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Darshan with Swami Krishnananda during 1996
by Swami Krishnananda

36. Love and Hatred

(Darshan given on May 31st, 1996.)

A visitor: Swamiji, once you said that when you love something, it is the Infinite calling the Infinite through the mental process. What about when you don't like something and you want to discard it?

Swamiji: That also is the same thing. Your dislike is also a like. It is a like of another kind: You wish that you don't want it. That is also a desire, so it is also a love; it is not something else. Love and hatred mean the same thing. You have a love not to love, which is the opposite of love, so they are not two things. When you love something, you have already done the opposite, simultaneously.

Visitor: But in love, you want to be united with one thing, and in hatred it is different.

Swamiji: No, when you dislike something, you want to be united with the negative aspect of it, the destruction of it. Your mind wants to unite itself with the destructive aspect of the object that you don't like. It is a very subtle trick that the mind is playing. It is a trick of the mind where neither will your love succeed, nor will your hatred succeed. You will fail in both. The mind's tricks are very suspicious. It is acting very surreptitiously against one's own welfare.

When you love something and simultaneously hate something, neither will you get the object of love, nor will you get any benefit out of the hatred. You will only ruin your mental peace. You have to study psychology to understand how the mind operates. It can act like a double-edged sword, cutting both ways.

The mind is not your friend. It will never tell you the right thing as long as it thinks of something outside, whether it is in the form of love or in the form of hatred. Both these activities of the mind are pernicious. Both love and hatred are indications of mental ill health, philosophically at least. Such people can never have peace of mind throughout their life.

Visitor: But is there also a love which transcends the opposites of love and hatred?

Swamiji: That is not love. It is Pure Being.

Visitor: Then why do they say that God is love?

Swamiji: You should not use the word 'love'. God is not love. God is Pure Being. If they say it, don't believe these people.

Visitor: In all the scriptures, they say so.

Swamiji: Don't believe these people who will misguide you. You don't want any scripture that misguides people. No scripture will tell you the ultimate truth because they always say that God created the world, which has never happened really. The other day I was saying that if God created the world, then He is outside the world. And if He is outside the world, then He is not everywhere. So which scripture is telling the truth?

Visitor: But Swamiji, we also say that God is perfection.

Swamiji: Just because God is perfection, it does not mean that He is not the creator of the world. So the moment He creates, He becomes imperfect because He separates Himself from the creation. The cause becomes different from the effect. Though there is some truth in what they say, it is misguiding to non-initiates. You should never read a scripture without guidance. If God created the world, when did He create it? Transcendence and immanence are both merged together in universality. There is no creation; there is no love or hatred. It is Being as such – pure sat-chit-ananda.

Visitor: They say God created the world, and is also in the world.

Swamiji: God cannot be in the world. If God is in the world, then He is inside it, like water in a bucket. A thing that is inside something is different from that thing which contains it. So immediately you are bringing a distinction between God and the world when you say 'in'. He is not in, nor is He out. He is That Itself; therefore, words are not applicable here. Neither is God inside the world, nor is God outside it. Both statements are inadequate; God is the world itself.

The snake is neither inside the rope, nor outside the rope; it is the rope itself, so you should not use the words 'in' and 'out'. These are all preliminary exercises of religious preparation, but you cannot carry them so far. Every stage has its own value, but it will have to be transcended finally. The concept of the Universal includes both transcendence and immanence; otherwise, they will stand separate, with one above and one below. The words 'in' and 'out' should not be used because that creates distinction.

Visitor: So Swamiji, there is no love?

Swamiji: There is no such thing as love, finally, nor is there hatred.

Visitor: And so what is devotion to God?

Swamiji: Devotion to God does not mean love as you think in your mind. Devotion is a complete transformation of human love into a concept of Being as such. It is a love of Being by Being. If you want to call it love, you may. It is the Self loving the Self.

Another visitor: Is there a distinction between devotees and philosophers? Do I have to choose between the two?

Swamiji: The devotee always sees God as being far away in the sky, but philosophers don't think like that. Devotees always look up to pray to God.

