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Love Means Giving
Question and Answer session in Muscat, Oman On 20th November, 2005.
Master: You see, my Guruji Babuji Maharaj used to say that love is something we all speak about all the time, or most of the time, but about which we know nothing. He said what we know as love among human beings is friendship, dependence, need and, at the most, affection. And affection is what we have between all of us—I mean whether it is brother and brother, sister and sister, husband and wife. And to call it love, and to expect what you cannot expect from affection is the most, shall we say, shattering experience in life, because we expect so much without knowing what to expect. We have only affection; we have only need-based relationships, especially between husband and wife. Everybody knows this; it is nothing new. And when we read about love, especially through poetry, and see it in the movies, we think we are missing something. You can ask any couple in the world whether they are happy. I have often asked, but nobody has been able to answer, “Yes, we are.” Unless they are very old, and have lived together fifty years, and all their desires, their needs have fallen off, and then “nothing but he and I remain,” like that you see.
So really for love to develop, a relationship has to exist for a long time. In the beginning when you marry, you have your honeymoon and all this business—courting before marriage, honeymoon after marriage. But then the whole thing seems to falls flat afterwards. And each one is thinking secretly in her heart, especially the women, “Is this all?” It can be something more if your expectations were realistic and you understood that this is a world depending on friendship, mutual dependence, satisfaction and happiness gained from that sort of relationship, rather than expecting something divine, you see. And therefore Babuji Maharaj said, “Love is possible only for God. No human being can love another human being with that love,” which is a definite statement, you see. There is no discussion, there is no argument.
We love God because God loves us. In human relationships we are always expecting to be loved, rather than to love. We want to be loved first, especially in Western culture you see, “Love me. Love me. Do you love me?” And on the telephone, “I love you, darling!” And he says, “I love you, too.” Especially in the U.S., this is a standard response. “I love you.” “I love you, too.” “I love you.” “I love you, too.” Going to the office you must kiss each other. Coming back in the evening you must kiss each other. And you cling together, which is a sign of insecurity. The more the insecurity grows, the less there is of even affection. Why should there be insecurity? In India we don’t have insecurity. Insecurity only comes when someone foolishly consults an astrologer and he says, “Maybe there can be an accident twelve years later.” And from today itself they start counting the days!
You know that story of Markandeya—an old couple, rishi and his wife, had no children. So they prayed to Shiva. After many years of prayer, Shiva appeared, and they said, “We have no son.” Shiva said, “All right, I will grant you a son. But you can have either a wonderful, most excellent in everything son who will live sixteen years, or you can have an ordinary son who may live a hundred and twenty years. They said, “We want the excellent son.” So the excellent son was born. He was named Markandeya. And, of course, one year passed, two years passed, and then they started thinking, “Ayyo! There are only thirteen years,” “Only twelve years,” “Only eleven years,” “Only ten years,” you know. All their happiness was spoiled. Until the day came when he was to be taken away because his sixteenth year was coming. Markandeya started meditation, and when the appointed time came, Yama himself came to take him away. Markandeya ran to the Shiva linga [symbol that represents worship of Lord Shiva] in their home and embraced it. Yama threw his noose, and it fell not only on Markandeya but also on the lingam. And when Yama pulled it, Shiva appeared. “What are you doing?” “My Lord, I am your tax collector. Nothing more. Today is the time at which I have to collect this soul. I am only doing my duty.” So Lord Shiva said, “He shall be ever sixteen.” And they were happy.
So when you have love for God (instead of desire for God, and worshipping and doing tapasya [askesis], and saying, “Give me Indrastra,” or Arunastra or Brahmastra) now He says, “You are my child. I will look after you.” That is the highest blessing. So my Master said you should never ask anything from God, because, first thing, we don’t know what to ask. And we don’t know whether the thing we ask for will be good for us, and how long it will last. You see? So leave it to Him; that is called ‘surrender’.
So through love surrender comes. As far as the human level is concerned, if you are not committed in your love, it is not love. It is selfish. Women love their children, but men—they are ambitious. “My son must become a multi-millionaire in Doha, or Dubai, or here—because I am a businessman.” Another man says, “I am a good doctor. My son must take my practice.” Third is a vakil [lawyer]. He says, “My son must take my practice.” This son wants to be a cinema actor. That son wants to be a painter. The other one wants to be a musician. We don’t allow them the freedom. Why? Because we are selfish. You understand?
