I want to include in this short book, which is incomplete in so many dimensions, a humble attempt to portray a profile of His divine love. Science, mentioned earlier, is only vocal on the operative (objective) side and not on the cognitive (subjective) side. So how can one understand love?
Once a veteran Marxist challenged me with his atheism. I simply asked, "Have you ever observed how a mother holds her little baby? The baby is unable to articulate, but the sea of emotions exchanged through their glances, just like the enraptured non-verbal communication between two lovers, cannot be disregarded even by an atheist. How much they communicate! Even many volumes of writing will fail to capture the fullness of their emotional states. Can any science measure the intensity of these states through inferences? Yet can any scientist deny this love?"
He nodded in agreement with me and became deeply silent. I continued, "Then how can you deny the Universal Love? Our individual love is only a reflection of that Love. When Cosmic Love enters you, you want to explode into pieces for others like a bomb. This is an intensely emotive feeling. How can anyone deny the reality of this experience?"
In our day to day lives, we have many intuitional experiences which science cannot measure, and which unfortunately we often ignore. Suppose you are quietly humming a tune, and after walking a few hundred meters you hear the same tune wafting from a nearby house or shop. There are many such experiences, which startle us when they occur, but which we subsequently forget.
Baba once told me, "God is love and love is God." We can measure our spiritual evolution by our capacity to love selflessly. Selfless love, like service, is unilateral, i.e., we must not accept anything in return. With advancement in sadhana, our propensity for hatred also slowly diminishes. How few children are fortunate enough to receive true love from their parents? And then even those few are usually taught to be selfish or to stay close to home. Baba demonstrated a kind of loving greater than any we had ever experienced.
Every Margii experienced in Baba's physical presence the feeling of a whole family sitting together. The Ananda Marga family has always been very cosmopolitan. Every year new members join from distant lands and remote cultures. As a true father, He used to admonish us. He was very affectionate and communicated profoundly without words, inducing in us tears of joy upon meeting and tears of sorrow at every temporary parting. He was our first family. He was our Father, our Mother, our Child, our Teacher, our Friend, our Authority. Every aspect of human relations He fulfilled with true family feeling.
Another of Baba's great attributes was supreme optimism. It was infectious, so how can we criticize those of His devotees who believed that Sadvipra Samáj (a society guided by moral spiritualists) would be established before He left His physical body? Contrary to our expectations, it was not established on the geographical or political planes in His lifetime. Rapid change is frequently superficial; for universal values to permeate deep into the foundations of human society, in a permanent way, must take some time. Yet it should also be noted that in Ananda Marga He established a miniature form of Sadvipra Samáj. And for those disciples who followed the Sixteen Points strictly, nature provided for all their needs without exception. So in a way, His Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout) was also established in individual Margii families. Through love He created a truly universal family. This concept did not just remain a utopian ideal: in reality, the whole Ananda Marga became a great family during His physical sojourn on this earth. Wise disciples will now have to expand the frontiers of this family by helping people to grow through the spirit of inquiry, through a scientific and rational approach. The dogmas which still bind us can be eradicated only through meditation and open-minded study. The feeling of being one of His close, intimate family members was more intense during the early days when our numbers were less. As our numbers increased, He used to chide me for being possessive of Him and jealous of others. He said, "You are older, a senior disciple. Let the new ones get a chance." So I helplessly had to accept His will, though my individual connection with Him became less physical and more psychic.
The collective family feeling also became stronger; I believe it will continue to intensify as we become more spiritual. Eventually our family feeling will expand to embrace animals and plants and the entire inanimate world.
Baba was the very embodiment of Supreme love. He had two kinds of relationship: one with His disciples individually and the other with us collectively. As a father He was equal to all. Everyone received their brimful and felt contented. ' Everyone felt Him to be impartial. Incredibly, every disciple truly felt, "My Guru is my personal property." He gave each of us the feeling, "He loves me the most." His physical presence emanated a special bliss which was experienced even by those who did not conform to His ideology. It was universal. Some days when, due to the pressure of work, His disciples could not complete the target He had set for them, He used to feign anger and would not take food. Everyone used to worry over this and there would be a great commotion around His quarters. To my astonishment, I found that a similar anxiety and commotion took place in the prison when Baba was there. The same tension spread among the guards, wardens and other inmates when Baba refused to take the glass of buttermilk which He used to drink twice a day during His long fast in the jail. He was so special that people used to feel a strong and irresistible attraction for Him. Among His disciples there used to be a competition to rush to Him and be with Him. Ac. Amitananda Avt. once said to Baba, "The General Secretary is so lucky." "Why?" asked Baba. "Because he can always go to Your room."
