San Jose, California — Wednesday, February 14th

Searching for love

In this (edited) excerpt from The Divine Servitor, Srila Govinda Maharaj answers the letter of a devotee who asks: "Can you please explain why devotees say there is no such thing as love in this mundane world?"

It is true that there is no word in English to correspond with the divine love mentioned in the scriptures. Love and prema are not the same.

Each jiva-soul has three kinds of qualities — willing, feeling and thinking — but in this mundane world the jiva-soul is covered by illusion (maya). The jiva-soul in his clean [uncontaminated] position always worships his beloved lover — Krishna — and that is the only duty he thinks of. The natural duty in the transcendental service-world is love.

The transcendental world is full of love. Krishna's love is infinite: when He gives His love to one, it is not diminished so that He is unable to give His love to others. Most of the jivas go to that transcendental world of love, but unfortunately a few souls come here to this world.

Everyone is always searching for love here in this mundane world, but pure love is not found in this plane of exploitation. Real love is seen in the plane of dedication: in the transcendental world.

The jiva-soul is conscious by nature. He must be active, but his activity in this mundane plane is always with the illusory plane of exploitation. Here everything exploits everything else, but in the plane of dedication there is no possibility of exploitation — only service to Krishna and His associates. Srila Rupa Goswami gives this description of love:

vyatitya bhavana-vartma / yas camatkara-bhara-bhuh
hrdi sattvojjvale badham / svadate sa raso matah

"Real love is far beyond whatever we imagine love to be. Our mundane mind cannot conceive the kind of happiness, joy, and fulfillment of life experienced there. But in suddha-sattva — in the heart free from the covering of illusion — then that ecstatic ocean [of love] can be felt."

In this mundane plane, what we think to be love is just a tiny shadow of that feeling. It is impossible to experience real love in this mundane plane without a connection to the transcendental world. Here, we have only the shadow of that loving sensation and with the identification of male and female. Sometimes we try our best together, and with each other, to get that essence, and sometimes for the non-disturbance of this mundane, we live together with some system for sympathetically dealing with nature, with our hankering for real love.

But our activity here takes us through a continuous cycle of birth and death. We take so many different types of birth in different forms of life, searching, "Where is love? Where is love?" — like a blind man searching for the light of the world of dedication.

We cannot see that world of dedication, but our Supreme Lover, Krishna, can see everything. Seeing our hankering, He sometimes distributes His merciful loving light through Sri Guru-Vaishnava in order to prepare us to receive a drop of the ecstatic ocean of love.

You are fortunate to have the association of a devotional family. It is by service to the devotees, headed by our Srila Guru Maharaj, that the real meaning of the transcendental world can be nicely understood. You can get so much guidance in Srila Guru Maharaj's books, and you can try to follow that. Everyone, in all honesty, wants real love, and Srila Guru Maharaj is preparing us for that by his instructions and his advice.

Tags: Bits of Books

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Layout by iMonk — February 14th, 2007.