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 Ashram, CWSA, Vol. 35, pp. 443-445
Photo by Suhas Mehra
For more Reminders to self, click HERE.
Linking with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle.
Linking with ABC Wednesday, L: L is for Love