Lately I have been listening to books on tape by Ram Dass Today I was listening to one of his lectures from a book called "experiments in truth"
Who Ram Dass is, his life story, and how I came to see him a a spiritual teacher is agreat story I will share someday, but, for now, I thought I would share this.
For backround Ram Dass is a devotee of a type of yoga called Bhakti yoga.
This is a "yoga" or a way to "yoke" yourself to god. Whoever "god" is to you.
Bhakti yoga is devotion or worshipping God by "loving" him, But not love as we see it in the "west" a special kind of love for God.
Devotional yoga- A way of living which centers around "being" in the state of love with God as a means to "find god" or "become enlightened" or however one prefers to refer to it.
This story illustrates the type love Bhakti yoga devotees desire to cultivate for "God"
(I sort of embellished the Ram Dass speach with some adjectives here and there, because in type his voice and inflection don't come through, so I added some. ;)
old story in Tibet, this happened long ago and has been told by Teachers through the years to spiritual seekers. It is not relevant when, where, or to whom it occured, or how long Sages and teachers have been telling it. This is the story.
In a land occupied by a foreign nation, a monastary in the mountains is the last hold in the densley wooded area at the foot of the vast mountain range. The village farmers and tradespeople have long since fled over the mountains to seek freedom in another land.
Though once a fortress of spiritual power, all the monks have fled to the woods save one.
Now, as we come upon our story the occupying army has sent its fiercest and most vengeful soldiers to do their dirty work, combing the countryside for the last holdouts, raiding the cupboards left open by those fleeing in terror, sleeping in the beds still warm with the shadow of a frightened child, roused in the middle of the night to scamper to the treeline under cover of darkness.
The officer in charge was a most gruesome adversary. A career mercenary. Sent in to wash away the atrocities committed under guise of "war" with the black-water of a cold and calculating killer. One who recalls his campaigns and "war stories" with pleasure, but not because it is what he has always done, and what he will always do, but because he is that one who seems designated to oppress, from his cruel twisted mind, to his social connections and family name.
From birth he is destined to be an adversary.
And he is living up to his "duty" as a warrior for his chosen cause, having arrived on the outskirts of the village in the foothilss last night. He is alone in his makeshift captains quarters. One man in an olive drab,steeply pitched tent. One man, a desk, stool, and cot.
One monk stands alone in the temple coutyard. flowing the forms of physical meditation as he has done with thousands of sunrises, and thousands of sunsets since his arrival in the mountain temple.
Upon being informed of the remaining monks refusal to retreat to the mountains, the commanding officer became enraged.
"How dare this monk make a mockery of his regiment? And how dare his subordinate leave the monostary and the monk there alone to go about his business? " His anger rang out.
The officer rose from his handsome desk set, and buttoned his coat neatly. He asdjusted the officers sword in its scabboard held "round the waist of his uniform with a crisp commanding officers sash, and walked towards the door.
With the flutter of an impatient finger dismissing the mediocre underling who delivered the news of the one.
As he calmly walked through the gates of the monastery, not sparing so much as a nod to the colassal religios iconagraphy carved into the open doors of the courtyard, he encounters the one. A lone monk, dressed in cermonial garb.
As the officer approached he appraised his enemy with the keen eye of a battle hardened warrior.
He would show this one no mercy.
As he approched the monk and drew himself up to his full 6 feet3 inches, he called out, The echo of his voice dancing across the flagstone parapet.
"Do you know who I am????? His thundrous voice exploded, assaulting the monk with its sacrilesge
"without blinking an eye I could take my sword and run it through your belly."
"without blinking an eye" he reiterated in a cruel whisper
"And do you not know who I am?"
said the lone monk. His voice barely a whisper, yet audible above the whistle of the winds through the hollows, and deserted temple paths.
"I could have your sword run through my belly"
"without blinking an eye"
This, is true love. this is real unconditional love. In other cultures sometimes referred to as "agape" love
Bhakti yoga love.
Think about it.
Please tell me what you think.
Do you think this is love? or something else?
God is love
path to god through being "in love" with God, not erotic sense, but to be in the state of love, WITH him/her as "yoga" (yoke,path to God in this sense) This is type of Yoga called "bakhti yoga