Learning to love truly is really the greatest learning of life in this world , or the Mrityulok, as it is called.

Right from the time that we gain consciousness of our surroundings, we experience love in its different forms. First of all perhaps, comes Mother’s love, which one becomes aware of as a child. As a child one also becomes aware of Father’s love, often expressed in harsh words and admonitions, difficult to understand till you can see that it was intended as a kind of protection all along, arising out of love.

Then, there is the love of grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends, which we see and experience as we keep growing and our circle gradually expands.

Till we come to youth and know the love of a sweetheart. That is when we start looking behind “love” to try and find out if it is ‘real’ or just an appearance. How many young men must have spent precious hours of their youth, trying to find out “Does she really love me? And no one else?”  The same is true for women as well. “Does he really love me? Will he love me always? Or will he leave me for someone else?” In every relationship answers to these questions suggest themselves in forms that appear to be half-truths: not as clear and unequivocal ‘Yes’, but as ‘Yes, but….why?’

Something or the other seems almost always to cloud your happiness, and you are never really at peace. Fear of the loss of love binds us to a relationship even when it is not really to our taste or liking, sometimes even when it is insufferable.

But true love, they say, throws out fear.

I found the truth of this saying through the teachings of our Gurus, of whom Paramhansa Yogananda, himself is a premavatar, or incarnation of love. His promise, to come again and again, even with bleeding feet, and ply his boat many times across the ocean between life and death, so long as even one stray brother is left behind, is the promise of true love.  That is the love of the Guru channelizing God, for all fellowmen. Just reflecting on the promise brings you to a place of awe, as you realise what love can be like.

The reminder from Sri Yukteswarji about how necessary it is to develop the natural love of the heart, the undertaking of Babaji, to undertake the upliftment of mankind in this Yuga, using Lahiri as the householder guide were a constant reminder of the love that surrounds all of us, if we would only open ourselves to it and accept it.

After I had been living the teachings for a while, I found my heart changing. I stopped caring about whether I was getting anything in return for my efforts. Appreciation from others lost its charm. I did a thing because I loved doing it, and when I felt it was the right thing to do. The fear of loss went away, and was replaced by a deep and lasting sense of the permanence of all loving relationships. I found that hurt became a thing of the past. I was so full of love and so full of faith in the lasting nature of love, that the whole world was sweet. Forgiveness also came naturally. The deeper cause behind bad behaviour was easy to see, for all human conduct is directed towards the same end: finding happiness and finding love or acceptance or appreciation. It is just this that ignorance does not let people realise what will bring them lasting joy and real love and acceptance.

Only God and a true Guru can help one to know true love.  The more closely you follow the path shown by a Sadguru the more will you know and experience real love. For love is to be found in the giving,  and in comforting others, in being of service to your fellow beings, and only then does it happen that you are so absorbed in loving others that nothing else matters, and fear of loss of love has no longer any power over you.

Only when you know true love, you are safe and secure within yourself, because you are connected to the Source of Infinite Love, and nothing can touch you.