matriwords

Research, Essays, Commentaries – Inspired by the Social-Cultural-Political Thought of Sri Aurobindo (PLUS a bit of photography too!)

Are We Ready to Love?

All quotes are from the Mother, Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 14. Photographer: Suhas Mehra. Please do not reproduce any of the photographs without explicit permission. The spiritual significance of the flowers pictured here are taken from the two-volume set ‘The Spiritual Significance of Flowers by the Mother’. Introductory text by Beloo Mehra, who also helped with the selection of quotes.

 

A couple of weeks ago as I was casually admiring some of the spring blossoms in my garden, I felt like preserving some of the beauty of those blossoms for a little bit longer. So I asked Suhas to take a few photographs. Which he did later that morning when the light was better. I had no idea at that time that we might be using some of the photographs from that day for this photo-feature today, on Love.

But here we are. 

A few days back when the thought of doing a photo-feature on Love first came to me, almost immediately I brushed it away. This unsure feeling must have persisted at the back of my mind, without my knowing most likely, because a couple of days later, I knew for sure that we should do this photo-feature, on Love. And we should do using some of the recent photographs from our spring garden. 

What made me sure?

Those who have been to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, know about the exquisite flower decorations that are done at the samadhi, as an offering to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, twice a day. That particular evening when I went to the samadhi to offer my pranams, I saw the most delicate, the most beautiful hearts with pink rose flowers. The moment I saw them, a most profound line from Sri Aurobindo came to mind – “Nothing has to be rejected, all has to be raised to the pure levels of the divine consciousness.” (The Secret of the Veda, p. 272) And the next instant, I remembered the unsure feeling I had about the photo-feature and I immediately knew that we should do it.

So here it is.


 

 

DSC_0121 copy

Bougainvillea (Emotional protection; surrender to the Divine is the best emotional protection). St. Vincent lilac (Seeking for support only in the Divine; the Divine is the only support that never fails.)

 

Certainly one has the right to love and true love carries in itself its joy, but unhappily human beings are egoistic and immediately mix with their love the desire to be loved in return, and this desire is contrary to spiritual truth and the cause of passions and sufferings.

The one you love must have the right of freedom in her feelings and if you want the truth you must understand this right and accept it. Otherwise there will be no end to your miseries. This is an occasion to surmount your egoism and to open to the true life. (pp. 119-120)

 

P1000154

Bougainvillea (Integral protection; that which can be given only by the Divine)

 

The need for human love, to the extent that it is not merely in obedience to the instinct of Nature or to a vital attraction, is the need to have a Divine for oneself alone, at one’s entire and exclusive disposal, a Divine who is one’s personal property and to whom one gives oneself totally only if the gift is reciprocated.
           Instead of enlarging oneself to the size of the Divine and having a love as vast as the universe, one tries to reduce the Divine to one’s own size and have His love for oneself alone.
            Therefore, human love is not a need of the soul, but rather a concession it makes for a time to the ego. (p. 120)

 

DSC_3344

Bougainvillea (Physical protection; is possible only with a total surrender to the divine and absence of all desire)

 

There is a thirst for Love which no human relation can quench. It is only the Divine’s love that can satisfy that thirst.

*

They always speak of the rights of love but love’s only right is the right of self-giving.

Without self-giving there is no love; but self-giving is very rare in human love which is full of selfishness and demands. (p. 121)

 

DSC_0119

Purple allamanda (Victory in the vital; in the vital even a little victory has great consequences)

 

So long as the ego is there, one cannot love.
Love alone can love, Love alone can conquer the ego. 
(p. 121)

*
At first one loves only when one is loved.
      Next, one loves spontaneously, but one wants to be loved in return.
      Then one loves even if one is not loved, but one still wants one’s love to be accepted.
      And finally one loves purely and simply, without any other need or joy than that of loving. 

*

It is not the love that someone feels for you that can make you happy, it is the love you feel for others that makes you happy: for you receive the love that you give from the Divine, who loves eternally and unfailingly. (p. 122)

P1000152

Rangoon creeper (Faithfulness; we can count on You, You never fail us when we need You.)

 

All the forms that love has taken in the human consciousness on earth are but awkward attempts, deformed and incomplete, to find once again true Love.

*
True love has no need of reciprocation; there can be no reciprocation because there is only one Love, the Love, which has no other aim than to love. It is in the world of division that one feels the need of reciprocation—because one lives in the illusion of the multiplicity of Love; but in fact there is only One Love and it is always this sole love which, so to say, responds to itself.

