Love – such a cliché really. But not to the heart.
For when it sees love, it recognises it for the treasure that it is worth, not subjecting it to the scrutiny and comparison of an emotion that is as old as humanity.
Real love seeks out a mentor, a master, a teacher – relentlessly seeking a place of rest .
What of the time when it ventures out, only to meet a barren wasteland, an emptiness that is filled with the vacuum of burnt out desire, disappointed sighs and forgotten dreams?
The above is a piece I wrote long ago in angst, when deeply considering exactly what love meant to me.
It was many years after that when I first felt I understood the meaning of love, by experiencing it for myself.
And I don’t mean in a romantic sense.
Perhaps you have also had that experience when, suddenly something you may have referred to all your life takes on a new vibrancy and meaning because you experienced it differently?
These kind of realisations are priceless because they signify a point of connection with the soul, and are often a state of profound blissful experience which usually translates into positive personal growth.
For me those despairing questions from the above piece of writing were given heartfelt answers, when I found something that blew my mind and shattered my old world (in a good way!).
It was the ancient philosophy and practice of Bhakti Yoga.
In those sacred texts I found answers to my deepest questions framed in such a way that ultimately opened my previously shut down heart to a love that I never knew existed.
The experience was transformational to say the least. The proverbial butterfly finally flew free.
I wanted to know what love was because although it was something that was celebrated far and wide, I was yet to understand its glories.
You may understand at some level what I mean simply because most of us have had some disappointments in love along the way - spanning from the time of infancy all the way to the final stages of life.
Up until that time, I almost felt cheated - like love was some kind of a conspiratorial lie or that it was something that was available to everyone else but me.
Yes, I was having a hard time for a while there.
No-one and nothing seemed to be able to explain life and love to me. No one, anywhere had the answers I sought.
Hence the despair.
But then by some stroke of untold good fortune, I found treasure.
It was buried deep in my heart and Bhakti Yoga gave me the key.
My gratitude knew no bounds.
Mentor, Master, Teacher
Through the loving guidance of pure hearted genuine well wishers (the masters and teachers that I somehow knew about in my poem) I was able to rise above my experience and actually live the love that was being carefully taught to me.
When you show someone their true self - that is an expression of love.
We don’t even know who we really are in our troubled times, so when someone shows you that you are a brilliant, radiant unique masterpiece of love, eternal, full of spiritual knowledge and totally blissful, complete in yourself, you can’t help but rejoice!
The practice of Bhakti Yoga through the detailed philosophy, culture, lifestyle principles, and Sacred Mantra Meditation, divine love is no longer just a theoretical nicety, but becomes the dynamic and vibrant reality of who you really are.
Even if your experience of life has been a mostly joyful one (you would be one of the rare few in these trying times), there is so much to gain from understanding the true nature of love.
Because what we usually understand as love is not necessarily what it really is.
In my exploration of Bhakti Yoga, I discovered that the relationships we cultivate in these bodies are usually tinged with some kind of self interest, which sadly often results in heartache to varying degrees.
The love we find there is generally not the answer to filling the void in our hearts, a void which, according to the ancient philosophy of Bhakti Yoga we all have as humans by definition, until we find a way to permanently plug it.
Filling the Void
The only time such relationships - with family, friends, lovers, community and anyone or anything, - can be fulfilling at a deep soul level is when they are centred around the highest form of love in existence.
That is the love between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul, Krishna or God, or any of His infinite other names.
This is the ultimate and eternal solution to all of life’s challenges and is the deeply satisfying plug for that vast void in our hearts. It is the only solution in this world that does not create more problems!
We all have access to this love because it is part of us.
Due to lifetimes of conditioning however, we are in a state of deep forgetfulness of our true spiritual nature.
When accessed, this love is the remedy to any other kind of dysfunctional love we may encounter in our lives.
It literally changes you - for the better, and when you change, everything changes.
Bhakti Yoga philosophy is a living tool, penned by sages long ago to help us on our challenging human journeys.
You, like everyone else have your own custom made challenges to a greater or lesser degrees. No-one can escape this reality.
The ancient sages knew of these challenges and out of compassion wanted to help us discover the truth of who we are and the love that is our birthright.
Unfortunately, by its very nature, modern society hides that truth from us.
But when you are ready to uncover it, nothing can stop you.
You may have some questions about Bhakti Yoga such as:
What is it? How does it work? Why bother? When is it relevant?
Please see my Blog on What is Bhakti Yoga? It takes you through the essence of the culture, practice and lifestyle of this ancient yet relevant spiritual goldmine.
Bhakti Yoga transforms. When you are constantly uplifting your consciousness by tuning in to the frequency of your soul, your heart changes. Bhakti Yoga is a complete resource that by definition is the natural inclination and state of the soul.
You begin to discover your profound beauty that may have been hidden from you for so long.
You start to drop bad habits and start cultivating loving ways to interact with yourself and the world.
It is a true science - the science of self realisation.
Like with all science, evidence is required. Much evidence is found in your own experience and who you become, but the ancient sacred texts themselves also offer their own evidence.
If you want to be happy and truly would like to believe there is a happily ever after, then that is a very good reason.
If you believe or would like to believe that you are more than just the body you live in, that is another good reason.
The ultimate reason why is because it is your natural inheritance. Anything else just does not do your life and soul justice. Anything else is simply short change.
The time is now.
Actually anytime is a good time.
However, the sooner the better, as you get more time to reap the benefits!
Without Bhakti Yoga, time causes the material coverings of your soul to become increasingly impenetrable and thus over time you may become more distant from your loving essence.
However even if there is a delay, if there is a deep desire to open your heart, there is no loss. You can start anywhere, anytime, at any stage of life, yes, even at 99!
There is another definition of love that defies our common experience of love in this world. When that alternate definition of love becomes your actual experience, nothing can stop you from uninterrupted, never-ending happiness anymore.
You don’t have to wait another minute. Love has come to claim you for His own.
Feel free to check out my other blogs for more information.
You can find out a lot more concise information by checking out my videos containing secrets of the ancient, timeless knowledge of Bhakti Yoga - literally at your fingertips.
The Bookshelf is also a good place to start the Bhakti Yoga magic.
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A fabulous way to connect to similar minds and hearts is to find an international Bhakti Yoga Centre near you (Branches of ISKCON - The International Society of Krishna Consciousness), where you can speak to an experienced yoga practitioner and receive personal guidance.
If you would like to explore how you can incorporate Bhakti Yoga into your life in a balanced and harmonious way, and feel you would benefit from one on one support, you are welcome to book a Discovery Session with me, Rasika Manjari to see if we can work together to help you achieve your spiritual goals.
See you at the New World.