EXPANSION OF THE HEART
A human being’s heart is forever expanded. It does not require expansion. The core of the human personality, which we know as heart, could be equated very well with the Spiritual Self of man, the pure entity that resides within man, and it can be called heart. One aspect of that pure entity is heart because the heart’s nature is to express, and what does it express? It expresses love.
The heart, not meaning the little physical organ but the core of the human personality, the individual soul, if you would wish to call it that, its very nature is to express love, and the heart being an indefinable quality or substance, then its expression, love, is also indefinable. Indefinable by the mind but experienceable by itself.
When the heart is filled with love, the heart experiences its true nature.
The heart does not experience its true nature because so many blockages are created by man’s actions, by man’s thoughts, which could be put into the package of samskaras. This package of samskaras, or these veils of our doings, the veils created by the seeds we have sewn, builds a wall around the heart, and it is this wall that prevents the heart from expressing itself; and the only way the heart can express itself is through love.
LOVE REQUIRES NO ANALYSIS
We have spoken about love, combining it with other questions, and we have seen that love is a quality that does not require any mental analysis. For as soon as one starts defining love, one is limiting love. The limitation occurs because we are defining with a limited instrument called the mind, and the mind, as far as we know it, or as far as we cognize it, or as far as we use it, is finite, while the quality of love is infinite.
Because of the veils created around itself, the heart’s expression cannot be the fullest expression of love. Dante has said that the greater the man, the greater his love. So, stature, spiritual stature, or man’s evolutionary status can be judged by how much he loves.
We are talking of real love, not that which is taken to be love, and what most people practice in the name of love is but a form of hypocrisy. Love knows no need. It exists by itself; it does not need support. Yet, to express itself, it has to find an object to which it could express itself, and in the expression of that love to an object, the heart expands more and more; and by “expansion”, we mean an unfoldment so that more and more love filters through.
OPENING THE DOORS OF THE HEART
That is the aim of our foundation, whereby the human being could reach the core of his personality, and by reaching the core of his personality, he starts opening the door. And in opening the door of the heart, more and more love filters through. It is like driving a car. The more you press the accelerator, the more the jets in the carburettor open and more and more petrol flows through, and the car goes faster. But if the carburettor is dirty, if the jets are not clean, no matter how much you press the accelerator, the petrol cannot flow through, and the car does not go smoothly.
To make one’s life go smoothly like the car, we have to clean the carburettor. We clean the carburettor through our spiritual practices. Spiritual practices are effortless, but there are certain effects created in its effortlessness, and the effects would sometimes be a bit abrasive. It is only by rubbing, polishing, scouring the pot or the pan that it becomes clean. The finest iron or steel is always made in the hottest heat.
In the beginning stages of our spiritual practices, we come to recognize the blockages and the dirt in the carburettor, and we start cleaning it. If this cleaning is done without understanding, we could find it very challenging. Still, if proper knowledge is had or given, with the practices, then one’s attitude in the cleaning process changes, and then we start saying that this cleaning is a must. The car can never remain stationary. It is the nature of the vehicle or the duty of the vehicle to be driven. It has to move, and without cleaning the carburettor, it is rusting away.
When we do not accept these challenges, life starts stagnating, and whenever there is stagnation, it could fester and lead a person into greater and greater misery. When these challenges are brought to us, we could become so fortunate that all our faults and frailties are pictured before us when through our spiritual practices, we look at ourselves squarely in the mirror. Then we ask, “Is this me?” And if this me is so incomplete, if this me has so many faults and frailties, what will I do about me? And once we make that real decision, earnest, sincere decision, there has to be sincerity, because on the spiritual path, there is a lot of cleansing required, and it is only with sincerity that one can persevere.
Sometimes a person is seemingly happy. By seemingly, I mean that he bluffs himself that I am happy. He is in a state of euphoria. It happens many times, and this has been proven, that if a person falls in the snow, say he breaks a leg, when the time of death approaches, he gets enveloped in such a lovely warmth that he does not want to get up. Like that, he passes away in this warmth. This false warmth.
Many people that are not prepared to face their weaknesses are living in this kind of false warmth. But if only this person that has fallen in the snow would get up and walk around a bit or crawl around a bit and get the blood circulating, he would be alive.
TO THE PERFECT, EVERYTHING IS PERFECT
To recap, the nature of the inner core of man’s personality is love, and love is forever trying to find expression. There is no single man or woman in this world who does not want to love or be loved in return because that quality of love is his or her inner nature.
You would sometimes find that a person cannot find someone to love. Why is that so? Sometimes there are certain karmic factors where one is prevented from letting one’s Heart flow. Sometimes there are factors like the dirt in the carburettor, which the man is not prepared to clean up, and sometimes the mind exaggerates one’s capacity to love.