Baba laughed and said, "Then My slippers are even more lucky! No, unnais se biis nahi hoga. [Nineteen won't be made into twenty.] Whosoever works for humanity, wherever they may be, Grace will go to them accordingly. Even one paisa more than that, one cannot get." Good people, even children, liked Him because here they found a person who only loved. We have heard about God who punishes wrong doing and rewards good deeds. Everyone hopes for rewards and fears punishment. Yet in Baba we found a person who would forgive a thousand times. Not only that, He would take on the bad sam'skáras of His disciples and thereby free us from nature's reaction. His punishments were always blessings in disguise. Many of those disciples who had the opportunity to receive punishment from Him realized that upon receiving a scratch, they had escaped reactions of formidable consequence.
His devotees used to get much pleasure from giving Him small gifts from their homelands. A few of these gifts were quite costly, most were very humble, but He gave equal importance to all. Once in a small gathering of devotees He said, "The physical value of different gifts may differ, but psychically they have the same value for Me." He said this to reassure His economically poor devotees who occasionally worried that their offerings were somehow of less importance. One example will illustrate this truth. In March 1990 a boy from Bihar travelled to Calcutta to visit Baba. After purchasing his train ticket he had only 25 paisa left (less than one US cent). So he used that coin to purchase a guava for Baba. When he saw the items brought by other devotees from all over the world, he felt ashamed and left without offering it.
Meanwhile, in another room Baba was taking His lunch. Doctors had prohibited Him from eating guava because of His diabetes, but suddenly Baba demanded to eat a guava. His Personal Assistant searched the kitchen, but found none. Baba then instructed him to go outside and ask if any of the devotees had a guava. He did so, and the boy from Bihar offered his guava. It was brought to Baba and He ate it with great relish. From this incident I realized that Baba gave more value to the intensity of devotion with which an offering is made than its physical or psychic value.
Baba proved logically in His RU lecture of 1967, "Pragati and Paincavedana", that there can be no progress in the physical and mental spheres. At best, physical progress means the demise of an old structure and the creation a new one, as for example in the construction of a motor car. In the mental realm, progress means fighting against all dogmas. "The best is yet to come," should be the attitude, He would say. In the spiritual realm, progress means to cultivate Radhabhava for the Supreme. It is interesting to note that where the spiritual concepts of the Vaisnavites, Sufis, and Ananda Margiis coincide is in the point of Radhabhava. According to Ananda Marga the fundamental starting point of spirituality is this longing for the Great, longing to be united with the Great in wedlock. The feeling at first is, "I love You because it gives me bliss" and the final feeling is, "I want to love You because now I know this gives You bliss. I want to be Yours." In this state one is even ready to sacrifice his or her life, if it will make Him happy. The unit self is absolutely negated here. An ideal love, I believe, is that between two lovers whose likes or sam'skáras (reactive momenta in potential form) are almost the same. Both of them would be accomplished in every possible sense. They would also be physically charming to each other. Then, their mutual love will touch some very deep strings inside. Baba's love to every individual disciple touched much deeper strings than this ideal love of lovers. A few such husbands and wives (who are very much spiritually developed) confessed to me that Baba's love was much deeper than their attraction for each other.
There are many kinds of love: for example, the love between father and son, mother and son, between friends, brother and sister, master and servant, husband and wife. All these are love with different dimensions and limits. According to Paramahamsa Ramakrishna the love between an ideal husband and wife who are mentally married contains all the forms of love, and hence it is superior to the others. This ideal love is similar to what is known, in Tantric terminology, as madhurbháva. Higher than this is the devotional stage of mahábhava. I knew a little about this from the life of Paramahamsa Ramakrishna, who was a Brahmavid, a knower of Brahma. (Brahmavid Brahmaeva bhavati: "One who realizes Brahma becomes Brahma".) From my earliest days in Ananda Marga, I was curious to know more about this bháva. In Jamalpur around January 1966, I met a boy called Vinod. (Today he is an engineer in the Indian Railways.) He was behaving like an intoxicated person, singing and dancing all the time. He would run up to Baba, touch His chin and then run away singing, "You are really Krs'n'a of Vrindavan!" During evening walk, I asked Baba, Is he in mahabhava?"
