In True Love Everything That Is Not Yourself Drops Off
The following is an excerpt from the book The Fire of Freedom
Satsang with Papaji edited by David Godman
Papaji: In English we say ‘falling in love’. When you fall, you start in one place and end up somewhere lower down. But in the kind of love that I am speaking of, there is no fall, no descent to a lower level. It is in the other kinds of love that there is a fall.
Question: Do you mean there is a fall into desire?
Papaji: Desire is always a fall, but in the love I am talking about, there is never a fall. You remain as you are. This is true love. To express the other kind of love everyone says, ‘I fell in love’. In this physical kind of love it is you who fall. In true love it is everything else, except for you, that falls away. In true love everything that is not yourself drops off. When everything has fallen away, this is real love. When you walk away from all other kinds of love, you find true love.
Look at what happened to the Buddha. He was lying next to the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. Physical love was there. Affection was there, but it wasn’t enough for him. There was another kind of love that was missing in his life. Though he had everything he could want in the world, he got up and walked out. When this call comes from true love, it cannot be resisted. Kings have left their kingdoms and their queens in search this love. This is the supreme love that I am talking about.
Question: [new questioner] Sometimes I find it difficult to read holy books because they are full of descriptions of these wonderful states. I read them and I think, ‘Well, I haven’t experienced that state, that experience’. This leads to thoughts and desires, judgements about where I am on the path. Since they give rise to feelings of inadequacy, I prefer not to read such books.
Papaji: This is good judgement, one that you have made after reading many books.
Question: Well, I haven’t read that many.
Papaji: Then you are lucky. Maya has a big net that can catch fish for her in many different ways. When a man turns his back on the world, on samsara, there are many traps waiting for him. He can get caught in many different ways. He may leave his friends, his relatives and his community, but he may end up in the trap of a new community, an ashram. Or he may end up in the trap of reading spiritual books. Getting lost in these books is a big trap. Wherever you go, maya has a trap that is waiting for you. If you worship, you can get trapped in the rituals of worship. If you follow the path of yoga, then yogic samadhi will be trap for you.
Do you understand? You can go into samadhi and feel very pleased with yourself. You think afterwards, ‘I am having long samadhis. I can stay in these states for six hours at a time’.
You can be a bhakti who does japa all day, but your rosary will end up becoming your trap. You will think, ‘I am counting beads all day. I am doing very well’.
Not even the gods are free from these traps of maya. For Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, maya appeared as Kamala. Siva left his tapas for Uma. Brahma got caught up in his creation. Who is free from these traps? No one. Because whatever you do whatever you think of, whatever you imagine is a trap of maya.
However, let me tell you that all these traps are imaginary. Once you truly know that they are all traps, you know that they are all in your imagination. There is no door that is locking you in. You are free to walk away from whatever trap you find yourself in.
Buddha walked out of his trap and found freedom. He lived in an isolated pleasure garden and was kept apart from the normal world. An astrologer had told his parents, ‘This man cannot stay in this world’. His mother had also had a dream about this. After his birth his parents, the king and queen, tried to keep him completely apart from the normal world. He had a beautiful garden full of dancing girls, and for a wife he was given the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. In his private little world there was no suffering, old age, no seeking except the seeking of physical pleasures.
One day he wanted to see what was outside his wall. He just took the decision, ‘I want to see what is on the other side of this wall’. He made a secret trip outside and for the first time in his life he saw suffering, old age and death. He went back to his palace and decided that he had to renounce his world — his kingdom, his family, his beautiful wife — in order to find he secret of suffering and how to transcend it. He renounced everything and walked out secretly, in the middle of the night. It is said that the locks of the palace unlocked themselves when he wanted to leave. It is said that the earth itself became soft like butter so that the guards would not hear the noise from the escaping horse’s hooves. Why and how? Because freedom loved this man. Freedom fell in love with this prince who had exhibited such tremendous renunciation. Freedom itself arranged his escape.
He must have been chosen by the supreme power for this escape, this destiny of ultimately escaping his traps and finding freedom. Who, in a similar situation, has ever got up and walked out? Even the gods stayed sleeping with goddesses. This man woke up, was chosen to wake up, because he had the courage to walk away from everything.