Love and Hatred

Taj Mahal

“We have learned Jesus’ words “Love your neighbour” and “Love your enemy”. The Ten Commandments teach us to love our mother and our father. It is wisdom that has been passed down from a higher place of consciousness, and it has been taught for thousands of years.

“But how can we love? I mean, how can we love truly?

“Many people send me letters. They begin their letters with “Beloved Guruji” and end with “I love you.”

“It is a very common thing that we hear and say and write in our society. It is so easy to tell someone “I love you”. In this respect, we are controlled by other people and society. Like a politician, we use words that we are not sure about!

“The love that most people think of as real is spontaneous. It is related to emotion and physical attraction. It appears when people are happy with other people but can disappear as fast as it came because it is conditional. On the other hand, hate is always there in everyone. It is very deep-rooted.

“But is it not strange that we do not think about hate? For the ordinary person, hate is more pure than love. I have seen that, when people express hate, they are very sure about it. At any moment a person can turn on someone who has made some mistake in their eyes. There is too much hatred in the world! Why is there so much conflict between families and neighbours and countries? Why is everyone keen to make someone else his enemy?
“So although you easily use words like “I love you”, I am telling you that until hate has been removed from your very being, you can’t love anyone truly. When hate is removed, love remains. And love cannot grow unless hate is removed.

“In the meantime, love is a word that you are using, and even if it is false (in the way I have explained) when you are telling me, I am still listening, I am still accepting it. Love and hatred are equal for a holy person. In India, we say, ‘A saint can see God in the devil.’

“The same thing can be said about beauty. We compare one person to another, thinking, ‘this woman is more beautiful than that one,’ or ‘this man is better looking than that one,’ and so on. But this is human perception and has nothing to do with reality. You cannot say with any truth that someone is beautiful, any more than you can say that you love them. Beauty is not something that can be captured through flattery or words. But through your meditation practice, these qualities can be truly known.”

Guruji had told a lot of stories that evening in his Satsang and was bringing the evening to a close. Probably the part which hit a raw nerve was to hear Guruji talk about love and hate so candidly, for sometimes it can be uncomfortable to hear this kind of truth. However, perhaps also a timely one since it was Valentine’s Day this week!

“In Satsang,” Guruji added, “I am sharing with you. This is also a charity. What I enjoyed, what is my experience, I am sharing that thing.”

How tangible the energy was in the room when he finished speaking. And I wonder how many others felt the goose-bumps rising when Guruji stated his last true words of the evening with utter simplicity and a smile that could only be described as beautiful:

“I love you all.”