Q: What is love and how does it relate with Bhakti yoga?
Krishnan Kartha: Love is the base of everything. Before Upanishads and Indian shastras, we were not discussing anything about love it seems. No Upanishad, no Veda has been discussing about love because love was so much there. When you walk on the road there is no sign mentioning you should use chappals or you should wear footwear. Is there such a sign in any Road? have you seen that? because using footwear is so common. In India thought was filled with love. So love was not at all mentioned in any of our scriptures, in any of our Veda Upanishads I don't mean scriptures. They are later versions. So when Christ came... he was the first person to me... according to my understanding.. My belief. He was the first person to say that God is love. Why God is love? How he mentioned such a truth? What was the truth behind that? If God is love, there cannot be masculinity or femininity for that. No fatherhood or motherhood. Am I right? It must be a united thing. Why?
See Nature... You look at the cosmos. The very basic aspect of our materialistic understanding... At its core, we have number of solar systems, constellations and galaxies. What do they do? They circle a particular centre... round and round and round. They are mutually attracted. And that attraction is same with all other objects. If Sun is having an attraction towards Earth, the same attraction is there for Mars, Venus and all other planets. Am I right? Is there any difference? If a difference happens what will be the case? There will be total collision. So there is a balanced attraction. So all planets, constellations and galaxies are travelling around the center. Specific movements through specific orbits. Controlled orbits. Disciplined manner. And this attraction is called love. This is what love is and this love is the reason and sustenance force for life... Universe.. whatever you call it. And love is God.
And this when you become focused or concentrated in something some person or something or some object or some aspect, it is done. You are putting all your energy into that and you are spoiling yourself and the other. That is the danger in love.
Love is expansion. Never contraction.
When you contract love in somebody, some aspect, some truth, some person, that is fatal. When you go through ideologies, you cannot stick onto an ideology because all ideologies are good. When you go to belief systems, all belief systems are good. You cannot stick on because you are putting more energy in doing that. And when you put more energy into that you are losing your provision for other things to be learned from life. When I read this brochure which is brought today... When I read this... When I go through this, i cannot read this, I cannot read what is in the newspaper or what is written on the banner because I am concentrating on this or I am contracting on this.
Love should not be contracting. When you love someone, the expansion of love is lost. Then all miseries will follow because you are going against the nature or going against the law of the universe which is bound by mutual attraction and love. So possessiveness... The moment you are possessive towards something, you are losing the love. That's what love is.
Q: How can I see God in idols? People are following Bhakti Yoga, they love idols of God
Krishnan Kartha: There cannot be a life without Bhakti because devotion is quite natural. When you speak about Yoga, you are having a devotion towards Yoga, towards the aspect of Yoga. Because many people are coming from foreign countries to India and why have you come here? Because you have apathy towards something. Some aspect of life.
Compartmentalisation of Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga... See this is a Sai Ashram. What does Sai mean? Service, Adoration and Illumination. S A and I. Service is Karma Yoga, Adoration is Bhakthi Yoga and Illumination is Jnana Yoga. Now the three aspects are there to this Sai Ashram. Service is there. We love people we make our own possibilities to spend for people around.
Then we have devotional programmes. Devotion is also there and above everything the Jnana, wisdom, is most important here. Illumination part is there. So as we have referred - Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga. These are all stages. A person starts with Karma Yoga. In previous lives, you might have gone through Karma Yoga... Doing simply. Then concentrating on your acts. Fulfilling your acts. Beautifying your acts. Then slowly you emerge into devotion where you are devoted into your work first. The first result of Karma Yoga is devotion to your own work. You start to love your work and do the work. There the Love puts action into devotion. Loving your work means you are doing it with sacrifice. Heart full of activies. So again you are converting service into devotion. And by doing that you are understanding that, you are becoming aware that, this act is not specific but this represents the entire acts in the universe.
Whatever you do, you can do with love. So that growth will be, first you are doing the activity without much love for that. Gradually you will start to love the work and you will do what you like. So first, you don't like anything but you do. Second, you start to like the work. Third, you love to do that work. And fourth, you will love whatever you do. You will love whatever you do. First, without liking without loving; second without loving and third, you are loving that work and fourth you are liking whatever you do.
So you are becoming more and more broadminded. Here, devotion takes place.
What is devotion? If he is my Guru, I am devoted to him. He will dictate and I will follow whatever he says, right? If he is my Guru, he will dictate and I will follow. Just like that I will like whatever (is) given to me. Whatever things I am put to, I like them. That is devotion. And this practice when you go through such life, you become enlightened. Illuminated. That is wisdom. Jnana.
Jnana is a state whereby we have discussed just now, there will be no complexities, no controversies, no contradictions, no complexes. You are at equilibrium.
And to come back to the question now. The question was?
Q: How to relate Love with Bhakthi Yoga?
Krishnan Kartha: Bhakthi Yoga is nothing but love only. Love for God. If you put God in that position, Love for God is Bhakthi. But whenever you are devoted to something else, you are having love for that also. As I just now told, if it is Yoga, you are loving Yoga. If you are loving a Yogi, it is a Bhakthi for Yogi. Like that, you know, you are putting Love everywhere. So first of all understand that you are not coming to this existence without Love. You have been here because of Love. Because of mutual attraction between two persons. Because of mutual attraction between two diversity poles. One is male and the other is female. One is Chith and other is Aananda. And Chith and Aananda confluence together and you are the product. You are the Truth. Chith is masculine and Aananda is feminine. Yin and Yang, according to the Chinese. Priya and Bhathi, according to Vedanta. Shiva and Shakthi, according to Puranas. These are all the two aspects to which the universe has emerged first. So understand that polarity there. And that makes you Love everyone, love everything around you, because the moment you understand this, it is easy for you to love anybody.
One person is attracted to another person, for example. Why? There is something in him or her which attracts this person. A part of void or a gap is being filled by the other person. First of all, you understand that you are not with gaps. We are wholesome. When you become wholesome, if you want to like him...like her, she may not attract me but I will put something in her from my wholesome prospects, you know. I can put myself into her and like her. So yogis do that only. They like everyone. They treat everyone alike. Am I right? Why? There may be some limitations for them. They may be some reductions for them. There may be some impossibilities for them. But whenever they come across such people, they put their provisions into them and start to love them. You are without a weapon and I am a fighter. I am an established fighter. What will I do? I must serve you with a weapon so that I am at par with you, you know. Am I right? Otherwise what is the justice there. So if I want to prove my worth, I should give you a weapon and show others that we are equal. So yogi does like that.
Yogi gives the love or whatever things you lack and make you fulfilled and love you. So that's what you feel when you go near a master. You feel happy. You feel satisfied. Why? You are getting things fulfilled. There were some hidden corners where you were not full and you are getting those things from the master to you. So you are feeling blessed. You are feeling grateful. This is a natural process. In fact, he did not give you something. It naturally flows from him to you. And you are receiving. He need not purposefully...See...He is coming and he is the master. He is purposefully...No. The moment he comes there, if he has the receptivity. Receptivity is a female quality. Receptive. Being receptive. If he has the receptivity, it will follow. All the energy will flow to him and he will be enriched and feel blessed. It is natural.
No one can retain his blessings. I won't give my grace to him. Cannot do that.
Because he doesn't have any grace of himself. Grace is common. Blessing is common. Power is common. Nobody can possess it. Only thing is that you can use it. You are all given the keys and you should know how to open the lock. It must be a combination lock sometimes. A number lock. So use the combination lock and get it opened. That's all.