Love is the Root of all Spiritual Practices
A noble character and good behavior announces the inner truth of a person; this truth is based on love. Whether you are engaged in sacrificing the fruits of your actions, or contemplating on the omnipresent Lord, or practicing inner inquiry and aspiring to gain wisdom, the root of all these spiritual exercises is love. There are five major human values that distinguish a noble human being. These are truth, righteousness, peace, love and nonviolence. But they do not exist separately. They are all essentially dependent on one of these five, which is the primary value. That is love.
When love enters the thoughts it becomes truth. When love manifest itself in the form of action it becomes righteousness. When your feelings become saturated with love you become peace itself. The very meaning of the word peace is love. When you fill your understanding with love it is nonviolence. For all these noble human qualities it is love which flows as the undercurrent.
Another way of saying this is when you saturate every thought of yours with love then you are immersed in truth. When you practice love in your daily life it is dharma or righteous living. When you feel love all the time you are established in abiding peace. And when you have a deep understanding of the divine principle of love you become steeped in nonviolence. In the Gita, in the chapter on devotion, it says, “Fill yourself with love and use this love to reach me. In that way, you will develop both nearness and dearness to me.”
Dear devotee. Your hands are very small but with these little hands you are trying to serve me. Your eyes are very small but with these two little eyes you are trying to see my infinite vastness. Your ears are very small but with these two little ears you are trying to follow my sacred words. With your two little feet you are attempting to come towards me.
But merely serving me with your two little hands will not achieve very much. Merely looking at my infinite form with your two little eyes will also not be of much use. Merely listening to my divine words through your two little ears will not get you very far. And merely coming into my presence with your two little feet will not serve you so strongly. But there is one thing you can do which will have a great impact, which will produce a truly significant effect. That is: Install me permanently in your heart! Once you bring me into your heart then all these other activities will no longer appear very important.
Whatever worship you have been engaged in, using your eyes and your ears and your hands and your feet, has only served to control your mind. But when you invite the Lord to enter your heart, then control of the mind and the senses becomes very easy. The mind and senses will become still on their own. There will be no need for any special effort to be made for sacrificing the fruits of your actions. Krishna said, “Once you start thinking only of me, and keeping your thoughts constantly fixed on me, then I will automatically take care of all the rest.” To achieve this state of total one-pointed focus on the Lord, you must develop a firm resolve and an unshakable faith that the Lord is ever-present in your own heart. Your heart is his residence.