Wednesday, August 12, 2009

State of a Divine Lover

“Happy are the days of them that are infatuated by love for Him, whether they be sorrowed by separation from Him or made joyous by His presence.
They are mendicants who fly from worldly sovereignty; in the hope of meeting Him they are patient in their mendicity. Oft have they drunk of the wine of anguish; be it bitter, they remain silent. In the remembrance of Him patience is not bitter, for wormwood is sweet from the hand of a friend.
They that are captive in the coils of His love seek not to escape; they suffer reproach, but are monarchs in the seclusion of their meditation, and their way is not known. They are like the temple of Jerusalem, splendid of which is the interior, but whose outer wall is left in ruin.
Like moths, they burn themselves in the fire of love. Their beloved is in their breasts, yet do they seek Him; though near a fountain, their lips are parched.”....from Gulistan by Sadi (1184-1283)

The state of a divine lover is enumerated in various spiritual traditions. The longing for Krishna by the Gopis (cowherds) is beautifully depicted in Gita Govindam by Jeyadeva. The Song of Solomon eulogises the beauty of divine wisdom (Sophia). Though there is joy and sorrow through association or dissociation from the Godhead, it is only in removing oneself from the trappings of this world and becoming a mendicant or beggar in the eyes of the material world, one can reach a state of feeling the presence or absence of the divine alter ego.
In this state of existence anguish becomes a bitter potion and patience and silence are stages of preparation for the ultimate encounter with the divine. The bitter vinegar that Jesus drank symbolizes the rejection by the world of a spiritual seeker and the silence before the Roman authority a deep void between the illusion of earthly existence and the true nature of the Spirit.
Sadi beautifully captures the state of the divine lover as one who is pleasurably captures in the entwining coils of God’s love. The seclusion they achieve in meditating upon the Lord is the equivalent of the dance of the Gopis in Brindhvan, the Rasa Lila which takes place in the heart of every true devotee. It is an inner state or beauty. The last two sentences in the above quote; “Like moths, they burn themselves in the fire of love. Their beloved is in their breasts, yet do they seek Him; though near a fountain, their lips are parched” can be understood better if we look to Narada Bhakti Sutra 23, which says “displays of devotion without knowledge of God's greatness are no better than the affairs of illicit lovers”

We can learn the deeper meaning of this Sutra from the Srimad-Bhagavatam. We learn that all the Gopis had spiritual bodies. This is another proof that Krishna's pastimes with the Gopis are supramundane. When Krishna played His flute in Vrndavana on the full-moon night of the autumn season, the Gopis went to Him in their spiritual bodies. Many of these Gopis are eternal companions of Krishna, and when He exhibits His transcendental pastimes within the material world, they come with Him. They are like the moth that singes itself in the flame and is desirous of becoming the flame.
But some of the Gopis who joined Krishna’s pastimes within this material world came from the status of ordinary human beings. By always thinking of Krishna as their beloved, they became purified of all material contamination and elevated to the same status as the eternally liberated Gopis. These are the categories of souls that are longing for union that are near the fountain yet with parched lips.

Love to you all

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