*

True love, that which fulfils and illumines, is not the love one receives but the love one gives.
          And the supreme Love is a love without any definite object—the love which loves because it cannot do other than to love. (pp. 122-123)

DSC_3245

Blue Pea (Radha’s Consciousness in the vital; perfect attachment to the Divine replaces all vital attractions and passions.)

 

True love is something very deep and calm in its intensity; it may quite well not manifest itself in any exterior acts sensational or affectionate. 

*

Divine Love, true love, finds its delight and its satisfaction in itself; it has no need to be received and appreciated, nor to be shared—it loves for the sake of loving, as a flower blooms.
         To feel this love in oneself is to possess an immutable happiness. (pp. 124-125)

 


The Mother has given spiritual significances to more than 850 flowers. Read more about it HERE.


To see more photo-features on this blog, click HERE.


To read another perspective on celebrating love, click HERE


Linking with ABC Wednesday, F: F is for Flowers

 

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28 comments on “Are We Ready to Love?

  1. ruchira
    February 14, 2016

    Such beautiful perspectives on love. It echoed the truth but alas! the human heart yearns for instant result thus, the sorrow if not being loved back.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Indeed, we are full of many such faults in our emotional selves, wanting to be loved in return for our love and all that. That’s why it is more important to be regularly reminded of the deeper and truer nature of this thing called love. I am happy you liked the post and the perspectives shared here. Thanks Ruchira.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shailaja V
    February 14, 2016

    True love- the love that binds our soul inextricably with the Divine- is the highest form of love possible. Unconditional, unchanging and pure. Through human love, we learn to grow, leave aside expectations and move towards a manifestation of that divine love. That growth is important to keep us in touch with the Divine. Love the flowers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Yes, indeed, human love with all its imperfections is a great learning lab for us. No doubt about that. But how many of us ever graduate and move on to the next class? 🙂

      Thanks Shailaja, glad you liked the flowers.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Eli Ert
    February 15, 2016

    Oh, the right of freedom. The very core of unconditional love, the way I see it. Without giving freedom, no love. That I have learned the hard way. I really enjoyed reading through this Beloo. And I do see that the love for the Divine and for ourselves are the same- basically. … You had me linger at the photos – truly amazing shots – divine love, the gifts of nature… You made my day… Hugs sweetie:-)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Thanks, Eli. So glad you enjoyed the photos. Suhas does take flower photography quite seriously 🙂 In fact until a couple of years ago, the only thing he enjoyed clicking were flowers! And as for the relation between freedom and love, well you have said it all so well. I concur.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Zephyr
    February 15, 2016

    It was a validation by none other than The Mother of the advice my sister has been giving me for the past some years now – elevate your thoughts from the temporal to the divine and spiritual. Tell God what you can’t tell humans, give love to God who will care for you, etc. etc. This is the ultimate love in the world. Thanks for this very beautiful post on love.

    The flowers evoked nostalgic memories too. We called the blossoms of the Rangoon creeper as Rangoon malli (jasmine), though it has no connection whatsoever to jasmine 🙂 I remember learning to make gajras with them because it is easy for young hands to learn to do it with flowers having long stems! The blue pea we called shankhapushpam and my father said that it was Lord Shiva’s favourite flower. We had bushes growing wild and it used to be so exciting to search for them among the foliage. They looked like so many sapphires! Is the purple allamanda a flower or the painting of the flower? Suhas had done a great job with his camera. It is good to have an in-house photographer, isn’t it? 🙂

    Sorry, this became a long comment about me!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Thanks, Zephyr. And don’t worry, your comment didn’t become about you, it actually became about flowers 🙂 And about the wonderful reminder about elevating our thoughts from temporal to spiritual. Thank you for sharing the wonderful words of your sister. Such a simple and perfect formula for us to grow in love for the God. You know, your comment, actually this part about your sister’s words on giving love to God gave me an idea for a post 🙂 Let’s see! And oh, the allamanda flower is actually a photograph with some painting effect that Suhas added. He likes to play around with these things, I suppose in order to bring out something special that feels right to his vision.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beat About The Book
    February 15, 2016

    Beautiful words Beloo. I loved what you said about reducing the love of the Divine to our size instead of enlarging ours to match his. It’s so true. We often only think of getting love and not enough about giving it – unless it is to ‘our’ family and ‘our’ friends. I loved the pictures too. The humble bougainvillea looks delicate and lovely. And what you call the Rangoon creeper we called Malati or Madhu Malati – that’s a flower from my childhood. We had the creeper in our angan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Yes, I also remember the Rangoon creeper as Madhumalti. One of my favorite flowers since childhood. Always wanted a vine growing in my home, and I am so grateful to have one now. And right now it is full in bloom too! Heavenly fragrance.

