September 16

Question: How does a master love his or her disciples? How did you as a disciple learn to love?

Answer: “How does a master love his or her devotees?” You will certainly know it when you become the master. True masters love not only their devotees, but love everybody and everything equally. There are no gradations; their love for everybody is the same. Sometimes it might appear to be a little more for the disciples just because they are nearby and they are following the teachings. It might look as if they love them more. Sometimes they might even say, “I love you more than anybody.” Probably that is one way of encouraging you. It need not be true. Don’t get carried away by that.

Just to encourage and inspire you, they could say, “Oh, you are the most beloved devotee.” It’s for your benefit. But to them everyone is the same because their love is unconditional. Whether you follow the teachings or not, whether you praise them or blame them. You might go and backbite. You might even renounce them or denounce them. It doesn’t matter; you are still the same to them. Pure love doesn’t look for any return. And that is true love. Everyone should learn to love that way.

The question now is, “How did you as a disciple learn to love?” There again, I don’t think I ever learned to love. It’s not something that you learn. It’s spontaneous. It just comes from the heart. Nobody needs to teach you. When you see something beautiful, something greater than you, and you feel that you are receiving a lot, what can you return? You cannot return all that you get from a teacher and probably the teacher doesn’t need any return. He or she doesn’t even expect your love. But from your side, you can return that just by loving. By loving that person, you love the teaching. You love everything that you get from the person. Because you love it, you cherish it and use it in your life. It’s not that you just love the teaching and put it aside. You apply it in your very life. That’s the only way you can express your genuine love to the teacher. The teacher doesn’t look for anything else.

 

Swami Satchidananda

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