Talk: Practicing the Freedom of Love – Br. Shankara

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Talk: Practicing the Freedom of Love

Speaker: Br. Shankara

May 6, 2018

Click for PDF of Quotes & Notes from this talk

May is a month for study of Bhakti Yoga. As a bhakti yogi, you establish a devotional relationship with God through study, prayer, ritual, and worship. You practice giving every action, thought, emotion, perception and tendency “a Godward turn.” All of your energies and attributes, both positive and negative, are offered to the Divine Presence. Your prayer is for self-surrender, union with your Belovèd.

Think for a moment about an arranged marriage: Typically, the couple does not love one another before the wedding. Their love is discovered over time, by trial and error, as they live together and practice a loving relationship. It is not easy, yet it can be very rewarding.

For a bhakti yogi, it is much the same. You may be inclined toward love of God — yet, in the beginning, He or She is not really known to you. Patient and persistent practice of devotion awakens a deep current of love that connects you — has always connected you to the Divine Presence.

In Chapter 12 of Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, “Those whose minds are fixed on me in steadfast love, worshiping me with absolute faith, I consider them to have the greater understanding of yoga … Quickly I come to those who offer me every action, worship me only, their dearest delight, with devotion undaunted. Because they love me, these are my bondsmen and I shall save them from mortal sorrow and all the waves of Life’s deathly ocean.”

God’s love is limitless and unconditional. Yours can be, as well. As Swami Vivekananda wrote in his “Letter to a Friend,” “From the highest god to the worm and beyond, to the atoms in the stars, everywhere the same God loves all. Friend, lay your mind, soul and body at their feet. He is in front of you right now, in the different forms He’s taken; if you turn away from them, where will you find Him? The first to love all beings without thinking worships God.”

In this talk we explore the meaning of these quotes, and others that teach us how to practice, and thereby experience the freedom of love.

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