Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo
The Complete Set
Yes, intense love is possible before realisation, but some sort of a decisive experience one must have, psychic, mental or vital, before the love can be profound, solid and intense.
What do you mean by experience? Love and Bhakti are themselves an experience.
First time I heard of any such rule.
One should be able to have the vision of the loving and intensely lovable Presence of Krishna or his blue radiance sending thrills of ecstasy.
Hundreds of Bhaktas had to wait for long and many years before anything of the kind came.
Five minutes or twenty-four hours of intense rapture by your touch will do something, but it would be a hardly sufficient solid basis. One may pull on with this petty capital of 5 minutes or more raptures till some decisive experience makes the capital absolutely beyond any chance of failure or insolvency. That's how I look at it.
That may be how you look at Love, but why should everybody else be obliged to do so?
You are again making a general sweeping rule out of your own standpoint.
Love and ardour of seeking with the same or increased intensity without any big experience may be possible in cases like Ramakrishna's who from boyhood used to fall into trance even at the sight of blue clouds, reminding him of Krishna. Even then isn't it said that many times he resolved to drown himself in the Ganges because the Mother wouldn't come?
What has that to do with it? It only shows that his yearning was excessive.
Was he shaken in his faith or love, or was it the impetuosity of love that wouldn't brook delay?
If his love was shaken, i.e. if he had ceased to want her, why the deuce should he care a damn whether she came or not? There is no question of faith, it is about love. Do you think at any time R ceased to believe in the Divine?
Don't you think your realisation of the Self helped you in your crucial moments of struggle, kept up your faith and love?
That has nothing to do with love. Realisation of Self and love of the personal Divine are two different movements.
My struggle has never been about the Self. All that is perfectly irrelevant to the question which concerns the Bhakta's love for the Divine.
But the sweet memory of that experience of the Self must have sustained you.
There was nothing sugary about it at all. And I had no need to have any memory of it, because it was with me for months and years and is there now though in fusion with other realisations.
We poor people in dark times which pay us frequent visits, fall back on our petty capital of Ananda, even on some of your jokes, to fortify ourselves. If such things can bring back a momentary wave of love and devotion, restored faith, how much would decisive experiences not do?...
My point is that there have been hundreds of Bhaktas who have the love and seeking without any concrete experience, with only a mental conception or emotional belief in the Divine to support them. The whole point is that it is untrue to say that one must have a decisive or concrete experience before one can have love for the Divine. It is contrary to the facts and the quite ordinary facts of the spiritual experience.
It is only the lion-hearts that can go on without any experience.
The ordinary Bhakta is not a lion-heart. The lion-hearts get experiences comparatively soon, but the ordinary Bhakta has often to feed on his own love or yearning for years and years – and he does it.