வெள்ளி, 6 செப்டம்பர், 2013


I was strolling along the platform shops though I did not have any intention of shopping.  I happened to see a big poster with a beautiful picture of Jesus with wordings “Love is God.  God is Love”, which took me back to my undergraduate college days.  I used to participate in almost all cultural activities.  On one such occasion, I had confusion what to fancy myself for a fancy dress programme.  Because, almost all famous characters including the day-to-day life characters had already been enacted on stages on different occasions by schoolchildren as well as college students.  I wanted a different character to perform.  I got it while I was walking to the bus stop where I saw a drunkard blabbering “Love is God.  God is Love”.  I woudn’t say that this was a different character but the way the drunkard behaved was different at that time.  I was surprised to hear such words from a drunkard.  I knew that a drunkard could speak even a language fluently that the person is not much familiar with.  This drunkard did not seem to be a usual one but highly educated though he looked shabby.  Well, I did not try to explore his background but wanted to listen what he was blabbering.  When I went near him, he pointed at me and said, “I love you.  You love me.  You are God and I am God, Love is God.  God is Love.”   His words did not make me angry.  He again continued, “Love all, loveone badminton, no, no, all creatures, this world, no hatred, no killing, non violence, only peace, happiness, are you happy, yes, yes, thank you all.”  He clapped his hands.  In fact, I found it very difficult to grasp his words but somehow I did as he was repeating the same with some more additions.   One of my professors once said, “Never ever speak philosophy to a beggar and a drunkard.  Feed the beggar, bring the drunkard to consciousness.”  However, here, the drunkard taught me a very great philosophy, a lesson of life. 

Don’t these words of the drunkard remind us the movie “Anbe Sivam”? One of the most amazing and evergreen movies in Tamil.  The thematic title song of the film says the same.  Who is God?  You and I are God.  Those who believe God, for them God is Love.  Those who do not believe God, for them Love is God!  How come that you and I become God?  Very simple if we follow the path of love, God will reside in our heart and mind!  We will start loving; valuing and respecting all people including physically, mentally and emotionally challenged people and relationships around us.

Here I would like to bring in a short story by Russian author Leo Tolstoy, “Where Love is, God is” or Martin the Cobbler.  The story is about a shoemaker named Martin Avdeitch. He stayed in a basement that had only one window through which he could see only the feet of people.  He could recognize most of the people by their shoes as he had made those shoes at least once.  His wife and all his children had died except a small son whom he cared himself.  That child too died a few years later with a fever and Martin lost his faith in God.  One day a missionary visited Martin and Martin told him all his sorrows. The missionary advised Martin that he should live his life for God and not lose faith in God because God's will is the ultimate deciding factor and we human cannot question that.  These words moulded Martins mind and he started reading Testament, the Bible, initially during holidays and later every day.  His life became full of peace and joy.  When he read about a Pharisee who had invited Jesus to his house and in the house a woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, Martin imagined himself in that situation and slept.  Martin thought that he heard the voice of God telling him that he would visit him the next day.  So the next day Martin watched out through his window for God.  He saw Stepanitch shovelling away snow and Martin invited him in for a warm drink and told him about Jesus and Pharisee.  Stepanitch was moved to tears and thanked him for all these.  Then he saw a young woman with a baby not properly dressed for the cold.  So he invited her and gave good, warmer clothes and money and then told her about Jesus and she thanked him and left.  Then he saw a young boy stealing from an older woman.  He went out and settled their argument and he extended love and compassion towards both of them.  That night when he wondered why God did not visit him, these three appeared and said that he helped them that meant he was helping God.  Martin realized that God had visited him and God would come in any form.

This Story reminded me of my Professor’s words and then the drunkard’s words.  First serve people and show them love and it spontaneously spreads the philosophy - Love is God.  God is Love. 

This Greatest philosophy has been wrapped up in Saivism from time immemorial.  Love is the very essence of Godhood, basic postulate of Saivism.  Saint Thirumoolar (BC 5500)  in his Hymns Thirumandiram encapsulates this truth and Professes “Anbe Sivam” means Love is God.  He also affirms, “Onre Kulam, Oruvane Devan”  that means there is only one family and only one God.  Thirumoolar views, those who see a difference between love and God, they deceive their ignorance and themselves. 
The saint advises that the worship must focus on Love and humility.  He advocates offering some handful of grass to a cow, food to a hungry person when we take food, and kind words and deeds to all creatures around us.  Practicing this love means doing good to others, extending a few loving, encouraging, positive words to others.  Love breeds love.  Is it difficult to follow?  Tell me my friends.  Is it not practicable to adhere to this path regardless of one’s status, knowledge, wealth etc.  It inspires our compassion, which is dormant and rooted in each one of us.  This kind of melted love, that is service to others, is equal to the service to the God that awakens the spiritual fervour in our minds and clearly manifests the existence, the truth of Gospel of all religions, the God by giving proof or evidence.  

This kind of love teaches us forgiveness, that is forget and forgive, which in turn gives us peace of mind in this destructive world and makes us sensible and rational.  When we realise the fruits of love, the fragrance it spreads, the feel we get is worth and cannot be described.  It is boundless.  It does not see colour, race, religion, caste, creed, status, wealth or features but only people.  Finally lands in Godliness.  We realize God and Love of God.

Religious views on love

Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith, taught that God created humans due to his love for them, and thus humans should in turn love God. `Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh's son, wrote that love is the greatest power in the world of existence and the true source of eternal happiness.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus said: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

In Buddhism, love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance.  It refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare.

Jewish, In Hebrew Ahava is the most Commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love of God.

Today the world is travelling towards to destruction and violence.  Violence creates hatred among people.   Loving all living beings, leads to non-violence and ahimsa.  People generally think that non-violence or ahimsa is cowardice.  But it is absolutely not. 
Nonviolence can be practiced only when we have love for others that ferments or provokes courage in people.  Love all creatures around you.  From animals to insects; grass to tress.  Only the Semblance differs.   
Life with in them is the same.    We may not understand or may find it difficult to grasp these words now.  However, if we practice we will experience it ourselves, I believe. 

A devotee asked Sri Ramakrishna, “Sir, if a wicked man is about to do harm, or actually does so, should we keep quiet then?” The Master replied: “A man living in society should make a show of tamas to protect himself from evil-minded people. But he should not harm anybody in anticipation of harm likely to be done him….You must hiss at wicked people. You must frighten them lest they should do you harm.  However, never inject your venom into them. One must not injure others.” 

Swamy Vivekananda ‘s words are these.  “It is love and love alone that I preach.  Believe in the omnipotent power of love. Have you love? You are omnipotent.”

All above said ends in LOVE IS GOD!! ANBE SIVAM.! Accept people and all living beings and even incidents as they are.  Love will change the world.  We will be in an eternal bliss.  Let us love, spread the fragrance of love and make this world a better living place for all living beings. 

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