Transcending the Sadness of Losing a Loved One
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Jagad Guru offers wisdom on how we should direct our love toward the one who will never leave us.
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Naturally, everyone wants to love and to be loved, but we set ourselves up for inevitable, immense suffering if we place our love on the temporary material forms of this world. That was the essence of a live-streamed video (below) entitled “Finding Perfect Love”.
The one-hour program featured live kirtan meditation and a recorded video by the world-renowned yoga spiritual teacher - Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda
In the program, Jagad Guru said, “Sometimes in our lives we have experiences that makes us wonder about the whole thing. We wonder, ‘Why am I here?’ or, ‘What is this all about?’ or, ‘Why are we suffering?’ Sometimes it gets so overwhelming that we don't know what to do. We don't know how to escape from the suffering or how to solve the problem. But there's no suffering in the world like the suffering of losing the person who you love. There are so many causes of suffering in the world, but there is no suffering greater than the suffering of losing someone you love.”
The teacher shared an experience he had as a 16-year-old growing up in Hawaii when the young girl he had fallen in love with decided she loved someone else. So broken-hearted was he that he shattered the windshield of his car with his fist. “I was so sad, so unhappy…but it was a very good experience for me because at that moment I made a decision in my life. I said, ‘I want to be like the Buddha.’ Of course, I didn't know anything about Buddha, but I knew one thing. From the little I read, he said, "This world is a place of suffering, due to attachments." And I thought, ‘You know, that guy is right. This is really a bad experience. This is a real bummer.’"
He continued, “Why is there so much pain when we lose somebody we love? It's really a message to us. It's God's arrangement— ‘Don't do that.’ If you stick your finger in fire, what happens? It hurts. Why does it hurt? It hurts so you won't do it again.” He explained that by nature we need someone to love, “But you should place your love on God. If you don't make Him your ultimate lovable object, then you're going to suffer. It's as simple as that.”
Jagad Guru said, “I didn't make the rules, I am just narrating the reality. Don't blame me, I'm just narrating. Don't blame me for any of this. And every one of us here knows it, because every single one of us, except the young ones, have had our loves. We've had our puppy loves. That's the worst. You don't know anything like that, you know, the puppy love trip. It's so innocent, so sweet, and so strong, and it hurts so much when she falls in love with the other little neighborhood punk,” [audience laughs/laughter] “you know?”
“So, we know from experience and we're so stupid, we keep doing the same thing over and over again. Because it's not that easy being a Buddha. It's really hard not to love anyone or anything. I mean, I want to love, and if I don't love, than I'm empty. I have no purpose in life. I need to love. I need someone to love. So, what is the solution to this situation?
“The solution is that I love someone who will not go away from me. I love someone who will not drop me to go love somebody else. I love someone who's not going to leave me ever. This is the solution. And who is that someone? That someone has the title, God. That Someone has many, many names. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is all lovable. Jesus Christ tells us very simply, ‘You want to be my disciple? Then love my Father, love the Supreme Father with your entire heart, your entire being.’ Okay? If you take your entire heart, your whole being, your mind, your body and you give it to someone else, you're going to get trounced. You're going to suffer. The solution is very simple: love the Supreme Person.”
Jagad Guru referred to Lord Chaitanya, an incarnation of Lord Krishna who appeared 500 years ago in India. “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu teaches us how to do it by His own life's example. He's teaching us, ‘Sing and chant always the Names of the Supreme Lord. In this way, become attached to Him. Develop your love for God. If you don't do this, you will suffer.’”
“Now the suffering that we talked about is very small compared to the suffering that can be. In other words, the suffering that we were just describing is the suffering of a person having their loved one leave them for someone else. But worse than that is the suffering when the person who you love dies. There is no suffering like that suffering.”
He then said, “Every one of us is destined to die. Where there's birth, there's death. The promises of modern scientists notwithstanding, this is meant to be. It's going to happen. Again, don't blame me. It's going to happen. You're going to die, okay? And when we say die, let us make it clear here that we're speaking in the context of the Bhagavad-Gita: ‘For the living entity there is never birth nor death, the living entity never ceases to exist. The living entity is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying, primeval. You, the living entity, are not slain when the body is slain.’”
“When we talk about dying, we're talking about the person you love leaving their body. When the person you love leaves their body, they're gone forever and there is no suffering worse than this. This is material life.”
The solution to this suffering, Jagad Guru explained, is to “Understand your real identity, who you are. You are not matter. You're not the material body. You are the spirit soul, the living entity, within the material body, and you are using this body temporarily. Some day or another, somewhere along the line, you're going to have to leave this body behind.
“You are, in essence, spirit, life force. You're not matter. You are in fact a spark of the Supreme Spirit, the Supreme Soul. Your essence is spirit and your position is you are the dominated spark, the dominated part and parcel of God. Your natural function therefore is to engage in the loving service of the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Person.”
Suffering occurs, Jagad Guru explained, “Whenever you forget your real identity, that you are in fact a spirit soul, part and parcel of God and that your natural function is to be loving Him and be engaging in His loving service. When you forget this, then you suffer.”
“So, [if] a person wants to be actually happy, he must become liberated. Liberated means understanding your identity as a servant of God and acting on that fact even in this world. Lord Jesus said, ‘The second commandment is like the first,’ the first being love the Supreme Father with all your heart, your entire mind, your entire being. He says, "The second one is like unto it. And that is to love your neighbor. Be as concerned about him as you are for yourself.’ Jesus is not saying that we can't love others. He's not saying I can't love my wife or I can't love my friend or I can't love my neighbor or I can't love my children or I can't love my parents. But the foundation for my love for these children of God, these sparks of God, has to be my love for the Supreme Person.
“In other words, my love for God extends to all His children. The more you become a lover of God, then the more you come to love all living entities. Obviously, you're going to love those who are closest to you. But it's different. You're not loving them as your foundation. You're not loving them as your security. You're not taking shelter in them. You take shelter in God and you love others. You love God, and He is your shelter, and you love others, but they're not your shelter? You don't take shelter in your neighbor. You don't take shelter in your wife or your husband. You don't take shelter in your dogs. You can love dogs, you can love cats. Love ants! Love all living entities. But you don't think that that ant or that dog is going to protect you. Don't make that the foundation of your life. Don't make your love for the temporary names and forms of this world the foundation for your life.”
Jagad Guru likened the temporary forms of this world to the trillions of bubbles that foam up in the ocean, exist for a few seconds, and then are gone. “That's what all the names and forms of this world are like. So, to become attached or desire, to fall in love with one of these bubbles, is to set yourself up for suffering because all those bubbles are going to pop pretty soon.”
He concluded, “So if you become attached to the names and forms of this world it's like becoming attached to these bubbles. Forget the names and forms. See through them to the people inside. Love God and love the living entities who are in these bubbles. That's spiritual life. It will save you from much suffering, and it will give you actual happiness, actual freedom, actual liberation. Love God, love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, take shelter in Him.”
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda is a yoga spiritual teacher in the disciplic succession known as the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. This highly respected spiritual lineage extends back over 5,000 years to Lord Sri Krishna Himself.
Because he presents ancient bonafide yoga and vedic wisdom in a down to earth, scientific, and philosophical manner, rather than dogmatically and fanatically, countless individuals have found genuine spirituality that has real application in their modern lives.
More information about him can be found here: https://sif.yoga/about/jagad-guru