Baba said emphatically, "No!"; but then He added, "I reserve my tongue." The talk shifted to a different subject and I forgot about it. The next day Baba came early in the morning, asked for a blackboard and gave a lecture which lasted for one hour. "Yesterday," He began, looking at me, "your question was about mahabhava, but today you should understand what is bhava." He then explained bhava in great detail, and He said a little on mahabhava. It took me twenty years of meditation to comprehend the meaning of mahábháva. Later I would like to write a book on this sweetest and highest of spiritual attainments. By understanding mahábháva, one can realize more deeply the wondrous mystery of beloved Baba. I have not ventured to write on it so far because this aspect of spirituality can be misinterpreted by quacks. Unless one has a very deep interest in spirituality, it cannot be comprehended. I want to cry and shout about it at the top of my lungs: "Here is the quintessence of spirituality, and in it lies final emancipation!" But so far I have always felt some unseen power holding me back from explaining this devotional sentiment in a straightforward way in black and white. Baba often asked me to speak on devotion. In His presence I used to mouth like a parrot about madhurbháva or Radhabháva, but I never knew what it was like. Then, in 1985, on one of these occasions, He took His stick and gave me a blow on the head. Instantly there was a flash of bliss. It was inexplicable. In those few seconds I realized how exquisite is the intensity of this spiritual love. This helped me understand how a truly loving husband and wife can be so devoted to one another. I became like a dumb person for months and could not do serious work because of my internal preoccupation. (From that day, Baba never again asked me to deliver lectures on devotion!) Sádhakas understand that love and bliss are one and the same thing.
The pleasures derived from the tanmatras of sound, touch, form, smell and taste are different. Yet in loving your mother, father, child, and others close to you, you feel a kind of happiness. In the Mahabharata, Vidura says that everyone waits anxiously for the arrival of a saintly person who is devoid of egotism. In deep spiritual love, one feels a subtle kind of intoxication. In worldly love the intensity of this intoxication is less. Spiritual intoxication is due to Brahmarandhra, the pineal body, which secretes a nectarial hormone. Baba explained that the pineal gland of every human being secretes three drops a month; but if crude thoughts surround the pituitary region, the nectar evaporates and one cannot enjoy the bliss of divine intoxication. A person who does regular meditation enjoys three drops of this nectar daily; when it touches the pituitary gland, the sádhaka feels great bliss. When it filters through to the lower parts of the body all the glands are strengthened.
Rama Prasad, the famous mystic of Bengal, sang:
Surapan korini ami sudha khay jai kalibole.
I did not drink wine but tasted the nectar and shouted "Victory to Goddess Kali"!
Worldly people think I drank wine and got intoxicated, which is not true.
I believe that the human body must be very much developed through sádhaná, asanas and other yogic practices before it can enjoy the pineal nectar. Before one can experience the bliss of spiritual love, all the plexi, glands and subglands must be capable of absorbing it.
What is this love? Love and bliss are one and the same thing. The more the capacity to love, the more the capacity to enjoy bliss. Love is soft, yet so strong and strenuous that it calms and inspires the mind during great trials and tribulations. Love gives a perpetual feeling of bliss and happiness. For an aspirant, a spiritually realized Guru becomes the object of ideation, because the physical medium of the Guru becomes the Impersonal (God) personified. The Sufi Amir Khushru understood this great importance of Guru. His fellow Muslims condemned him for his worship of his Guru. They accused him of being unfaithful to Islam, of being a Hindu (who use a sacred thread) and of idolatry. He replied:
musalmani mara darkar ne ast,
Har-rege man tar-gest hajate junnar ne-ast
Khalk me goed ki khushro buth parastii mi kunad
Arei arei mi kunad khalko alamkar ne‑ast. [Persian]
I am a non-believer, lost in love.
I am intoxicated from head to foot With the love of my Master, Nezamudin Aoulia.
I don't have anything to do with Islam.
Every vein of my body is intoxicated With divine love for God,
Therefore I don't need the sacred thread either.
Worldly people call me an idolater.
What reply can I give? I have only this to say,
"Yes, yes, I am an idolater."
What do these worldly people know of my idolatry!
