February 2017 By Shivi Verma There is no greater love affair than falling in love with life with all its shades and hues, says Shivi Verma As a kid, films used to mystify me. I could never understand why so much emphasis was laid on romantic love, and why only that was considered love, even though love was freely available in the form of friends, parents, and near ones. I used to consider it an exaggeration and often laughed internally on hearing the sweeping statements swooning lovers made for each other, “I will love you till death and beyond…” It would also make me wonder what there was about love that made people want to transcend death and even human limitations. And was it possible to love like that? Even as I grew older I could never understand this phenomenon. Why did people want to find the ‘One’? My analytical brain would argue that ideally if you are in love, you should fall in love with everyone around. Love should expand you, not confine you to one person. It should mellow you, soften you, make you more gentle and kind. And when I didn’t see that happening in friends of my age group, I was disappointed. To make matters worse I became the girl friend of a boy in my college I wasn’t attracted to, simply because he was too insistent. For the two years I hung around with him I never felt any stir in my heart and remained perplexed about this thing called ‘being in love.’ I yearned to feel what others felt and see if love really had the ability to turn your life around and make you a better person. Since I was also a passionate reader I often read about saints urging people to love God. Now this had me even more bewildered. How was it possible to love something which was invisible and imperceptible? And then it happened. With great reluctance I had agreed to sit for meditation on the insistence of my aunt. I didn’t want to experiment with this energy because a few attempts in the past had injured me emotionally. No sooner had I closed my eyes and focussed deeply on the Divine, than I felt a strong rush of energy entering my third eye. I could distinctly sense a sense of panic in it, as though desperately wanting to get hold of me lest I slip away once again. And then in one fell swoop, Divine love cascaded over me like a gushing waterfall, soaking me from head to toe. My heart burst with uncontainable love for God, the one who could not be seen, touched or heard. The feeling was so intense that I wanted to roll on the ground in ecstasy, pain and madness. Tears of love began to flow from my eyes. I would tiptoe to the puja room and secretly cry rivers of gratitude before the picture of Lord Shiva. I wanted to express my love to my invisible Divine lover, but since He couldn’t be physically accessed, I began pouring it on people around me. So steeped was I in this experience that the physical world began losing its grip on me. But all my attempts at having a darshan of my ishta deva failed. There came a time when I lost all hope because the Divine would not yield to my entreaties. Slowly, my passions subsided. I dropped into my own being. I became calmer. I realised that He was never away. It was my mind which sought Him outside of myself. And I began to see every living moment, person, every big and small happening as a symphony of Divine love. I found my lover residing within me, filling me with a mild fragrance and aliveness. As I breathe this scent and see the world from His eyes, I find every moment of this life a story of love, being written by Him using me as a pen. Isn’t this what I always thought love should be? Deputy Editor with Life Positive, Shivi Verma is a devotee who found all her answers in loving God passionately
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