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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: The Way of Grace

Love

Love is not an emotion; it is your very existence.

All the spiritual practices we do are just to recognize this love, not to gain the love. The love is there already.

You are love.

The raw material making you is love. Love is not a feeling, a mood or a habit that you have to develop or cultivate over time. Love is your very nature.

Feelings come and go. We can be in love and feel good or bad. When we forget our center we start attaching ourselves to feelings. We are not the feeling itself; we are the one who experiences different feelings. When deep stresses and strains are removed, we begin to understand our true nature. The heart opens. Then we realize what we truly are: love.

The glimpse of divine love brings inner ecstasy. Love comes to be experienced in a much broader and deeper context. Judgments and expectations of ourselves and others fall off. Life takes on a new flavor of joy and happiness. One becomes free of the dependency on other persons, places or things for personal fulfillment. We soon discover that this divine love is the very source, the very core of all other types of love. Every cell of our being reverberates with this essence of love.

Once you've tasted it, you know this love inside you can never die. It may appear to have gone, but it cannot. It only gets covered. There is not a single person on this planet whose heart is empty. Every heart at its depth is full with love.

In a deeply moving series of talks, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar expounds on The Path of Love* from the sublime and timeless wisdom of the Bhakti Sutras [aphorisms of love], a treatise by the ancient sage Narada.

Love is the true path.

*Now being made available in audiocassette and book formats, with some talks available on video.

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Pain is part of love. This is what Christ symbolizes on the cross. The cross is pain and Christ is love. With understanding, the pain of love gets transformed into another dimension. It becomes longing.

If you really love something, you will long for it. Can there ever be a love without longing? Longing is the other face of love.

When you are aware of this phenomenon, you accept longing as part of love. Then your love grows. It becomes divine love.

Usually when we long for something, we don't allow the longing to be there fully. We don't experience it totally and go through it. We want to put a quick end to it. We want instead to possess.

But in the act of possessing, you destroy love. When you demand love, you bruise it. Trying to possess love is like holding a flower by its petals. You crush the blossom.

Hold the flower where it has to be held. Know that pain and hurt are part of love. You can be hurt only by one you love. Be with it. Experience it. Go through it. Then your love becomes mature.

Longing is the most beautiful thing. Longing increases the love in you. When there is longing, there is prayer. Longing is the basis of prayer. In that longing the ego melts. When there is longing, then the voice of God will be heard.

What a Master does is kindle your longing for the Divine. When this longing is kindled,
love dawns in you.

In the presence of the Master your heart definitely opens, either today or tomorrow. It's infallible, you cannot miss it.

-- From The Path of Love, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Commentary on the Bhakti Sutras of Narada

When the bud breaks, it becomes a flower. When the heart breaks, the love becomes divine.

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