When parabhakti (absolute devotion) is granted, there is a risk that the devotee can suffer from a special ideation called mahimna bodha. This causes the aspirant to feel so petty, so small, so insignificant that he or she feels unworthy of the endless, vast, incomprehensible Guru who is the personification of the impersonal Brahma. This type of inferiority is an impediment in the path of realization. A Persian story illustrates this feeling and its dissolution. A lover knocked at the door of his beloved. "Who is there?" she called and he replied with his name. "Go away! I don't know you!" she replied. He knocked again and the same thing happened three times. The fourth time, however, when she asked who was there, he said, "I am you, O beloved, therefore open yourself to me!" And the door opened.
In September 1970 in Ranchi, Acarya Karunanandaji and I sang and danced a special type of kiirtana in front of Baba. During this devotional singing, Dada repeated two lines from the poet saint Miira:
Jo mein aisi janti preet karei dukh hoi Nagar dandora piititi preet na kareo koi.
If I knew before that loving You causes such bitter pain, I would have proclaimed everywhere with the beat of drums, "Beware, don't love Him!"
Later, Baba summoned Dada and me and said, "I was going to give you 100 percent marks for your kiirtana. But I cut 60 percent because of that couplet. It contains the expression of ego. The duty of a devotee is only to please the Lord and not to challenge Him." Sufis embrace this concept of suppressed mental agony which they call gila in Persian and abhiman in Bengali. Baba never liked this approach. Later, when He composed Prabhát Sam 'giita songs, He sublimated this sentiment into six stages: viraha (longing), milan (encounter with the beloved), a'vedan (earnest desire to stay close), nivedan (surrender), stuti (praises) and visarjan (shedding of the unit identity by merging with the Lord).
Swami Vivekananda said that love is like a triangle. The first vertex represents the truth that love knows no fear. The second that love is not a business transaction, it is unconditional giving. The third that love is surrender - total trust. The result of all three is complete abandonment in love. After much inquiry along these lines, I understood very well that faith in Sadguru is the Guru's grace (krpa), and its depth is His compassion. Here I use the word "compassion" for ahaetluki krpa – grace which the recipient does not merit by his or her service, but which He generously bestows in abundance.
What is the relation between sex and love? Sex can be of four types: physical, psychic, psycho-spiritual, or purely spiritual. For ardent spiritual aspirants and sannyásiis, psycho-spiritual and spiritual sex are allowed. The intense longing of the mystic poet Miira for Krs'n'a is an example of psycho-spiritual sex. There was nothing physical in it. Savikalpa samádhi, the union of jiiva and Shiva, is a type of spiritual sex. This is a separate subject of discussion, about which I will write in the future.
The sadripu or the six enemies (lust, anger, avarice, infatuation, vainglory and competitive urge in the material sphere) can never be vanquished, they can only be sublimated since all six have their origin in the mind.
The first Indian swamis who visited the West used the term super-consciousness to describe the state of samádhi. Absorption is the more appropriate English word to describe it. Baba uses the phrase "trance of determinate absorption" as a translation for savikalpa samádhi. Vikalpa was defined by Maharishi Patanjali as:
Shabdájinánanupati vastushunyo vikalpa.
If a meaning is not accurately or fully conveyed by the words used to explain it, that is vikalpa. Suppose you are travelling to Delhi by train. As you get close to Delhi you say that "Delhi is coming." Literally speaking, Delhi can never come to you, rather it is you who approaches Delhi. This is an example of vikalpa, where a particular choice of words does not convey the event accurately. In the case of savikalpa samádhi, no choice of words can accurately convey the experience, because in this state the visible world and all its sensory phenomena vanish into thin air! Baba uses the term "trance of determinate absorption" for this state of ineffable bliss. When one is lost in bliss, one forgets oneself, and only a state of blissful oneness with the contemplated subject remains: this is samadhi. Savikalpa samádhi is samádhi where duality with the Supreme Self still remains. Absolute oneness is not achieved because the enjoyment of duality, the enjoyment of companionship with the Supreme is still present.
Nirvikalpa means the absence of vikalpa, where there is no scope for a second entity. You have arrived in Delhi so there is no separation between you and your goal. You have become the subject itself. Perfect oneness is achieved. The jiiva (unit self) becomes saccidánanda. The unit becomes infinite, the microcosm becomes Macrocosm. The microcosm feels, "I am saccidánanda." Sat refers to the Transcendental Entity, beyond the relative conditions of space, time and person. Cit means "consciousness." "It is by the power of cit that the Cosmos is created, and it is this power that, through the unit mind, experiences or activates the created substance." Ananda means the ineffable divine bliss and not ordinary happiness.