When two people love each other, they must be committed; not waiting to divorce because the husband snores or the wife snores, you know. In Western culture it is very common. They are married today; they are divorced tomorrow. You must have heard last year about the cinema star or somebody who married her boyhood friend and they were married for five hours. Divorced after five hours! You see, there is no commitment. Suppose the husband is sick, and the wife says, “No, no, I didn’t bargain for this. I’m going,” what sort of marriage is it? What sort of love is it? No? Or suppose the husband says, “My wife is always having a headache, no good food, useless in every other way. I’m going to marry another girl.” Isn’t it? Many things happen like that. So, love means commitment. Love means concern for the other. Love means giving. If you are not giving, it is not love.
So that is all that I have to say about love. And even in teaching, if you don’t teach with love, the children don’t learn. You see? It is not the teacher; everybody knows. We are able to feed dogs with love, cats with love. We sit near them, “Puppy, puppy, please…” But with our child we say, “Theek hai [All right], go away if you don’t want. Kutta ko de doonga doodh. [I will give the milk to the dog.]” We threaten, we quarrel, we fight. It’s not good. Calmness, as I was telling those people in that other room—love means calmness. Love and agitation cannot go together. Love and fear cannot go together. “I love my husband but…”—it doesn’t exist. The moment you say ‘but’, there is no love. So that is all that I have to say about love.
What was the next question?
Master: When you care for somebody, it brings responsibility with it, no? You see, husband and wife have a baby. The husband is sleeping, the wife is also sleeping, but the child lets out a squawk and the mother immediately awakes. She doesn’t care about her sleep. She goes to the cradle, takes the baby, feeds it, sings to it until it is sleeping again, whereas the husband takes the pillow, puts it on his face, and goes to sleep again. And the next time it lets out a squawk, he says, “For heaven’s sake, what is this nonsense? I have to work tomorrow morning. Why don’t you take that brat away somewhere?” That is the language. So, the husband doesn’t care. He wants his sleep. He wants his work. He wants his money. [Inaudible]
So, fathers don’t take the responsibility the way mothers take. Mothers take personal, physical, mental, moral responsibility. Husbands most often only take financial responsibility. “No, no, Tara wants to go to school.” “It’s going to cost forty rupees a month. Why does she want to go to school?” “You know, in our family, we have always…” “All right, take this money. Don’t ask for more.” Finished! Then he will brag to his colleagues, “I have put my child in a very good school, paying forty rupees a month. I don’t know what he is going to do but he is my son.” This is all the responsibility men take. If the woman says, “I’m not happy,” he will say, “I bought you a nice sari last December. You had one for your birthday in January. Did I not give you?” “Yes, but all husbands give their wives saris.” So husbands don’t take responsibility in that way. If the wife is sick, he will grumble. “Who’s going to give me my coffee?” Poor thing, she will go with her headache and make a cup of coffee. “Oh, you are already well?” [Inaudible] That is irresponsibility. So where there is irresponsibility, it is not love. It is only cheating, exploiting, bribing. For most husbands, every gift to a wife is a bribe. And unfortunately, wives accept it. The moment you accept a bribe instead of a present, you are a slave. You understand? Never accept a bribe. You must say, “No, I don’t want it. You are only trying to bribe me.”—Big fight! I’m not telling you anything new. I’m only telling you now what you will not speak to others. Isn’t it?
Question: Many human beings’ minds are full of negative thoughts. [Inaudible]. How do we keep positive thoughts in our mind?
