Ah, Beautiful Youngsters!
How precious you all are! The beauty of youth becomes truly apparent when seen from an older age.
That touching innocence in children melts our hearts and revives our hidden tenderness. The fact that children simply exist should be considered a blessing indeed for their mere presence makes it easy for anyone to manifest pure, spontaneous love.
We need to learn to value the manifestation of our inner love. Love and joy – prema and ananda – are inseparable as two sides of a single coin. Since joy is what we are seeking through everything we ever do, love should therefore be sought and treasured as yearningly as we try to find joy.
However, there is a trick here we have to become aware of. The experience of true joy occurs only when we love, not when we are loved; when we ourselves manifest love, not when others show us their love. The trick is there because when someone directs his or her love to us we feel exalted and enjoy certain pleasure. Yet unfortunately, that pleasure is fleeting or makes us remain dependent on the feelings and actions of that particular person. In this way we become conditioned and we deviate from our right path towards true freedom and true happiness.
Whether we are aware or not we all long for God’s attributes and we live constantly pursuing these attributes. What are these attributes? Joy, love, peace, calmness, knowledge, wisdom, power, and so on. All of them perfect and absolute. Spirituality teaches us that God is within us. Where then are these attributes to be found? Naturally inside us, not outside us.
Instead of this wise understanding, the world is prompting us to expect and look for happiness in outer things, to expect and look for love in other people, to look for peace in appropriate surroundings, to acquire knowledge in books, power in money, etc. This happens since we are born. Thus we become attached to people, places and things. Most importantly we become slaves to the opinion of others about ourselves. The delusion here is that, living according to what others think about us, we are going to get them to love us and subsequently we are going to be happy!
In this way we perpetuate our need to be liked, approved, accepted and loved by others in order for us to feel valuable and fulfilled. Beloved youngsters, do not let this become your constant pattern of behaviour. Be watchful not to do this more than you really need. Why do we say ‘really need’, because at the same time we have to be realistic. In our present state, we need outer reasons to be happy to a certain extent. We still need outer love to a certain extent. But then, let us try to raise our standards and let us try to gain love from ever higher, greater persons until we are so developed that we only want the Guru’s love and God’s love.
The sun is in the centre and the planets revolve around it. The sun does not need the planets to exist. The planets need the sun to exist. In the same way, we are the sun and circumstances in our lives are the planets. Circumstances come and go. Other people come and go. At some point they came to become a part of our lives, stay with us for a while and at some other point they will leave us. We should never forget this. We should never let anyone to become the centre in our lives, placing us to revolve around them. We will never be happy or free this way.
The eternal truth taught by every true spiritual Master is that we can never find God outside. We can never find divine joy outside. We can never find divine love outside. We can never find total satisfaction except in our very core, in the depths of our true Self.