So in nirvikalpa, the final oneness is realized. The One without a second. The individual who attains samadhi is above all three combined. So "trance of indeterminate absorption" is closer to the meaning of nirvikalpa samadhi.
When Baba was physically present, tens of thousands of Ananda Margiis of all ages and both sexes were deeply absorbed in Him. When He was released from jail in Patna on August 3, 1978, the procession raced after His car; each person was oblivious to his or herself. Since I first met Baba, I have seen many devotees in the state of complete absorption in Him I have watched in utter amazement their face, eyes and chest turn red as they cried or danced or laughed intoxicatedly. A divine aura enveloped their faces. I have also seen sádhakas, while meditating in padmásana (full lotus posture), leap more than a meter high, then fall with a thud, without causing injury to themselves. In such states of blissful intoxication, their body chemistry was transformed. This will be a subject of very interesting study for future bio-psychologists.
During my early years in Ananda Marga, I had few such experiences and could only watch in utter amazement as if at a circus. All used to become intoxicated. Once in 1966 a student of T.N.B. College, Bhagalpur, came to see Baba. He was in the habit of drinking alcohol. Baba scolded him for this and then touched him on the pineal plexus. The boy became spiritually intoxicated, and for hours there was a divine aura around him. He cried, danced, rolled on the ground, and exhibited all sorts of other spiritual symptoms. Later he told me that he had never previously enjoyed such intoxication. Thereafter the boy completely abstained from alcohol and became a good sádhaka. With the rise of devotion many impossible ailments can be cured. A person called Muflish used to suffer from severe Parkinson's disease, but after devotion was awakened in him, I observed him become completely healthy. Sádhakas can be easily recognized by their strong personality and the glow on their face.
It is important here to say something about subtle tanmátras. Once Baba asked a sadhaka to explain in one line what this universe is? When he could not, Baba Himself said, "It is an ocean of tanmátras." Humans are fondly attached to these inferences and hence to this material world.
If the universe is so beautiful, how handsome must be the Creator! In deep meditation we can enjoy all these inferences even more intensely. But entry to this subtle world is not possible if one is preoccupied with ordinary mundane affairs.
He could change ordinary tanmátras into subtle ones. For example, once He touched my arm and caused a divine perfume to be emanated from that spot. Incredibly, the fragrance lasted for three days, despite the fact that I bathed daily and washed the arm with soap and water.
Na hyeshatma balahiinena labhyo.
Weaklings cannot attain the Supreme state.
There is a gap, however, between these two forms of inferences (internal and external; physical and spiritual), and most sádhakas are fearful to cross the gap. Once they do, however, they get a glimpse of these subtle inferences and become absorbed. This happens when the doer "I" subsides and the knower "I" takes control. Sádhaná then becomes as effortless as a river flowing downstream or as watching television! You enter a world more distinctive and colourful than the normal one.
After this experience, I felt that this expressed universe and all its enjoyments are the distorted, fragmented reflections of the real world inside each one of us. It is not easy to comprehend this idea. If the external inferences of the world fascinate us so much, what will be our condition when we are ushered into the internal world? I mention this subject here for people who are interested in psycho-spiritual research. Baba first discussed it during the Purodha Board meeting of January 1989.
In an ordinary dream you find all the inferences of sound, touch, form, taste and smell. These are crude expressions of subtle tanmátras. A dream, however, of the unconscious mind leaves an indelible impression on the conscious mind. It is also always accompanied by a subtle feeling of exhilaration that extends from the anáhata to ajiná cakras. Once an ecstatic disciple expressed to me how, in the exalted stages of sádhana, he felt Baba loved him so much that sometimes he desired to cut his body into pieces and offer them to Him. Many devotees feel this sort of intense love. It is an exclusive love, a possessive love, a celestial love in which you only want to give and give and not to take anything.
This special love is above all types of human love. It can only be understood by those who are especially graced. It is an intensely spiritual feeling, and even the memory of it induces a sort of ecstasy. There is a remarkable change in one's ideation during this state and a mystical glow transfigures one's face and eyes. Actually, it is inexplicable.
 The Sixteen Points are a set of physical, intellectual, social and spiritual practices of Ananda Marga that promote all round health and personal development.
 An intense love for the Supreme, epitomized by Radha, the idealized consort of the boy Krs'n'a.
 Some scientists now point to the hormone melatonin, a nocturnal secretion of the pineal gland, as a possible source of this spiritual bliss.
 Idea and Ideology, Chapter 7, "Life, Death and Samskara".