Q: How can we love God without experiencing him? We can experience and feel God in Meditation. Meditation as Yogananda Jee says is like experiment within our self to find God but until we we are successful in meditation and have that experience…. loving him will not be just blind love? And how can we pray with devotion chants like ‘Oh God beautiful’…? On the other hand we cannot find God without devotion..is not it going in circles?
A: Can you truly love that which you do not know? There is a saying, “To know God is to love God,” but until we have that experience of “knowing” through inner experience, we cannot love completely.
But certainly we can yearn for that love and expand upon the flickers of love we have experienced for family, friends and loved ones. In your meditation, spread your heart’s feelings to include an ever wider circle of souls. As your sympathies grow, love will come to you.
Devotion and awakening of the heart’s natural love are essential for spiritual progress. Not “knowing” God should not prevent you from cultivating love for God’s expressions, other people, beauty, or some aspect of the Divine. Once those feeling have awakened, they can be purified and directed upward toward the Beloved hiding behind His outward creations.
Call to the Giver behind the gifts you receive and ask Him to reveal Himself directly to you. Our heart feels the absence of God’s presence and longs for that unknown “Something” to fill the void within. Your continued calling will eventually draw His response. But, we must be persistent and not give up easily for God hides His love as a test.
Paramhansa Yogananda once wrote
“Never mind if you cannot see Him or hear His knock at the gate of your heart. For a long time you have been hiding from Him and running away in the marsh of the senses. It is the noise of your own rowdy passions and the flight of your heavy footsteps in the material world that has made you unable to hear His call within. Stop, be calm, pray steadfastly, and out of the Silence will loom forth the Divine Presence.”
Love for God is a gift of grace. If you do not feel devotion now, pray for it. Ask God to awaken those sleeping feelings within you. Pray for love just as the thirsty man prays for water. In the very act of praying for love, you will begin to feel it. You must meditate with joy in order to experience joy in meditation. So too is it with devotion and love.
Nayaswami Jaya Helin is founding member of Ananda.