The Beatles taught us the mantra: “All You Need Is Love” and sang “Love me Do!” However, for the most part they didn’t tell us where to find lasting love. George Harrison was the exception. He gave us songs reminding us that the Lord is Sweet and that the Lord loves the one who loves the Lord! Let one of the most disturbing things currently being promoted as the pinnacle of spiritual wisdom is the concept of “Oneness.” While there is an aspect of similarity we all share, everyone merging together in one big ball of indistinct conscious energy doesn’t sound very fun and it certainly is not the pinnacle of enlightenment. You know you are in the presence of those who teach this sophistry when the shaman says things like: “We are all one,” or they talk of God as “Energy” or “Light”. Certainly God radiates light, but that is just one of His energies. It does not acknowledge Him personally.
February 14th is Valentines day and it celebrates the love that is shared between TWO individuals. While there is a lot of talk about loving oneself, that is NOT the type of Love celebrated on Valentines day. Those who only have themselves to love are often very lonely people. The experience of Love requires at least TWO. So those who are striving to merge into the oneness of everything should plan on being very dissatisfied and lonely because there must be the lover and the beloved to taste the exchange of Love.
We get a taste of what it means to love when we love our dog, our children or our spouse. But because of the temporary nature of everything in this world, those relationships don’t completely satisfy the soul which is eternal. It is also quite common that these forms of love can lead to tremendous suffering. Our children may rebel, our spouse may leave us and our pets may die causing severe pain, unless of course you have already shut down your emotions, which is a common characteristic with those who have had a traumatic childhood.
In this regard His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a world renowned scholar, saint and authority on the Vedic Scriptures said:
“We are seeking love of God beginning with our own body. We love this body because we live within it, and as long as the living soul is there, the body has value. The living soul is valuable because he is part and parcel of God. We also understand from Bhagavad-gita that within the body God is also living. So within there are two ksetra-jnas (Knower of the Fields) one who knows the individual body, and the other who knows all bodies. The ultimate conclusion is that because the Supreme Living Entity, God, is within the body and within the universe, we are attracted by love, society, friendship, communalism, and nationalism. When all this culminates in love for God, we attain perfection. We are searching for love of God, but we are moving by degrees from one platform to another…
We can understand the presence of God in nature, and we can certainly see His presence there. We can understand that there is a proprietor of the land, sea, and air. Someone is maintaining everything. We may not be able to see the proprietor of the universe, but from our present experience with proprietorship, it is not difficult to understand that there must be an ultimate proprietor. God is the proprietor of the sun, moon, and the sky itself. Vedic literatures describe the moon as the mind of God, the sun as the eyes of God, the land as the food of God, and the rivers as the veins of God. This is the beginning of impersonal realization, but we should understand that there is a person in the background (behind everything). Although we have not seen the Governor of Hawaii, we can understand that he is present by seeing the different branches of government. Similarly, as long as we are not qualified to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we can understand that this is God’s hand, this is God’s heart, His mind, His eyes, and so on. When we are qualified, we can personally see God, face to face.” – Dialectic Spiritualism , VII Evolutionary Naturalism, Samuel Alexander [1859-1938]
In the Gita Krishna reminds us that He is the goal of our life, our refuge and dear friend.
“I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.” – Bg 9.18
So when we invest in loving Krishna we experience divine love which is not tinged with the difficulties we encounter seeking love on the material plane. Krishna is the origin of all love and He has been with us all along. Therefore He can be thought of as our Primordial Valintine! Our exchange with Him has no bottom. It is only limited by our own hesitations or doubts. As those impediments are removed we fall hopelessly in love with our dear-most friend and nothing else is sweeter then that!
The Impersonal, Non-Dual, Advaita, oneness sophistry was originally propagated by Sankaracarya in the 8th century Now it is virtually everywhere and is particularly evident in the rhetoric of the new age shamans. So many are fooled into believing that the oneness sophistry is the highest stage of enlightenment, but according to Lord Siva the Mayavadi teachings are the “Root Cause of the Worlds Destruction.”
“The theory of Mayavadism, though given a facade of great importance and claiming itself to be derived from the Vedas, is in truth a non-Vedic theory. O goddess Parvati! It is I, who propagated this concocted theory which is the root cause of the world’s destruction.” – Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda 25.7)
For those who are still unclear about the difference between the Advaita Path and the Bhakti Path I will defer to the greatest poet in the Marathi language; Saint Tukaram.
“I want to taste sugar; I don’t want to be sugar.”
Can water quaff itself?
Can trees taste of the fruit they bear?
He who worships God must stand distinct from Him,
So only shall he know the joyful love of God;
For if he say that God and he are one,
That joy, that love, shall vanish instantly away.
Pray no more for utter oneness with God:
Where were the beauty if jewel and setting were one?
The heat and the shade are two,
If not, where were the comfort of shade?
Mother and child are two,
If not, where were the love?
When after being sundered, they meet,
What joy do they feel, the mother and child!
Where were joy, if the two were one?
Pray, then, no more for utter oneness with God.
Poem by Tukaram
Mayesvara dasa ACBSP