A man might have certain qualities within himself, but the object of his love must have tenfold more qualities. The imperfect man is looking for someone to love who is perfect. That, too, is a kind of false assumption. It is false because I have no right to demand that perfection from another if I am imperfect. In this matter, man is misguided by his mind. In other words, he is not evaluating himself as he truly is, but he is projecting himself into what he is not. Therefore, the object of his love must be perfect, and that will not be found. Only if you are perfect will you find your object to be perfect too.
When you are perfect, then you overlook the imperfections in the object of your love. Because perfect love, or an expanded love, do not find faults. That is why the common saying is, “Love is blind.” There is great truth in it if it is real love.
To understand love, one has to mould one’s life, face one’s weaknesses, and do something about those weaknesses. And when we start doing something about the weaknesses, then very spontaneously, the heart’s flower starts blooming. When we do something about our shortcomings, it means that we are watering the plant, watering the flower. If we do not water the flower, the flower cannot grow. In the seed, the entire flower is contained. In the seed, all the elements of the flower are contained. The very nature of the flower is contained. It is through nurturing that seed, watering, fertilizing it, that the flower can grow.
THE MAN THAT CAN TRULY LOVE, TRULY KNOWS GOD
The same thing applies to man’s heart. It is there, and it will forever be there; it will eternally be there. To open it up, we have to rub off the mind’s dirt or the misconceptions of the mind so that the eternal quality of love within can have a free flow. When there is a free flow, it brings with it happiness.
The man that can truly love truly knows God. There are degrees of loving depending upon how much unfoldment has taken place, how much we have allowed the light of love to shine through. The more it shines through, the closer are we to the goal. Because all existence is love – everything in the universe apart from man grows because of that love. How much does the sunshine not love the flower to give of itself? How much does the air not love the plant to give of itself? How much do the minerals in the ground not love that seed to give of itself and support it? Love is always supportive. Love is such a beautiful quality, a law, an eternal law, that even before the baby is born, milk is provided in the mother’s breast. You could call it Love and Grace and God; these are labels. It is all just the same thing. If we accept one fact, that love is God and God is love, then labels are not necessary. And if love is God, then God is indefinable. We can only talk about it in inference. We can infer with the mind, but we can experience with the heart. We can experience it so much that we feel uplifted.
When a man loves a woman, really loves a woman, you look at that man, he seems to live in a different world altogether. Sometimes we make jokes about it, where the man becomes forgetful of this, that or the other, and we say, “Ah, he has met a girlfriend, he is in love.” There is a lot of truth in it. Perhaps it is not real love. It might be just a reflection of love. Even infatuation has its purpose. Infatuation, too, is a reflection; but infatuation, being a reflection, is not the genuine article. But even knowing the reflection, one can be led to a genuine article. If you smell the beautiful fragrance of a jasmine flower and love the fragrance, then some curiosity can be exciting to see what the jasmine looks like if you have not seen the flower.
THE NATURE OF LOVE IS FOREVER TO EXPAND
Remember there is no one that closes up our Hearts because the heart could never be closed within itself. The nature of the heart is forever to expand, and we, with our conceptions, our doings, our actions, our thoughts, we build this wall around it. When the heart expands and instead of being closed up the expansion that is taking place in the heart is knocking on those walls, hammering away like a prisoner, let me out, let me out, let me out. Because the nature of love is forever to expand.
If we, by our actions, can just knock out one little brick from the wall, only one little brick from the wall, and with the force of love that comes through that one little opening, that force plus your actions will make the opening bigger and bigger. When a little love starts seeping out, it will also be helping you to take out more bricks from the wall until finally the entire wall is broken down and love shines in its fullest glory, and when love shines in its fullest glory, all obstacles in life are drowned away in that light.
There could be a million candles burning, but when the sun comes out, all the light of the candles is drowned away, is merged away, in that infinity of the light of the sun. That is what love does, and we have to give it a chance. We have to give this eternal force a chance.
We know the saying that even God only helps those that helps themself. This force of love forever wants to come out if we only give it a chance, and that is very easy. Spiritual practices, right living, right thinking would break down the barriers, unfold the heart, and see how joyful life can become. Because every action of yours, every conception, every perception will be coloured with the Light of Love. And when everything we do is coloured with the Light of Love, everything else around us also seems so loving.
WE START WITH OURSELVES FIRST
If I want to love, I must make myself loveable if I want someone to love me. If I am loveable, then very automatically, people will love me. We start with ourselves first. We find this is a common thing, and of course, in my work, there is a lot of counselling to do where the woman says, “My husband does not love me.” Or the husband says, “My wife does not love me.” The blame is always on the opposite party. But we never examine ourselves that if my husband has married me, there must have been some attraction for him to marry me or the other way around, that my wife has married me. Initially, there must have been some attraction for him to marry me. It is a free world. He could have chosen someone else. We were drawn together by circumstances. There might be some karmic value why we are drawn together.
