Two Greatest Commandments (2)
Excerpts from The Second Coming of Christ by Paramahansa Yogananda
Love for God & God in All
is the Essence of Spiritual Law
…Most people live in narrow walls of selfishness, never feeling the throb of the universal life of God. Anyone who lives without knowing that his life comes from the eternal life, who abides a solely material existence, dies and reincarnates forgetful of past lives, has not really lived. His mortal consciousness wandered through delusive dream experiences, but his true Self, the soul, never awoke to express its godly nature and immortality. By contrast, any devotee who by meditation realizes the eternal life behind his mortal life lives forever, never losing his conscious existence at the time of death, or from one incarnation to another, or in the eternity of soul freedom in God.
Love for God, and
for God in all,
is the essence of spiritual law for man’s salvation
Saints and sages who fulfill the two preeminent commandments are no longer subservient to the discipline of other commandments, for in loving God in transcendental meditation and as manifested in others, the righteousness in all cosmic laws is honored automatically. In the devotee with God-contact, the Framer of Cosmic Law essence of spiritual works as a natural intuitive goodness that keeps law for man's him always in harmony with the universal codes of salvation God. Millenniums of darkness gathered around the soul may be dispelled gradually by little flames of observance of numerous rules of conduct. But when, by supreme effort of the heart, mind, and strength, the all-pervading light of God visits the soul, then darkness is no more; the advent of the Great Light engulfs the flickering illumination of disciplined actions. Therefore, to love God through continuous prayer and meditation, and to love God through physical, mental, and spiritual service to His manifestations in one's universal family of neighbors, is the support and essence of the entirety of other laws of human conduct and liberated lives.
Whether one has been righteous or reprehensible, love of God is one's salvation. Each soul should make its rightful claim to God's loving help: "Lord, naughty or good, I am Thy child; You made me in Your image. I may have been naughty, but that is when Your child needs You even more." He is the utmost sinner who turns away from God; he is the utmost sinner who says, "Changing oneself from vice to virtue cannot be done." But he quick becomes a virtuous man, even if scarred with the sins of the world, who says from the sincerity of his heart, "God, I love You." He is safe.
The Only Indispensable is Love
A great lover of God, Saint Mirabai, wrote:
If by bathing daily God could be realized
Sooner would I be a whale in the deep;
If by eating roots and fruits He could be known
Gladly would I choose the form of a goat;
If the counting of rosaries uncovered Him
I would say my prayers on mammoth beads;
If bowing before stone images unveiled Him
A flinty mountain I would humbly worship;
If by drinking milk the Lord could be imbibed
Many calves and children would know Him;
If abandoning one's wife could summon God
Would not thousands be eunuchs?
Mirabai knows that to find the Divine One
The only indispensable is
I Am with You All the Time
…No one can find God without love, for love given freely from the heart of His children is the only thing man's Maker is seeking. He has everything else. The pangs of unrequited love and of separation from loved ones at death are not to torture man, but that he might at last seek the Lover that is waiting for him—a Lover that is not a man or a woman but the great God who has masqueraded before him as father, mother, friend, incarnations of lovers. It is He who is calling you; He who will never abandon you. He came to Saint Anthony, the desert anchorite in Egypt, centuries ago, when the saint was being severely tried and tormented by the devil and his legions of demons in extraordinary attempts to wrest from him his faith. Saint Anthony cried out defiantly: "Satan, do your worst! Nothing will ever separate me from Christ!" The demons attacked; the walls of the cave shook with such ferocity that their col-lapse and the death of the saint seemed imminent. At the last moment, suddenly the radiant splendor of Christ appeared, and Anthony was safe. He said to the Lord, "Where were you, my Jesus? Why did you not come sooner to assist me?" And the voice out of that Light replied:
"Anthony, I was with you all the time." *
So never forsake God. The fiercer the tests of life's adversities, the more strongly the devotee clings to Him, even as the child clings more tightly to the mother's skirt when she is scolding him, at last to be gathered in the arms of her unconditional love.
* Recounted in The Saints that Moved the World by Rene Fulop-Miller (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1945).
To the devotee who wants God badly enough, He will come. He will free that seeker from all false notions of the dream world He has created. He knows delusion and its temptations are sometimes terrible for His unenlightened children. They are the test of God, but He never tests beyond the capacity of His devotee's endurance and conquering spirit. Even when the devotee thinks he can stand no more, the Lord is ever with him as He was with Saint Anthony, silently strengthening and supporting the devotee's every effort.
Love is God
…Those unions of love are the real romance. They are eternal. Human romance is an ephemeral fantasy. Romance with God is a true and everlasting joy of the Life of life, the Love of all loves. God has so much love to give to His devotee that it will burst all boundaries of the heart.
When that love of God fills one's being, it embraces everyone in a universal consciousness of love, service, and compassion. As Jesus' great disciple John wrote:
"Beloved, let us love one another:
for love is of God;
and every one that loveth is born of God,
and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love." *
[* First Epistle of St. John, 4:7-8]