Chapter 12 – The Way of Love
Yoga Teacher – Hemalayaa Behl
The most famous of all Neem Karoli Baba’s teachinsg was “Love Everyone. Serve Everyone. Remember God.” In a very simplistic way that is the essence of this chapter in the Gita. Because the construct of the world we live in (the material world) the Hindu philosophy talks often about whether God is impersonal or personal. It suggests that in the material world it’s helpful to have a personal God that takes on “form” to worship.
I will not take this opportunity to dive into the pros and cons of dualism vs. non dualism but it safe to say that the answer of the above question is both, God has personal and impersonal qualities.
Chapter 12 really brings Arjuna back down to a grounding level when Krishna guides him into the path of a devotee, Krishna says in Verse 16 “They are detached, pure, efficient, impartial, never anxious, selfless in their undertakings, they are my devotees, very dear to me.”
Krishna also says those who set their “hearts on me are more established in Yoga.” (Verse 3) It’s important that we learn from these teachings because it routes us back to the path of loving all things in all ways. We’ve already established in the previous two chapters that Krishna can take form in all things so now that we are prepared to love, why not see God in everything? It’s much easier that way, it’s better than “trying to figure it all out” as Maharaj-ji once said.
We come back to loving Krishna in the personal sense because it very easy, natural and intuitive for man to love another physical form rather than loving the vast formless nature of Bhagavan (impersonal God). I don’t believe one way is right and one way is wrong, but I do believe it’s a very useful tool to use the deities as doorways to get to The One. That’s why they are here and can serve us – they are portals into the vast ocean of loving awareness. Krishna took form here to remind us of that and when we study his pastimes we are reminded of transcendental bliss that is around us always.
Today, I found myself loving everyone but not being super kind to everyone. I was a little out of sorts with my temper and frustration that, admittedly, I wasn’t able to settle into my practice with as much grace as I’ve experienced the past 11 days. In fact, I even lashed out at someone for telling me about their same problems that they’ve been telling me about for years and years. I was not very helpful or compassionate. When these things happen the only thing that I can do is to return back to the love and know that tomorrow is a new day whence I shall I feel different than I did today and will be prepared for new opportunities.
Todays yoga practice was a lot of fun but did not route me back to my heart center. It was a very different sort of class, one in which I was not prepared to deal with. That’s fine and again, I’m so grateful that LA has so much to offer. Perhaps I just wasn’t ready for change today. Tomorrow? Let’s wait and see.