Friends, in the path of devotion almost all the teachers have emphasized one aspect of divine existence, which is that God dwells in the heart of every being. That is one of the essential points in this path. And it has been found that a devotee likes very much to meditate upon God, to feel His presence in his own heart as the Soul of his soul. Where else would he feel Him, where else would he embrace Him? Tell me where. If you say, Why, outside’, well, even when he sees God in the outside and embraces Him, the action takes place within himself, because there is no such thing as outside’. Everything is in consciousness, in the soul. If you say, The world is outside’ never believe that nonsense! The world is in consciousness. Where else would it be? When you say, I see a tree’, all you are saying is, There is a tree in my consciousness’. Are you saying anything else? You become conscious of something only when it is in your own consciousness. There is no sense in saying, There is a tree outside my consciousness’. Much less would it be true to say God is outside my consciousness’. Devotee or jharii whatever you are all that takes place is in your soul. Why do you think a person in love wants to embrace the object of his love? He wants to put the other person inside his soul. That is what he’s trying to do; but he follows the wrong method. A mother clasps her baby to her heart; she feels deep in her heart a satisfaction. That is where the reaction takes place. The devotee wants to feel the presence of the Lord in his own heart; so from time to time he meditates upon Him as shining there in His blessed glory. If he finds that the Lord is not there, he will become frantic, as if his heart would break.
I sometimes quote from a poem by one of the great saints of India. He was also a great Sanskrit scholar, and his verses are so pregnant with meaning that they are looked upon as having the same authority as scripture. In one of his poems he described a state of devotion:
When I am separated from the Lord, one moment appears to me like an age, and my eyes begin to shed tears like a rain cloud heavily shedding rain, and the whole world seems empty, as if all substance has gone.’ May I add further that when that state comes, even the brightest sun seems engulfed in darkness, all light vanishes from the face of the earth. That is the kind of grief that comes to the devotee’s heart. Sometimes you will find he cries his heart out in agony. And then comes peace, and his face is filled with joy.
There is only one way to understand it: in terms of human love. Otherwise it will appear rather a strange state to go through. But you know, if we truly love, humanly speaking, all these symptoms come. The only difference is that in the realm of the senses and in terms of finitude the whole thing is doomed to eventual failure. Spiritual love takes you out of the realm of the senses, and instead of dooming you to failure will take you to success; you will be united with this object of your love from eternity to eternity. That’s the difference, but the symptoms are the same.