      I am happy you connected with some of the quotes here. Thanks for your lovely comment.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. vishalbheeroo
    February 16, 2016

    What beautiful collection of flowers, Beloo. Love the quotes on love and nothing like flowers to celebrate togetherness. Hope you had a lovely Valentine Day.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Rachna
    February 16, 2016

    Loved the thoughts shared, Beloo. Yes, love is about giving and receiving.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Bikramjit
    February 16, 2016

    Wow first of all those are BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS .. I cant wait for spring summer to come .. its all freezing outside these days so everything is dead. :(..

    Love i feel is very FUNNY.. because I feel love is of many kinds .. people nowadays confuse it often.. makes people do wierd things .. but the worst that i think is that how can people say they love someone one day and the next they say they dont.. That i have never been able to understand.

    I love people .. maybe we dont talk to each other anymore .. maybe we dont see each other anymore but I still love them as much as i did when we use to meet .. But then this is also true and i am sure you will nod your head when i say you probably have not interacted with a idiot like me before 🙂 so its fine I am who I am what i am..

    Regarding divine love again my thoughts differ a bit I think that One needs to love themself first to even have a little bit of love for others .. if you dont love yourself how can you love others ..

    🙂 I have again gone on a tangent here he he he he

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Thanks, Bikram for sharing your thoughts. I am glad you enjoyed the flowers. Sending you some warm spring greetings from south-eastern coast of India. May the Spring come for you soon in your part of the world!

      As for love and all….first of all, I don’t think you are an idiot 🙂 I have always enjoyed interacting with you. I wouldn’t be able to do that if you were an idiot, hehehe….I think human love comes in many different forms, and the one you speak of is also just as valid as any other. We don’t have to be in touch with the person we love. We can simply love, even without having any contact with that person. And as for Divine love, I in a way agree with you. Loving oneself is important, but what ‘self’? Is it only the ego-self that we are obsessively in love with? If so, then that can be problematic. Don’t you think so?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Me Otherwise
    February 17, 2016

    I believe true love is all around us .. it just needs to be identified. Just like those beautiful flowers

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Melody
    February 17, 2016

    Love… a precious gift wich by many people is not cherished the way it should and deserves…

    your photo’s are stunning…. spring, i long for it, but the nasty cold outside we’ll just have to wait a little longer…

    Have a nice abc-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Thank you Melody! Glad you enjoyed the photos. Being in tropical climate, we get spring early, and right now it is gorgeous to see flowers around. Here’s wishing you a happy Spring, may it arrive soon for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. inquisitivegeet
    February 17, 2016

    So many forms of love in one post is wonderful Beloo.. And to be loved is an innate feeling that comes automatically. Even if one doesn’t realize it, but once they’re loved back, they feel on the top of the world and that explains it all.. Love is a beautiful feeling and lucky are the ones who experience it in their lives 🙂

    Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Thanks, Geetika. Happy this post spoke to you. Love is indeed which makes the world go around, so to speak. If only we can continue to deepen this feeling and continue to grow in our love. Not only love those who love us, but love just because.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. lesliebc
    February 18, 2016

    Beautiful words and photos! Just lovely…

    Leslie
    abcw team

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Roger Green
    February 18, 2016

    it can be tough to love without reciprocation

    ROG, ABCW

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      I know 🙂 All good things that we must do are tough, isn’t it?! Thanks Roger for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. readerwil
    February 19, 2016

    Thank you so much for this lovely post of yours. I like all the hidden meanings of Bougainvillea.
    I love this quotation:

    So long as the ego is there, one cannot love.
    Love alone can love, Love alone can conquer the ego.

    Wil, ABCW Team

    Liked by 2 people

    • Beloo Mehra
      February 26, 2016

      Thanks, Wil. Glad you enjoyed this post. I find a lot of inner support and strength when I think of the spiritual significance of the flowers growing in my garden. And the quotation you picked is one of my favourites too.

      Liked by 1 person

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