Visitor: No, I don't look up.

Swamiji: Well then, at least you don't look down! In religion, all concepts of God are preparatory stages for the final merging of consciousness in Being as such. They are preparatory stages. You cannot cling to the stages themselves as final.

Visitor: But the feelings and the emotional side cling to them, Swamiji.

Swamiji: You have to gradually go beyond them. Meditation on God does not mean emotion. It is something beyond emotion. Emotion is a mental act, a psychological function.

Visitor: But Swamiji, if I don't love God, what else can I love?

Swamiji: You need not love God. You must unite yourself with Him in your consciousness. You cannot love a thing which is yourself. The word 'love' is not suitable there. Your satisfaction about yourself cannot be regarded as love. It is more than love; it is Self-perfection.

Visitor: Then how do I handle my emotions?

Swamiji: The emotion is the mental movement of feeling in respect of something outside it. If the object is not outside, the feeling will not be there.

Visitor: But Swamiji, I cannot ignore the emotions. How do I handle them?

Swamiji: As long as you cannot ignore them, you are not in a perfect condition. You may pass through that stage, but as long as you are in that stage, it is an imperfect condition.

Another visitor: Swamiji, what is transcendence?

Swamiji: Transcending happens only when you no longer need something. It's not thinking that something is valuable but you are not touching it. That is no good. Suppose you leave a lot of money in the bank and come here. If you want it and you don't have it, that is not transcendence. It becomes transcendence when you don't need it. There is a difference. It is a mistake people make with renunciation. You cannot renounce a thing which you think is valuable; you can only renounce a thing which has no value. Only then it is real renunciation; otherwise, it will cling to you. That is no good. It is everybody's mistake.

If you think that you have had enough of it and you want something higher, only then a question of transcendence comes. You cannot leave anything unless you have had enough of it, up to surfeit. When you have eaten up to the nose, then you will not eat a second time; that is called surfeit. Wealth, knowledge, power, authority, etc., you must have up to surfeit; then it will become nauseating and you don't want to think of it. But if it is not up to surfeit, then you will crave it. If you have eaten only until your stomach is half full, you will go unsatisfied. That is no good. You must eat until you are full. Then it is all right.

Visitor: Swamiji, what is destiny?

Swamiji: There is no such thing as destiny. It is only a name that we give to the impression created by your actions performed in previous births. That effect produced by your actions of the past looks like some controlling power, and we call it Providence, destiny, and so on. There is no destiny outside it. It is you, yourself. You create a cocoon around yourself in the form of actions performed, and they act either in this birth or in the next birth, as the case may be, according to their intensity. If the karmas are very intense, they act now; but if they are very mild, they produce their effect in the next birth. Destiny is only a name we give to that force generated by our own actions. It is a very strong force. We are made up of that only. We are made of our own actions.

Visitor: Swamiji, what is intuition?

Swamiji: Intuition means all the sense organs melting together into a single focused attention. Intuition is not seeing, hearing, smelling, touching or tasting; all things are taking place at one stroke. Whatever all the five sense organs do, they get melted down into a single focus. It is a thrill of melting down of personality into what we may call a kind of liquified experience. You will be liquified and will not be existing as an individual anymore. Samadhi is the highest intuition. It is direct contact, direct perception. Intuition and samadhi ultimately mean the same thing.

To understand this subject requires great training of the mind. No book will enlighten you abruptly. Only contact with saints and sages for a long time may purify your mind. It requires a purified mind to understand this highly intricate, technical subject, so the mind has to be purified of all ordinary earthly concepts of reality. You have got concepts of reality based on worldly perceptions, sensory perceptions and psychological feelings, emotions, etc. All these have to be brushed aside.

Understanding this subject requires deep thought, long persistence, continued association with saints and sages, and meditation along these lines for as long a period as possible every day, adopting a technique which you have to learn from a competent person. It is not a question-and-answer method; it is a question of living. It all depends upon how you are living and conducting your daily existence.