One person might live in Australia, another in America, and somehow or other; the circumstances just come about where all the pieces in the jigsaw puzzle get together to form the picture. And then the problem starts. Then the man says, “My wife does not love me.” Then the wife says, “My husband does not love me.” But the emphasis is always on the opposite party. When something goes wrong in my life, I blame my wife. If I cannot blame my wife because she starts with the rolling pin, I blame my children. If I cannot blame my children, I blame my boss. If I cannot blame my boss, I blame my friends. And at last, after I have blamed everyone and I cannot blame anyone anymore, then I blame God. That is the human mind, the cunning animal that I have always been speaking about.
WITHIN ANY PROBLEM THE SOLUTION IS BUILD IN
And I tell you one thing that whatever difficulties there are in the lives of two people, husband and wife, these difficulties can be overcome. There is no such thing as not being able to overcome any difficulty if husband and wife are willing to overcome these difficulties; if husband and wife are willing to develop an understanding; if they are willing to accept each other as they are; if they are willing to surrender to each other, then every difficulty is overcome. Because within every problem, the solution is inherent – there can never be a problem without a solution. The solution to the problem is built in.
Here in the Western countries, we find that there are first courtship and love and then marriage. In Eastern countries, you will find that parents arrange marriages. The only opportunity the boy and girl has is to meet each other, talk to each other, see each other, feel some sort of mutual attraction, and get married. In the Western countries, although all the love and experimentation that takes place before marriage, even cohabiting and things like that which is entirely against all religions, primarily referring to trial marriages, is against all ethics and morality. Yet, despite all that, despite all the experiments and all the trials and everything, there is one divorce in every three. I believe there is one divorce in every two and a half now.
While in the East, and I am referring mainly to India because I have experience of India, there is one divorce in 10,000.
In India, divorce has always been allowed except in one particular small caste, which is not even one-thousandth percent of the Indian population. It is a specific religious sect. Why are those marriages workable? And the marriages in some of the Western countries not workable, although they have gone through all kinds of trials and experimentation. What happens with those people in the East is, that at first, there is a mutual attraction. That mutual attraction is worked upon after marriage. It is worked upon where there are total surrender and acceptance. Total surrender and acceptance of each other. The wife regards her husband to be a god; they are brought up that way, perceiving that Divinity resides within everyone. She perceives her husband as a god, and he, in turn, regards her as a goddess.
In every home, there would be squabbles, but those squabbles are never taken into the bedroom. So, there are some things we can learn from the East, as well as the Easterners have a lot to learn from the West. There is no East and no West. These are man-made boundaries! This is America, that is Germany, that is South Africa, that is England. These are man-made boundaries. It is one world, and humanity is the same everywhere. Humanity essentially, potentially, is the same everywhere. Perhaps circumstances or ways of upbringing might influence people in different ways. But to come back to the fact that it is because of acceptance and the surrender to each other, these marriages become lasting. There is great harmony, which is why there is only one divorce, perhaps, in 10,000.
THE HEART IS FOREVER EXPANDED
To come back to the expansion of the heart. I will repeat this repeatedly; the heart is forever expanded, the core of the human personality has that ineffable luminosity forever shining. It is us because of our actions, thoughts, preconceived ideas, non-surrender and non-acceptance, and other things that build a wall around it. Therefore, I tell meditators throughout the world, be regular in their practices. Your practices are specially designed for you for a particular purpose. If the wall is very thick, you use a bigger hammer. If the wall is very thin, you use a smaller hammer. The practices that are given to you are very carefully weighed and evaluated to bring about the maximum result in breaking down this wall.
So, regularity, regularity. We could even make a song of it. If we have some composer, he could even make a song: Regularity. There is a lot of “ities.” Regularity, sincerity, and oneness of purpose. There is a lovely little story from one of the books of Ramakrishna. A bird was sitting on the mast of a boat. This bird wanted to reach the shore, so it flew to the south and got tired of flying, could not find the shore, so it came back and perched on the mast. It flew to the north and got tired of flying and came back. It flew to the west, and the east and the same thing happened because the shore was far away. Then it decided that look, this ship must reach the shore, so instead of me flying around and wasting energy, let me stick to the mast, and surely the ship reached shore, and the bird was at shore.
What it means is one-pointedness, stick to the boat. Be regular, and you will surely reach there. You must reach there. It is our nature to reach Divinity because Divinity is within us, and the full power of love can only be experienced when we dive deep within ourselves and get bathed with the Light of Love and God, which is the same thing.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang US 1977 – 08