Reminders to self · Words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

 

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Remember the game you played as a teenager? He/she loves me, he/she loves me not. 

Well, it seems to me that in some ways we don’t really outgrow the silly game. In our not-so-poised moments, we may find ourselves second-guessing the love the ‘others’ in our lives may have for us. On some level, this could be understandable (though it shouldn’t be acceptable considering the emotional cost of playing such a game), given the mixture that we are of light and darkness, clarity and cloudiness, faith and doubt. In our hearts and minds. 

But in our ignorance, sometimes we also end up transferring some of our oh-so-human imperfections on to the Divine. As in this case of loving and being loved. Something goes wrong in our life, and the doubts begin – “oh no, why me? Why do these things keep happening to me? Doesn’t god love me anymore? Why should I suffer all this hardship? Look at that other person, why is she having such an easy life? Does god love her more?” 

Because our ignorance runs deep, we need constant reminders to work upon it. And today I feel deeply grateful to be blessed with such a reminder. 

It so happened that I came across the following passage while I was looking through a particular text for an answer to a question.

And I just stopped. I didn’t need to look anymore. 

The Divine knows. And reveals when we are ready to know. That is Her Love.

My thoughts go back to the afternoon when I had first read this passage many years ago. I recall how assured and protected I felt after reading it. 

This afternoon I share it here; perhaps someone else reading it could also use a similar reminder.

 

The Divine loves all equally but there seem to be some who are dearer to Him. You seem to say some such thing in Essays on the Gita—that Arjuna was dearer to Krishna because he came nearer to the Divine and those who do that will always be dearer to Him.

Sri Aurobindo: I don’t say; it is the Gita that says it—or rather there are two separate slokas; one says that the Divine makes no difference, the other says that Arjuna is specially dear to him.

It seems to me that if X and myself, for example, were to transgress some vital rules of the Asram, I would get a thunderbolt from you while he would get nothing. In my saner moments I have tried to look at it more rationally.

Sri Aurobindo: That does not stand. Sometimes you might get nothing except perhaps an invisible stare; sometimes I might say “Now look here, *Y*, don’t make an immortal ass of yourself—*that* is not the transformation wanted.” Still another time I might shout “Now! now! What the hell! what the blazes!” So it would depend on the occasion, not only on the person.

There are many instances to show that some persons are dearer to the Divine than others. Besides Krishna and Arjuna, we have the instance of Buddha and Ananda.

Sri Aurobindo: There is also St. John, the beloved disciple.

Then again, Vivekananda was dearer to Ramakrishna than other disciples. Chaitanya showered his grace on Madhai and Jagai, but were they closer to him than Nitai?

Sri Aurobindo: But he had love for them (তাই বলে কি প্রেম দিব না ?).

Some say that because through one person, chances of manifestation are greater, or because he is more open, or is a Vibhuti, he will be nearer to the Divine. That, I think, can be swept aside since degrees of manifestation can never be a criterion. What is it that determines this? I really don’t know.

Sri Aurobindo: Of course you don’t—nor does anybody. Is love a creation of the reason? or dealt out by this or that scale? Or does the Divine calculate “This fellow has so much of this or that quality. I will give him just so much more love than to that other”?

This question is not only of theoretical interest to us, but also of practical importance, since in our stumblings and gropings the Divine here may have a soft corner for some, and not perhaps for others to the same extent.

Sri Aurobindo: All that is rather beside the point. There is a universal divine love that is given equally to all—but also there is a *special relation* with each man—it is not a question of more or less, though it may appear so. But even that less or more cannot be judged by human standards. The man who gets a blow may, if he has a certain relation, feel it as a divine caress; he may even say, erecting his own standard, “She loves me more than others, because to others she would not give that blow, to me she felt she could give it,” and it would be quite as good a standard as the kind treatment one—as standards go. But no standards apply. For in each case it is according to the relation. The cause of the relation? It differs in each case. Cast your plummet into the deep and perhaps you shall find it—or perhaps you will hit something that has nothing at all to do with it.

~ Sri Aurobindo (9 June 1935), Letters on Himself and the AshramCWSA, Vol. 35, pp. 443-445 


Photo by Suhas Mehra

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24 thoughts on “She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not

  1. I feel God loves all -it is just that our Karma comes into play and we have to suffer at times. Sincerely, I would prefer to suffer now for my sins than in the other world after death 😊

    1. Perhaps the idea of Divine’s ‘special relation with each individual’ that is mentioned in the post also comes into play, which in turn maybe shaped by the individual’s Karma, Will, Aspiration, so many things. Not possible for our little human minds to explore the causes of such things.

      Personally speaking, I am not a believer in ideas such as suffering for my sins, punishment/reward in other-world, etc. These are not part of my understanding of dharmic or Indic spiritual-cultural categories, to me they sound very much like ideas borrowed from Abrahamic theology. So if I get some sort of a raw deal in life, I must learn how to accept that too as part of God’s grace for me, because in Her wisdom that might be the easiest way for my soul to evolve, right here on this planet earth. Easier said than done, of course! But then real inner progress is never easy, is it? 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your perspective. Much appreciated.

