Divine Love, the End

Divine love implies two things: the feeling of attachment or affection for the beloved and happiness. However, divine love is not synonymous with happiness as a kind of personal satisfaction. Rather than seeking anything for itself, it longs “to contribute to the happiness…of the beloved, even…at the cost of one’s own happiness. It does not desire even the object of love, if such a desire hinders, in any way, the happiness of the beloved.” (199)

Although the devotee does not consciously seek happiness as personal satisfaction, the devotee’s happiness comes “as a natural concomitant of the happiness of the beloved. Whatever contributes to the happiness of the beloved contributes to the happiness of the person loving. Therefore”, divine love “involves happiness both in union and separation.” (199) The basic element in divine love is selfless service of the beloved.

Divine love directed toward God-dess is an expression of the spiritual energy of God-dess. It is awakened in the devotee through grace. The bliss of divine love intoxicates both the devotee and God-dess, resulting in their becoming completely engrossed in each other. Therefore, it has the power to completely subjugate God-dess.

When divine love becomes strong enough in the devotee, it may manifest outward physical signs due to discharge of intense psychic energy. In divine love, “our psychological constitution is worked up to such an extent that it brings into play some parts of our nervous system, which do not ordinarily function. It is these that bring about such extra-ordinary changes in the physiological apparatus.” (200)

The most perfect form of divine love is eternally found in Radha Krishna’s female associates in Vrindaban. They are our role models as we progress through the various stages of developing divine love. First, one must have faith in Radha Krishna, the scriptures and saintly persons. Then one associates with saintly persons and has the opportunity to engage in hearing and chanting. This purges the mind of materialistic thoughts. Then one’s reliance on Radha Krishna becomes firm. This “creates a taste or natural liking for devotional activities…, which further develops into a strong inclination…for them.” (201) Then, unalloyed devotion sprouts in the devotee’s heart as spiritual emotion, which ultimately ripens into divine love.

Unalloyed devotion is the beginning of divine love. “It is known by nine ensuing attendant circumstances…, which are enumerated thus: serenity of mind…, which remains undisturbed, whatever be the circumstances; effort not to let a single moment of one’s life pass without remembrance of” (202)God-dess; detachment from sense objects; humility; firm faith that God-dess will be attained; eagerness to attain God-dess; taste for chanting God-dess’ names; natural inclination to speak of God-dess’ attributes; strong desire to live in Radha Krishna’s abode.

When spiritual emotion is intensified and the feeling of attachment for Radha Krishna increases, it is called divine love. Nothing can break this affectionate bond because it is not self serving and the lover is willing to pay any price for the happiness of the beloved. This is a transcendental state that even the wise cannot understand.

Divine love can be realized while in the physical body, but there are higher stages of divine love, which can be realized only after leaving the physical body and attaining the spiritual body.

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