All other pleasures are not worth its pains.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 1
Poets are all who love, who feel great truths, And tell them; and the truth of truths is love.
— Philip James Bailey 2
In crocus and in rose
Though the same sunshine glows,
One flower waves crimson, and one trembles gold:
Dost thou alone claim sight?
Is Love less free than Light?
Love’s rays in human hearts less manifold?
— James Rhoades
When the last gasp of selfish life has faded out, and love and devotion to all begins pulsating the heart, an even greater opportunity for service looms in the skyline, that of foregoing nirvana’s “selfish bliss.” 4
Who will climb that lofty top? Masters of Life are few,
. . . more difficult to find, more rare to view than is the flower of the Vogay tree.5
Fewer suspect Their illimitable love and relentless work that They have undertaken “unthanked and unperceived by men.” 6
The heart has its reasons,
Of which the understanding knows nothing.7
Surrounded by adoring maidens (gopis), Lord Krishna, the inspirer of true love, identifies five ways of loving. The first two are within everyone’s experience. The following two will be appreciated most by those who have seized the meaning of “The Two Paths.” The fifth is the love of Krishna-Christos, the ever-pulsating GREAT HEART: It literally makes the world go round:
Those who love in return for love, are motivated mostly by selfinterest.
Those, who love without being loved are like compassionate parents; in such love is pure virtue and all goodness of heart.
Others love not even those who love them and much less those who do not love them; such are either the desireless Self-fulfilled ones, or the ungrateful haters of benefactors and elders.
But mine is a fifth way. If I seem not to love those that love me, it is only in order that they may love me the more, even as a poor man who, finding a treasure and then losing it, can think of nothing else.1
Unbeknown to us, we are schooled to feel that “fifth way of loving,” says Emerson:
Thus are we put in training for a love which knows not sex, nor person, nor partiality, but which seeks virtue and wisdom everywhere, to the end of increasing virtue and wisdom. We are by nature observers, and thereby learners. That is our permanent state. But we are often made to feel that our affections are but tents of a night. Though slowly and with pain, the objects of our affection change, as the objects of thought do. There are moments when the affections rule and absorb the man, and make his happiness dependent on a person or persons. But in health the mind is presently seen again — its overarching vault, bright with galaxies of immutable lights, and the warm loves and fears that swept over us as clouds, must lose their finite character and blend with God, to attain their own perfection. But we need not fear that we can lose anything by the progress of the soul. The soul may be trusted to the end. That which is so beautiful and attractive as these relations must be succeeded and supplanted only by what is more beautiful, and so on for ever.2
A day will come when the parinirvanic 3 heights are crossed and the “Gates of the Treasure of the Great Light” 4 flung open. Then, Love, Joy, and Peace will reign supreme. This is how Nausicaä dreamt Pallas Athena’s return to Olympus:
Then to the palaces of heaven she sails, Incumbent on the wings of wafting gales; The seat of gods; the regions mild of peace, Full joy, and calm eternity of ease.
There no rude winds presume to shake the skies, No rains descend, no snowy vapours rise; But on immortal thrones the blest repose; The firmament with living splendours glows.5
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