Master: If you do meditation properly, unwanted things are going. What is the first thing when you do cleaning? Are you doing cleaning? [Inaudible] All right. In cleaning you are supposed to remove all the day's grossness—good, bad, indifferent—everything. Like suppose you have had chandan [sandalwood paste] on your body, and with six hours work, you have been perspiring. You cannot bathe and say, “Let the chandan remain here, only the perspiration should go.” Is it possible? Everything goes. There is no good, there is no bad. To be clean, everything must go. Similarly, here when you sit for cleaning, everything must go. “No, no. This experience I had—it is wonderful. Please let it remain. Take away the dream I had of a snake, but not that dream of Urvashi dancing.” [Laughter] Not allowed. If you do this, there is nothing in your heart to become heavy, you see. And then you would get into the state of not having negative thoughts—only positive thoughts. There is no possibility of hiding thoughts and removing them—ignore. You understand? Once it goes your mind becomes purer and purer; you know what to do automatically, and you don’t have to read rules. Isn’t it? And because of that, you don’t obey any more but obedience is in you. Otherwise like our Indian obedience, you see sixty miles limit. You look around, and if there is no policeman you press the accelerator. No entry—no policeman?—go in; that is not good. In all these countries you don’t see that sort of thing happening, isn’t it? And our people bring a bad name to poor India by behaving badly here also. I am ashamed, sometimes, because here also they cheat, they lie, they sell goods which are inferior. Why do we do it here?
Master: What survival? You don’t need all this money to survive. [Abhyasi: Inaudible] God gives to each individual what he needs for survival. He gives to the rishi fruit and other things in the jungle for survival. He does not cook his rice and makes parathas and aloo [potatoes]. How does he survive? He does not complain about survival. Beggars survive. They get enough to survive. They are happy. They don't complain to the Lord: “Oh, they are eating parathas, aloo, chaat, ice cream. Lord, why don’t I have?” Why don’t they? Dogs survive every day on the same thing. Cow survives eating grass all its life. Does it ask for variety? “Today I want mango chutney, tomorrow I want pudina [mint] chutney.” Does it ask? Why only man asks? And he gets sick. “I want pizza today.” “All right.” Fifteen-inch pizzas ordered—six. [Inaudible] What is left over you are going to put in the fridge because it is very expensive. Next day when you heat it and eat it, it is poison. First day it is poison, next day it is very good poison! You understand? Desire.
So, survival is possible when all desires are removed. And Babuji said, “I want food.” But I want butter and cheese! You know, in his house, food was very simple: sookhi [dry] roti, dal and one subji [vegetable dish]. And subji means so much of water and two pieces of aloo floating in it. And we were very happy. We ate it, we were healthy and we enjoyed that food like we don’t enjoy any food outside. Because that was with love and divinised. Here it is with an idea of impressing the guest, showing off, and things like that.
People used to walk; now they don’t walk. Women used to sit on the floor—peeso, belo [grind, roll out rotis], take off the tawa [pan] and put it back, take off the kadai and put it back, tel lagaao [apply oil]. Now they stand in front of a machine and everything is done. And they have to go to the beautician, the gym, two hours work-out. It doesn’t work, it is out! So, what to do? They want to be cinema stars. A wife can never be a cinema star, and the cinema star has never been a wife.
So these are the truths of life, you see. Babuji said, “Reduce your needs and you will be okay.” We used to sleep on a mat on the floor. Now we want mattresses this thick, and even then… You know the story of the princess and the pea? You must have all read it in school. Seven mattresses and one pea, and she could not sleep. And they say that proves she was a princess!
Question: What is the difference between memory and impression?
Master: No, no. Impression is something; memory is something else. When you put a rubber stamp, it is an impression. If it remains there, it is a memory. Now, you see, we are being impressed by so many things we see—an accident, we are afraid; a dead body, we are afraid; somebody bleeding, we are afraid. We have nightmares. That is—impression is too strong; we cannot remove. So we must clean away every day. That’s what I said in cleaning: everything—good, bad. Somebody asked Babuji, “If I see a pretty girl on the street, it makes an impression.” He said, “Nothing wrong. After all, God created it. Just thank God for creating such a beautiful thing in this world. It is not yours.” You see a beautiful rose. You want to cut it, and take it home, put it in a vase. What happens to the flower? It dies. It is not yours. Admire it where it is and go on. No harm in admiring, but don’t go back and see again. “Bahut sundar hai, khoobsoorat. [It is very lovely, very beautiful].” That is not permitted. That is what makes impressions; that is what makes samskaras.