Most yoga practitioners understand that the first practice of yoga, ahimsa, means not harming ourselves and others. But, fewer practitioners know that a more complete expression of ahimsa means actively loving self and others.
When we love somebody, we act not only to protect that person, but to enable that person to thrive, find fulfillment, wellbeing and happiness.
If I am a parent and I fail to give my children loving attention, isn’t that harming them?
One of the greatest adepts, teachers, writers, and humanitarians of the 20th century, Swami Rama (1925-1996) is the founder of the Himalayan Institute. Born in Northern India, he was raised from early childhood by the Himalayan sage, Bengali Baba. Under the guidance of his master, he traveled from monastery to monastery and studied with a variety of Himalayan saints and sages, including his grandmaster who was living in a remote region of Tibet. In addition to this intense spiritual training, Swami Rama received higher education in both India and Europe. From 1949 to 1952, he held the prestigious position of Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham in South India. Thereafter, he returned to his master to receive further training at his cave monastery, and finally in 1969, came to the United States where he founded the Himalayan Institute. His best known work, Living With the Himalayan Masters, reveals the many facets of this singular adept and demonstrates his embodiment of the living tradition of the East.
There are two laws, the law of contraction and the law of expansion. Hate others, you are going through the law of contraction. Love all, you are going through the law of expansion. Learn to love, that is the law of expansion.
What does love mean? It means to give, without any expectation, to your own people. This is a school where you learn to give unconditionally. Then you will learn that nothing is difficult for you, nothing is difficult.
First thing you should learn is to just give. Instead of arguing with your wife, just give her what she wants. Just give your children what they want. Slowly, you will discover that they have started loving you so much and they have become so very considerate. They will never exploit your generosity.
Learning to give is one of the greatest of arts. Give selflessly, to those at home, to those with whom you live. Start doing it there. Love will completely transform you, for love alone has that power, even death does not have the power to transform you.
So if you love, then there is only love, there is no space for you. At present you have likes and dislikes; but with love, there is a sense of equality, you love all, you can never hate anyone. There is that underlying understanding that I will love all and exclude none. You are free. It is a joy that leads to bliss.
There is so much expansion of your mind that anything that is hidden, that is unconscious, comes forward as a part of the conscious mind. Why should you be unhappy? You know who is unhappy? One who is selfish. Who is happy? One who is selfless. It’s that simple. I am not telling you to go crazy, giving away all your wealth to strangers, becoming uselessly charitable, no! I am telling you to do experiments at home, with those who live with you. Transforming your personality is the simple way to attainment. Let us not make it difficult.
- Swami Rama in Conscious Living: A Guidebook for Spiritual Transformation pages 87-88