      1. I agree, you have good knowledge about the subject and related areas (I am not into them at all).
        Good reading these views of yours…help me learn a bit 😊

      2. Thank you for taking what I said in the right spirit in which I intended it. I appreciate it very much, Alok 🙂 You see, we have all been so deliberately pushed away from the indigenous understandings of our cultural beliefs and their spiritual roots and meanings, it will take us all a long time to recover our lost knowledge and be re-rooted in our own way of looking at reality, existence, life, god, everything. Thanks again!

  2. OH god.. right I definitely am at the write page then.. the last few months have been like that.. I dont discuss my private life on open forum but this post has struck something. Now I consider my self very fit and I eat healthy and exercise all that pallava..

    but the last 4 months since dec have been more than chaotic, been into hospital on a number of occassions for stupid things, 16 years of service never taken a sick and now in the last 3 months been off for more than 3 weeks.. brings a thought to mind WHY ME.. or why is it happening.

    I read the above comment also and think what ALok sir says maybe its me , or what i have done or am doing, Although I must say I consciously try my best to not do anything wrong. I do feel sometimes that God has his/her favourites, some do a wrong all day long , every day and they are still better off..

    A typical example which may resolute with almost everyone MONEY, I think i work hard almost all the hours of the day, still its gets hard whereas there are people who do zilch and still live a life of a king..

    I am not Moaning or anything for I believe that one will get what they deserve no matter how hard or Not hard they work.. but thoughts do creep up in mind..

    🙂 It seems I have definitely gotten on the wrong side of bed today I sound so GRUMPY 🙂

    1. First of all, Bikram, I am sorry to hear that you are going through a rough patch. Hope your health issues are getting resolved and that you are beginning to feel better now. I can see why you may look up and ask this existential question – why me? You know, in fact the original title of this post was going to be this only – “Why me?” And I was going to write something along this line of thought.
      But then I remembered something my father would often say when we were growing up. He used to ask us to imagine asking – why not me? The way I understand this now is this – he wanted us to look at the suffering in the world all around us and instead of feeling sorry for ourselves develop a sense of compassion for others. Perhaps for a growing heart and mind it then becomes easier to ask, if they are suffering what is so strange about me suffering or getting a blow in life? I am not saying that we should invite suffering or pain or disease or any ill-will in life. That would be sadistic and not really a right thing to do, from a spiritual point of view as well.
      But perhaps because as we grow older and hopefully wiser, we realise that the world is indeed a mixed place – mixed of good and bad, truth and falsehood, right and wrong, happiness and sorrow. And as long as this is the nature of our present state of consciousness that rules and governs the world, there is bound to be suffering and even evil. The challenge and task for someone interested in personal inner growth is to take up this bad, this suffering and use it as a means to evolve in one’s consciousness.
      Much depends on our attitude in life, I am sure you will agree to this. The point I wanted to highlight through this passage from Sri Aurobindo’s talk is that even though there is a universal grace, a universal Divine Love for all, each one of us isn’t inwardly capable of receiving it equally because we haven’t evolved in our state of inner receptivity, openness to that Universal Grace and Love. That’s why only Arjuna received Gita. None of his brothers, even the most virtuous dharma-raj Yuddhishtir did. What was the kind of relationship Arjun had with Krishna? That’s the question to ponder upon.
      I wish you speedy recovery, and send you lots of positive healing thoughts. Take care and be well, my friend!

      1. Thank you so much for the concern. . I am fine.. It will take a lot to topple me over ☺☺☺

        I agree with you maybe my weak day when I r3ad the post.. I usually am not like that.. and yes exactly what me father use to say always.. look at those who are not as lucky as you.. If we open our eyes there are so many so ooooooo many who are suffering so much more.. a typical example is look at what is happening to the people in Syria. ..

        Sorry for such a stupid comment.. and yes you are right maybe I am not capable of receiving all that grace..

        God has been so very kind to me always..

  3. in my youth i did… ofcourse, who didn’t at one point in time…

    But nowadays, much older, i try to let life come to me… and accept it as it comes, how hard at some times that is… i trust on His guidance

    Have a nice abc-wednesday-dag / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (ABC-W-team)

    1. That’s the best thing we can do, I agree completely. To humbly accept and grow in our acceptance and receptivity and trust. Thanks Melody! Appreciate your stopping by.

  4. Thought provoking indeed! I firmly believe in what all Krishna taught Arjun in the 18 chapters of Bhagvadgita! A life time is not enough to learn what all has been said but even understandoing the gist, helps in attaining mental peace.

    1. Thanks Rahul. Appreciate your comment. Glad you found the post thought-provoking. And I agree even if we grasp a bit of the profound truth of Bhagvadgita, it can help us tremendously on our path in life.

  5. I’m so glad to have found in you a wonderful tutor who’s helping me understand Sri Aurobindo rather easily, for I found him somewhat obscure when I read him (alone, that is:))
    My love and deep respect for him (through whatever I was able to absorb) made me visit Pondicherry twice to salute his ashram and samadhi…he is always with us!
    Thank you Beloo ma’aam:)

    1. O my! You are too much, Amit! I merely share some passages/excerpts from the Master’s writings/talks that speak to me or help me understand something at certain points of time as I go through the rhythms of life. I am glad that those selections also speak to some of my readers in some way.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I am happy to hear that you have been to Pondicherry twice. The Ashram indeed is a very special place. And yes, I agree his writings can be a bit difficult to understand, that’s why I keep reading the same books/chapters/passages again and again to make sure I get at least some of it 🙂 Thanks again for your kind words.

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