Freedom is essential for love to blossom

Published: 25th November 2013 12:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2013 12:38 PM   |  A+A-

Om Namoh Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Om Namoh Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Om Namoh Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Love can only blossom in freedom. When freedom is restricted, love suffocates. You need to be free. Often love stifles.When you are in love or when you love somebody, you feel stifled because you are obliged. When there are so many obligations that you need to fulfil, then these obligations become like a load on your head and you get the added responsibility not to hurt the people you love and who love you. In a subtle sense, this takes the freedom away and slowly demands start arising in you. The moment demand arises in you, know that love is on its death-bed. Love is in an oxygen chamber and it doesn’t live very long.

Demand destroys love. Freedom is essential.

So whether in the world, in religious or in spiritual matters, follow love rather than the rules. This was the sutra that we heard.

A lover is beyond all rules. There is no rule on how to express your love. All expressions are a spontaneous outburst of love and love finds its own expressions - you cannot streamline it. Your eyes cannot hide the love, your gestures cannot hide the love, your steps cannot hide the love. Love flows in all your expressions, in your behaviour, in your walk, in your talk, in your whole life.

One thing you can never fully hide is love. You can hide anger to a great extent, you can eat anger inside you, you can put a big smile on your face. People may not notice your anger, your vengeance - but you cannot hide love. It comes flooding from your eyes, your smile and your gestures. There are no rules on how to express love, because when you are in love, you cannot make a mistake. A lover is beyond all rules, beyond all scriptures, beyond all theories and philosophies.

Yet, Narada says in the next Sutra :  Bhavatu nishchaya dadhrya durdhvam shastra rakshanam

Yes, certainly a devotee is beyond all rules, because for a devotee the Divine is the only goal, the only concern. A devotee has nothing of his or her own. Yet you need to follow the scriptures in order to preserve and protect the scriptures and in order to honour the tradition. The tradition needs to be maintained and devotees have always followed. Although it doesn’t mean anything to them, it doesn’t matter to them, yet one honours the tradition, the injunctions; one  honours certain rules.

Anyatha patitya ashankaya : Otherwise there is a possibility of falling out of it. If you don´t follow certain codes of conduct, there is a possibility that you will fall out of that love. Anyatha patitya ashankaya - there is the possibility to fall off the knowledge, off the path of love. So just follow and stick to these rules. This is very, very beautiful. No doubt you need freedom to blossom in love, but in turn love brings freedom in all situations, all circumstances. Nothing will be stifling, nothing will be bonding to you, nothing will restrict you, your freedom, in the true sense of love. Are you getting what I am saying?

When you are in love, nothing is a burden to you. When nothing is a burden, how can  anything take away the freedom from you? You lose freedom when something is a burden to you. So love in turn brings that freedom. When a rule is imposed on you by someone else, then it is restricting to you. But when you have taken a rule on yourself, on your own, it is not any restriction, it is not suffocating to you. Like when you take on the rule of driving on the right side of the road, then that is it.

Discipline (rules) bring more freedom to us although, on the surface, it appears to restrict freedom. But if you go a little deeper, you will see that your own rules, your own disciplines bring you freedom. Though you are beyond all discipline, yet it is good to have your own discipline. Though it doesn’t matter to you what you do, when you rise, what you eat etc., it is better to have a certain discipline because that gives you such freedom.

-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation

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