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Ep. 19 ~ Spiritual Love and Worldly Love
I wanted to ask if you could talk a bit about your relationship with Maharajji and maybe the difference between love as we know it in the sense of a romantic relationship or relationships, and the love you felt when you were with Maharajji.
“He (Maharajji”, being completely free of subjectivity, would mirror what we needed to see for us, what we wanted to see but inside of that subjective take on Him, He would manifest real love.”- Krishna Das
Q: I wanted to ask if you could talk a bit about your relationship with Maharajji and maybe the difference between love as we know it in the sense of a romantic relationship or relationships, and the love you felt when you were with Maharajji.
KD: Thanks for thinking that I know the difference. You know, ok, each of us lives in our own world, each one of us, our own individual worlds. It’s a completely subjective reality. I look out at you and I see you and whatever I see kind of pushes buttons in my head and so I think I know, ok, that’s what that person’s like. That person’s grumpy. That person hates me. This one loves me. You know, this is what we do all day long. 24-7 for our whole lives. And it was no different with Maharajji on our side. We were seeing our projection of Guru. Our version of Guru and He, being the indwelling presence in each, in the Heart of everyone, every being in the universe, that’s what a real Guru is, that’s what God is, that’s what True Self is. Guru, God, and Self are not different. Capital “S” Self. And He being completely free of subjectivity, would mirror what we needed to see for us, what we wanted to see but inside of that subjective take on Him, He would manifest real love. Whereas you know, our lives, that kind of love doesn’t usually come up too much and if it does arise, it doesn’t stay very long because we want something and we need something and so we try to get that love, find that love on the outside as if there is an outside. That’s the funny thing. We assume there is because we have car accidents with cars that are on the outside, we have relationships with people we feel are on the outside, we go through our whole lives as if we’re on the inside and everything else is on the outside. It may not be like that. And Guru is, you can’t even say what a Guru is but I was going to say, the Guru knows that, whether He knows He knows, or He doesn’t know He knows, it doesn’t matter. But the Guru is that indwelling awareness in each Being, Presence, Awareness, Reality, Love. That’s real love. And so being with a Being like that lets you kind of enter that room where the real love lives and that’s within you, within us, it’s not outside. But, because we think it’s outside, we get attached to the different forms of people and I got very attached to Maharajji’s body and I suffered terribly when it disappeared. That was my problem. Not His. He wasn’t attached to my body, in fact, He wasn’t attached to anybody. Not even His own body. So, because He saw that that’s not reality, you know? We, in this room, we all sit here and each one of us probably, if not, don’t raise your hand, don’t let anybody know, but most of us sit here and we think that, you know, I’m Me and you’re You. Right? And based on that we go through our lives. We like some people. We don’t like other people. We want this. We don’t want that. We go through, based on who we think we are. Underneath who we think we are, always here always present, is real love. That’s Guru. That’s God. And to be with somebody who can allow you to feel that, who can open you up to feeling that, is a great blessing.
And you know, there’s a great book called “Love Everyone.” I don’t know if you know about it. It’s a pretty new book about Maharajji and it was compiled from the diaries of many of the old devotees, all western devotees, who were there. And this woman, Parvati, put it together and when you read it, it kind of takes you through a day with Maharajji. The different darshans, the different times we spent with Him. And everybody’s, you know, you’ll read about a half a page of what this person’s thinking about and then the next half a page is what somebody else is thinking about and experiencing in the same moment. Completely different. You know, that was the amazing, that was one of the many amazing things about it. Ten people could sit there for two hours with Him and go back and write what happened, and you’d have ten completely different stories that almost, there wouldn’t be one thing that was the same, except, “he hit me with a banana.” That you could tell actually probably happened. But the rest of it was just… it was really extraordinary. He loved each one of us. He loved every one in just the way they wanted and needed to be loved and needed to be touched. Just the way Krishna danced with the gopis. He manifested 108 different for each one of the gopis and loved each one of them the way they secretly desired to be loved. That’s Big Time. Very Big Time. That’s avatar time. So, how are we gonna get out of this subjective totally colored version of life? You know? We think it’s enough to go through life like that? Hating these people? Loving these people? Wanting this? Not wanting that? Avoiding this? Holding onto this? Is that going to do it? No, for me, it was never gonna do it. Even when I was 15, I knew there was something wrong here. It was me, of course. And once a month or two, I go out to dinner with six, seven or eight of my old high school friends. We’re talking 50 years ago, right? More. And so, two dinners ago, for the first time, they all know me, they all know what I do, they all know where I’ve been and how crazy I am in their eyes, but they love me. That’s nice of them. Very compassionate of them. The love that’s there is so sweet, just to hang out with these people, still talk to you like you’re in homeroom, you know? Anyway, so for the first time in like, I’ve been doing this on and off for like four years now. I reconnected with these folks four or five years ago. One of them said to me, “So, why did you go to India? What’s all that about? What’s all? Where you been?” And I was shocked because nobody, not one of them had ever asked me that question in all the time we’d been hanging out together. So I just said, you know, “You know, I always felt that there was something missing in my life. You know, I just felt there was something I needed that it was like a hole in my heart or something.” And the next he said was, “Really? I never felt that.” Right? Whoa. Right. They never felt that. So, what to do? Right? Yeah here have another vodka. That was mind-blowing for me. Really mind-blowing. