SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA
The only Sara Vastu (true substance) in this world is Prema or Love. It is eternal, infinite and undecaying. Physical love is passion or Moha or infatuation. Universal love is divine love. Cosmic love, Visva Prema, universal love are synonymous terms. God is love. Love is God. Selfishness, greed, egoism, vanity, pride and hatred contract the heart and stand in the way of developing universal love.
Develop universal love gradually through selfless service, Satsanga (association with Mahatmas), prayer, recitation of Guru Mantra, etc. When the heart is contracted through selfishness, man loves his wife, children, a few friends and relatives only, in the beginning. As he evolves, he loves the people of his own district, then the people of his own province. Later on, he develops universal love. All the barriers are broken now. Heart expands infinitely.
It is very easy to talk of universal love. But when you want to put it in actual practice, it becomes extremely difficult. Petty-mindedness of all sorts comes in the way. Old, wrong Samskaras (impressions) which you have created by your wrong mode of life in the past, act as stumbling blocks. Through iron determination, strong will-power, patience, perseverance and Vichara (right enquiry), you can conquer all obstacles quite easily. The grace of the Lord will descend on you quite easily. The grace of the Lord will descend on you if you are sincere, my dear friends!
Universal love terminates in Advaitic unity or oneness or Upanishadic consciousness of seers and sages. Pure love is a greater leveller. It brings equality. Hafiz, Kabir, Mira, Gouranga, Tukaram, Ramadas, all have tasted this universal love. What others have achieved, you can also attain.
Feel that the whole world is your body, your own home. Melt or destroy all barriers that separate man from man. Idea of superiority is ignorance or delusion. Develop Visvaprema, all embracing love. Unite with all. Separation is death. Unity is eternal life. Feel that the whole world is Visvabrindavan. Feel that this body is a moving temple of God. Wherever you are, whether at home, office, railway station or market, feel that you are in the temple. Consecrate every act as an offering unto the Lord. Transmute every work into Yoga by offering its fruits to God. Have Akarta, Sakshi Bhava (feeling that you are just a witness), if you are a student of Vedanta. Have Nimitta Bhava (feeling that the Lord is the doer), if you are a student of Bhakti Marga. Feel that all beings are images of God. Isha Vasyamidam Sarvam – this world is indwelt by the Lord. Feel that one power or God works through all hands, sees through all eyes, hears through all ears. You will become a changed being. You will enjoy the highest peace and bliss.