Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Thoughts from Gita Class, September 4, 2012

Phipps Conservatory
God is love. Love is everywhere. It is the basis of the universe. God is not affected by anything--but love. It responds in kind. It's like a big, silent, featureless artifact, that does not react to anything. But when somebody loves or manifests love, God glows and emanates back.

How much of us love during worship? We ask. We desire a sign. Peace. A feeling of bliss. We want to see, hear or experience God. Awe, respect, fear. But how often do we feel or practice love? Don't love as a subject loves an object. Just fill yourself with love. Tap into the power of love. Stand under the waterfall of love. Feel love build up inside. Transform yourself into love. Let your essence be replaced with love. Be love. Love without subject and object. Love not as a verb but as a noun. Ultimate knowldge, existence and bliss must equal love. Love is the screen on which maya is projected. But it is also the energy that casts the maya on the surface. When we love, we are aligning ourselves with the quantum spin of God. Our iron  filings line up with the magnetic field of God. The north pole of the magnet loves the south pole, and vice versa.

From Swami Satyananda Saraswati lecture: Worship is just the method with which we pay 100% attention to God. Our attention is fully paid on God and on nothing else. That is the purpose of the rituals, mantras, objects, kirtans, bhajans, and the preparation of all of these. Any dharmic action done with God in mind, will make one think of God throughout the action. The action or the sacrifice is not the offering. It is our attention that is the offering. I am giving up thought of everything else.

I don't worry about getting something out of every verse in the Gita. Studying the Gita may help attain realization with God, but not necessary. There are better ways. And I don't get as much out of the metaphysical verses as I do the verses that are filled with beauty and love. Beauty and love draws me closer to God, not understanding, logic, science, and philosophy. Some of the verses in the Gita count the trees in the mango orchard. The other verses exclaim how delicious the mangoes are.

We should love God not because he cares for us, or protects us, or provides us, or saved us, or created us, or rules us, or owns us, or makes us feel good, happy, peaceful, content, or loved. We should love God just because we do. And saying we love God unconditionally is still a type of condition. Parents don't love their children uncondtionally. They just love their children. Their love is not an action, with a beginning and end, with a subject and object. It is a state. A parent's love of their children is a characteristic, part of their essence. A parent's love for their child pervades them, like a fever. Hanuman didn't love Rama as an external object. Rama was written upon his heart.

Must be three steps. Think about God. Love God. Be one with God.

There are lots of places that emit a holy feel. Obviously, places of worship. But I get the same feeling in a museum, be it natural history or an art museum. I also get the same feeling in an aviary or an exhibitional greenhouse such as the Phipps Conservatory. And, or course, within nature. There are many people that have no interest in going to church, but will go to these other places. And they are getting the same thing in those places as most people get in these holy places. Holy, mostly just means separate. Anything separate and filled with beauty, truth and love, will, for some people, "feel sacred." It is a place of Darshan, of observation and reflection. It is putting aside everything and focusing attention on that one thing.