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to not feel what I felt which led me to do whatever happened next, right? “I never felt that.” Amazing. So, if we want that love, if we don’t want to suffer needlessly then some practice has to be done. It’s only spiritual practice that will help extricate us from the completely immediate knee jerk attachment and identification to our thoughts and emotions and stories that we tell ourselves. And we’re doing that all the time. We create, not just living life, we’re telling ourselves a story about what’s happening based on our own prejudices, our own way see things, how we were brought up and you know, it goes really deep. I mean, it’s not like we’re doing something wrong but this is the way we’ve been programmed. So, there’s that and there’s also the fact that we’re all here together today. Now that’s pretty amazing, too. There’s a lot of other things we could be doing. And we’re not, we come here to, for some reason, and the bottom line reason is we need something that we don’t have yet. And that’s that thing that my friend didn’t have. Right? So there are people who don’t have that, who don’t recognize that. The thing is everybody wants the same thing, but for some reason or other, there are people who understand that it might be possible to find it and there are people who, for whom that thought never arises. Never arises. Never. So their karmas are not there this life for them to get some kind of self awareness and find some, something real in life, you know? They’re not bad people, those people, they’re not bad. They want just what we want but they don’t know that it’s possible. So there’s a real kind of sadness there. If there’s nothing to find, why look? You know? When I went to India, I wanted to see, I went there to find out if that love really did exist, you know? Luckily, it did. It does. But, we still have to find our way into it, so to speak. And we can’t keep blundering through our lives with our eyes closed and imagine that we’re going to find something. We’ve gotta do some practice. We’ve gotta start waking up a little bit. You don’t have to change your life. Nothing we’re doing is wrong. But we have to start adding another vector into our daily life, which is a little practice, which is slowing ourselves down and starting to pay a little bit of attention to our motivations, not intellectually so much, but just to notice why we do what we do and why we feel how we feel most of the time. And chanting is certainly one of those practices. It’s the practice I do most. These Names have, these Names are direct. You know they say that the Name and what is Named are not different, or God and His or Her Name are not different. That’s a very interesting statement. So that means, when I say Ram, where’s Ram? Not different. So the name and what is Named is not different and like I said, Maharajji used to say, “Go on sing your false fake Ram Ram. One of these days you’ll get it right once.” So, its seeds. It’s like planting seeds.
Every action is a seed. Every action is karma. Karmic seed that gets planted. If we plant seeds of anger and greed and selfishness and manipulation of people, those kinds of seeds, that’s what will grow, if we plant seeds of compassion and kindness and caring and awareness of other people’s unhappiness, then that’s what’ll grow. It’s simple. It’s not easy. But it’s simple.
This is what Maharajji used to say: “From repeating these Names, everything is made full and complete. Everything is brought to fulness.” Purnam. The practice of chanting ripens us, ripens our hearts. It’s not our job to keep cutting little pieces off of the fruit to see if it’s ripe yet. Our job is to keep the fruit in the sun of the repetition of the Names and let it ripen. That’s all. Do the practice and do your life. That’s it. No big deal. You don’t have to change anything. Things will change because from this practice, the way we feel about things starts to change. How we see ourselves starts to change and then as we see things differently, we act differently. It’s like, we’ve been born in total darkness, right? And as we grow up, it stays dark and so we think this is the way things are. Those shadows out there are kind of scary and those things moving in the dark look like demons and you know, it’s like, whatever it is, but then, the sun starts to rise. It even begins to start, a little bit of light, and then all of a sudden things look differently. “Oh, wow. That’s just a tree. That’s just a demon.” So, we see things, so we feel different and we act differently. It’s not like we have to kind of do anything special, but through these practices, that sun of love and awareness starts to rise in our hearts and we see things differently. People don’t look so scary.
So, and then we’re able to extend ourselves to people more, we’re not, there’s not so much at stake. Social situations change. Everything looks different. The happier you are, the less you need other people to make you happy. That takes the pressure off of them. Then they can be who they are around you. They don’t have to be who you want them to be all the time. That’s a heavy burden. So…
You can’t think yourself out of a prison that’s made of thought. It’s never going to happen. It’s not about understanding any of this stuff intellectually. Yeah, some general view, enough to keep you on the road, instead of driving through the fields, is good. But that’s, any more than that, it can be a barrier and a problem. It’s harder to give up what you think about or what you think is real because you’re really attached to that version of things. It’s hard to give that up. So, you can’t think yourselves, ourselves, out of prison that’s made of thought. Every thought is the prison itself because we actually think we’re thinking. Sometimes we actually sit down to think. That’s interesting. I wonder how that works. Think about that.
So, Maharajji is like the sun. He just keeps shining. He shines on everyone equally. He didn’t love anybody more than anybody else. He loved everybody equally. It might have been expressed differently according to the need of that individual. One time, there was this one guy there who used to run away. One day, Maharajji said, “Where is he, where is he, where has he gone? Find him. Where do you think he went? What happened?” Here was this guy who knows everything, right? “Where did he go? Where did he go?” He said, “I’ve fallen in love with him today.” I got so jealous. You’ve fallen in love with that sonofabitch? But it’s all a play. I hated that guy. I really hated him. And I was sitting in front of Maharajji with him once, and Maharajji looked at the two of us, and He looked at me and He pointed to the guy and He said, “You love him so much.” And I looked at him and I totally fell in love with him. To this day, when I think of him, my heart goes, ah. I don’t know what happened. I hated him two seconds before that.
Suggestions for your practice: Hungry Hearts Chant & Door of Faith Album
Hungry Hearts Chant
Made especially for you. This recording is a 7 min 11 sec loop of the chant. This track is FREE and available for download in our digital library (thats where we offer other free stuff too) for you to use at anytime.
Door of Faith
An unusual recording, a departure from the call-and-response (kirtan) style, the deep longing to connect with his guru that comes through makes one feel as if you are listening in on Krishna Das’s personal puja offerings. Also included is Bernie’s Chalisa/Gate of Sweet Nectar. Find out more in our online shop.
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