that you start worshipping that which you love.

4. The fourth is smaranasakti, which means remembering. That something which stays constantly on your mind. Have you noticed that when you love something, and have a desire, that desire lingers on in your mind? Sometimes, as soon as you get up, the same thing rolls on in your mind. When there is strong desire for something, that thought pours in all the time. In the same way, when you hate something, it runs through your mind all the time. This is called smarana. How wonderful it will be if the Divine just rolls in your mind like that?

5. Dasyaskati is the fifth. It means being a servant of God. It means saying, ‘‘I am just the servant of the Divine; He’s taking care of me. I do whatever I have been asked to do. My life is here not to get something out of here — I have come to this world to serve Him. Service is expecting nothing in return. Whatever service He wants from me, I’ll do it. Whomsoever He will send in front of me, I will be useful to them, I’ll help them.’’ This is dasyasakti.

6. The sixth is sakhyasakti, companion of God. A feeling of companionship with the Divine. Many may not like being a servant. Sakhyasakti is a feeling that I am the beloved of my Lord. He is my beloved. I’ll do whatever I can to please Him. It is wherein you are able to share fearlessly with the Divine. And this will have to come from you. It’s not that one is superior to the other. Gita was taught to Arjuna, and Arjuna made Krishna his friend, sakha, companion. That’s why Krishna was called Jagad-guru, the teacher of the whole universe. He was both a master and a companion.

7. The seventh is vatsalyasakti. Vastsalya means affection, being affectionate. Can we treat the Divine as a child, as a naughty person? In vatsalyasakti, devotion can take the form of the care you have for a child, or mothering the Divine. The devotee then orders God. There’s such a sweet feeling behind it. The devotee tells God, ‘‘See, if You do like that, I’ll be angry with you. If You don’t make Your presence felt today, I’m not going to talk to You tomorrow.’’ So just like a mother deals with a child, a devotee deals with God. Feeling that closeness is vatsalyasakti.

8. Kantasakti is the eighth form. It is the beloved husband-wife, relationship. Feeling that the Divine is part of you, and, ‘‘He cares for me so much that He cannot exist without me! How can He exist without me?’’

9. The ninth form is atmanivedanasakti, offering one’s very self. That is a great form of love that, ‘‘my very breath, my very existence is Yours. Every particle of my existence is offered to You. Every breath I breathe in is Yours. I am Yours.’’. That total surrender, letting go. ‘‘You do whatever You want with this life! It is Yours!’’. This flavour, of not even keeping any bit of ‘‘me, I’’ inside, is atmanivedanasakti.

10. Tanmayatasakt is the tenth form. This is seeing everything as You. That everything belongs to You. The totality of prana, the flow of prana, finding itself everywhere is tanmayatasakti. Being soaked in the Divine love is called tanmaya, tanmayatasakti. Anyway, everything is already soaked in Him! It only has to be recognised!

11. Paramavirahasakti is the eleventh form. Viraha means extreme agony and the pain of longing, of separation. This also a sign of Divine love. Love can never be complete because there is longing. It’s the longing that makes love incomplete and infinite! So the pain of longing itself is Divine love. In that painful longing, prayer dawns. Blessed are those who go through that pain.

Usually, when people love something and there is a longing for it, they try to get rid of it because it’s painful. The more you try to run away from it, you are destroying not only the longing but also the love. But if you can accept the pain of longing, that brings you the recognition of infinity.