We have a New Year coming up in a few days, two or three days. Usually on New Years Day people make, not many people I guess but some people make New Year’s resolutions and they are making a resolution to try to make their life better. Not many people say, “This year I am going to get fatter and I’m going to get more ugly and I’m going to be on a bummer as much as I can.” (Laughter) I don’t think so. If you made that resolution, you could keep it, you would not break it. But we make the good ones, “Oh, I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to be a better person, I’m not going to be so angry, I’m going to be…” whatever, whatever, on and on. “I’m going to quit this and quit that.” Hey, if you don’t start, you don’t have to quit. My dad taught me that when I was young. He said, “Son, if you don’t start, you never have to quit.” I remembered that my whole life. Not that I didn’t start some things, but a lot of things I didn’t because I remembered.
“Oh, I’m trying to quit, I’m trying to quit this, and I’m trying to quit that.” But if we follow this path of love, we don’t have to worry about this kind of stuff. We don’t quit, we just enter into a new dimension of life and you automatically walk away from it, you don’t ‘quit, quit, quit’. You just walk away. It has no place in your life anymore, it’s gone. I don’t know anything about it; I don’t have any room in my life for that, it has no meaning for me.
Why do we do all these stupid things? Why do we smoke cigarettes? Trying to be happy. Why do we drink alcohol? Trying to be happy. Why do we take drugs? Trying to be happy. Why do we have all this illicit stupid stuff going on? Trying to be happy. Why are we destroying the planet? Trying to be happy. Why are we doing all the things that are negative? Trying to be happy. Because that is the goal, pleasure is the goal. The only way it is going to change is when I have the right goal. Pleasure is still going to be the goal, but now the goal is a goal that will give me the pleasure I am looking for and that is love for God. It is very, very simple.
What did Lord Jesus came to teach? That was the reason he came to this world. No other reason. He came to this world to tell us the truth and his truth or message was, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, thy mind, thy entire being.” That was his first commandment. He was so strong about it, he said, “This is my commandment, I command you.” “And the second is like unto it, love thy neighbor as thyself.”
So at best people are saying, “Oh, let’s love everybody, I want to love everybody.” But that is the second part of the message. We are trying to love everybody without loving God; you can’t do it. The heart has to be pure to love. You can lust everybody in a gentle way (laughs), till they cross you, “Grrrrrr.”
“I love you, I love you, I love you.” That’s why they developed the drug ecstasy, take ecstasy. It is a chemical solution, you take a little hit of ecstasy and you walk around, “Oh, I love everybody, I love the world, I love you!” Boulder, Colorado, was one of the first places ecstasy became very popular and there was a lot of yuppies there, very affluent people. So they were having their yuppie parties and taking ecstasy, “Oh, I love you!” Everybody is ‘loving’ everybody. And then, “Oh, let’s get married!” So they get married till the ecstasy wore off. “Oh man, what did I do?” There was actually a bumper sticker made and a lot of people had it on their car, it said, “Do not get married for at least two weeks after taking ecstasy.” (Laughter)
It is not a chemical solution here; it is not some other solution. I have to do what everyone has to do: develop a loving relationship, but this time it is with the One who actually loves me back, it is the One who can actually give me what I need. Real love is about giving pleasure to the one you love. Lust is about getting pleasure from the one you ‘love’. Even at best it is that I love you if you love me. As long as I am satisfying you, I am giving you pleasure and you are giving me pleasure, our relationship is good, we ‘love’ each other. But when on one side or the other that quits, I am not getting the pleasure that I want, I am giving but I am not getting, then the relationship is over or at best it becomes very difficult. That is the nature of material ‘love’ as we call it.
Whereas with spiritual love it is all about giving, all I want to do is give love to the Supreme Person and as a result I get fulfilled, my heart is overflowing with love, now I can give it to everybody: my neighbor. That is why Jesus said, “Then love your neighbor.” You can’t love your neighbor first. Love God and then not only can love your neighbor, you will love your neighbor, you’ll love your friends, you’ll love your enemies, you’ll love all living entities and you’ll love all of God’s creation. It is all in connection and that is where love is, and that is when everyone is happy, it is in this condition.
Even if they don’t have that purity and they are not able to love you, if you give that unconditional love to them, it will affect them, somehow it will touch something that nothing ever has before. They will feel something and they won’t even understand it but they will feel it. Love is a feeling, it is not a philosophy; it is an experience of the heart. They will feel warmth coming from you that they didn’t even know about and then they will understand this is not about what he is trying to get from me; it is about unconditional giving.
This is love. This is Jesus’s message, he said, “Do this and you’ll be happy, you’ll be free, then you are free.” You are free, that is the only freedom. And all this other stuff is ever increasing bondage. The pseudo freedom that everyone is pursuing today is a noose around the neck that gets tighter and tighter with each new ‘freedom’, until we eventually hang ourselves completely.
A wise person listens to the words of the wise. Jesus was the wise person; he came and taught the wise men. Those who were considered wise came to him and bestowed gifts upon him; this is where the whole gift idea started. But this was perfect giving because they were giving gifts to a great spiritual realized soul, a lover of God. That is the spiritual etiquette: if you go to see an exalted personality, you bring them a gift, as they did. The shepherds came; all those came to worship him.
This should be our understanding. Don’t take Jesus out of our lives, add Jesus in, add God in, add all these devotees of God in. They have the message of truth. The spiritual master brings us this knowledge, he gives us the process of bhakti yoga, he says, “Hey, if you do this, you’ll be happy.” My spiritual masters have always given me this message; never will it change. It is an eternal message, it is not that this is their message today and tomorrow they will tell you something else. It is an eternal message. And as an eternal spirit soul, if we accept that eternal message, our life becomes… it is already eternal but it will become situated in eternal happiness and pleasures called ananda. In the yoga terminology, the Sanskrit terminology, it is called ananda or spiritual bliss. It is ecstasy, but not a chemically induced, temporary up and down. It is the actual jubilation and bliss of the soul. This is yoga, this is pure yoga. You come to this point and it is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Just a little hint, just a little glimpse is like nothing you’ve ever had before.
But as long as we pile on the illusion, we continue to believe the lies and propagate the lies, it cannot happen. At some point we have to put our head up, get a breath of fresh air and take a new direction in life. Let that be your New Year’s resolution. “I am going to take a new direction in life and that means a spiritual direction in life. I am going to ask for guidance from God Himself. I am going to try to find love where love is to be found, not looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in all the wrong faces. Looking for that place where Jesus said it is, where all the great teachers have said it is, where the whole Vedic knowledge is directing us, all the great masters, the lovers of God, have said the same thing.” Then we can be fulfilling our eternal position as that loving person we are, that is who we are, and then we can become our real self.
I could go on and on but I think that is enough. I think the idea has been presented and some of you who hear this may find some interest, we hope so. I hope your New Year will be one where you begin the journey and if you are already on the journey, your journey will continue and continue until you reach perfection. Love is perfect; let us all become perfect in this way.
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