Universal Love is the goal in sadhana and all of the Incarnations spoke often of Love. With a deeper understanding of these principles, we become more like the One who created us.
In 1 Corinthians we see that universal love is beginning to be described. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
When we look closer at these verses, it’s not difficult to see that action is required and emotions are the result of our actions in the world. Our internal states become more secure as universal love is practiced.
This effort, though it may not be perfect, is rewarded by the Atman or Lord within who understands the soul’s imperfections and continues to strive with the soul through the chakras until purification is accomplished.
As this level of devotion increases, it enters the being-state and a fire ignites within; the soul is transformed with a deeper understanding of the mysteries of God.
At the beginning of the above verses, we see God’s love in “Charity suffereth long, and is kind.” To be kind starts with our actions toward others. There may be times when it is difficult or when it seems the world is against us or doesn’t care. Despite the world’s ambivalence, God does care and wants us to care, too.
As the soul strives for kindness, the internal meaning becomes more apparent, and humility is the driving force or the Atman’s purpose for being kind to others. In seeking a humble heart, the ego loses its foothold, and the Atman sends profound peace and joy.
If we look closer at the Lord’s Incarnations, His meekness is evident. The appearance of Krishna who was raised as a lowly cow herder and later became “enlightened,” and the Buddha who left the palace and wandered the countryside, begging for bread before reaching “nirvana.”
Or Mohammed who as a “prophet,” spent His early life as a merchant. None of these Incarnations proclaimed to be the Lord, though His teachings revealed His Glory.
The life of Jesus shows what happens when the Lord proclaims His identity. It was not open as most think for He only told His disciples in private and was most likely overheard.
He then changed the wording from “Son of God,” to “Son of Man.” In this way, He spared Himself another year from the death that He knew was to come.
“Charity suffereth long,” describes God’s patience as the soul progresses through the chakras.
The Holy Spirit is faithful in that It continually upholds the soul’s progress through each lifetime. The actions or free will of the individual dictate if the soul reaches the same state as a previous life.
The higher the chakra, the more that is expected. It fulfills what Jesus said in Luke, “To whom much is given, much will be required.”
Jesus’s promise is still alive and real today but requires effort in making sadhana an important part of our lives. The higher chakras are more sophisticated and require contemplation and meditation but depend on the individual’s circumstances or capabilities in a lifetime.
If karma yoga is all you can do, do it well, and God and the Atman will support your efforts.
Though God’s promise is always secure, the soul is never stagnant and constantly moving forward or backward from the Atman’s goal. Each lifetime is important for the soul’s growth and depends on the willingness of the individual.
One may reach samadhi quicker than another through self-discipline and making better decisions. Another may lose lifetimes through a lack thereof and poor decisions.
Through all this, God’s promise remains, and each person can reach and surpass the growth from a previous birth by following God’s commandments and seeking the joy of the Atman within.
The next relates to the ego where it says, “charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”
With love, envy falls by the wayside, and the “puffing of the chest” is foreign to the Lord. This is the result of the ego that wants to look big to the world. “If I assert my dominance, then the world will see my importance.”
When a person pursues this route, they end up finding it empty and devoid of love. Universal love is not the world applauding, but the Lord upholding and supporting, and He takes your sadhana seriously.
There is no deeper love than this and it won’t be found in dominance or the approval of others.
“Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,” is a reminder that what we do affects others, and we are not an “island unto ourselves.”
Our actions always have spiritual implications for those around us, but if we follow the Lord’s teachings, our cup will continue to overflow with God’s mercy and loving kindness.
“Is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil,” describes the being-state of those serious about sadhana. They are patient with themselves and others and choose to live a life of ahimsa, and never seek to inflict harm.
The New Testament talks about Jesus being angry when he overthrew the money tables at the temple. It wasn’t about a money exchange since God understands that money has an operative function.
The Lord’s anger was that money was the only exchange as their minds were deeply engrossed in materialism.
Now we come to the end of the verses which says “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” This is our sadhana until liberation is accomplished.
It’s devotion and endurance that leads the soul to Heaven. This requires faith in God’s sustaining power and a willing heart.
In the end, we can see that Universal Love is not unconditional. This is a human perception of God’s love, based on an irrational principle that belief will lead the soul upwards when ahimsa and an obedient heart are God’s real messages of love.
As we follow the Lord’s precepts, we make ourselves more loveable to the Creator, and God’s love is returned, which is worth far more than fame or any applause the world might offer.
For those who are diligent, God pours out His Spirit, and with peace and love, we can run the race to God-realization until our sadhana is complete.
May the Holy Spirit be with you always and may the Atman guide you to greater glory, until we meet, at last, at Heaven’s door.