There’s A Love Letter For Your Soul – Have You Read It?
Published on November 24th, 2014 | by Harmonist staff1
By Tadiya Dasi
All of us, intuitively love play, beauty and freedom. We also secretly or not so secretly love the rule-breaking and ”illicit” romances where the lovers sneak to meet each other in secret. In bhakti, we have a whole theology that affirms this. Isn’t it beautiful?
The philosophy of bhakti and its central texts are like love poems from God to our souls. From the pages of the Bhagavatam, we can read and study the eternal, living story of God, busy loving. This is a story in which we can participate, step in between the lines of its narrative. In this story, love is victorious and free. And it will always have the final say. Connected to this, we are with the Eternal and as much as we are able to match our little stories to its poetry, death will have nothing to take from us. After all, love is the only thing that survives death. So the more loving, the more eternal we become.
God is the writer of our stories both big and small. And when we let love rewrite our stories: we have the potential to become like poetry; dancing, playful language. We become alive with the Alive. I don’t know about you but for me this is an incredibly beautiful and hopeful vision of what our lives could become. A statement of the depth of love.
When I read spiritual texts, whether they are scriptures, autobiographies of saints and yogis, or poems and articles describing whatever experiences people have had on the road to the Absolute, what I often feel is tremendous relief and encouragement. Sometimes excitement. Sometimes comfort. And almost always and perhaps most deeply, I read these texts like an invitation.
An invitation to the story of God and his people. Spiritual texts of all kinds and faiths, contain endless affirmations about love, from the loving, from the experiencers. The bhakti texts especially often read like a deep, sometimes urgent plea to make our lives and loving like poetry.
Like we all know, the writing of our own lives does not always make sense, the lines may be broken, cryptic, sometimes hauntingly sad or bitter. Spiritual narratives give us the gift of meaning and perspective. That, in the end, it it will all make sense, if not to our heads, at least to our hearts.
The stories about love and the love story of God is an answer to a question, we have held in deepest corners of self. Unanswered, perhaps unanswerable. By words, by the world, I mean. All of us, deep down, are a bundle of questions. What we have is endless questions about love and our connection to it: Is love real? Do I belong to love? Am I loved? Can I love? Does love survive death?
But there comes, someday—in some form—a love letter from God to you. A handwritten note from love that answers to the longing in your heart. Instructions for a deeply lived life. Truth arrives at your doorstep, simultaneously so big and loving that you find yourself becoming small. Yet, embracing this beautiful truth like you would an old friend, the space where your soul exists now becomes big and vast—suddenly there is more room to love; more room to breathe and grow. To simply wonder at the beauty of it all.
This love letter comes to each of us differently. For me, it came in the form of my guru, who brought the poetry of bhakti to me. Came singing the song of God that is transforming my life, slowly but surely. He is the friend of the soul for me. Someone in whose company I find myself becoming—against my own hope even—somehow, a better version of myself. A more relaxed, and definitely that much more happier and joyous person. So much more hopeful about the existence and reality of love. Real love. Whatever I have learned from the theology of play and beauty, or heard about the dancing God, comes from him.
I’ve kept this love letter in my own sleeve for a long time. Not knowing what to say, how to say it, for who to say it. I still don’t know. I choose the wrong words, miss the meaning behind the lines, recite it to people who could not care less. But I don’t care anymore. It’s not my story to tell, anyways. It’s not my words. Not my poetry. Not, even, my love. If I have learned one thing, it is this: Whatever I have been given, it’s not mine to keep. And whatever I have received, I should give.
This is my participation in the story. My answer to the love letter. The least I or anyone of us can do, is to let love know we have received the letter—answer to it the best we can. I’ve said this before and I truly believe it: life is best lived in call and response to love and its beautiful reality.
Tadiya, thanks for your inspirational writing here. To me you have synthesized well the teachings of your guru–as far as I have understood it. There is the call of the wild, and there is call of Krishna’s flute song in the pages of the Shrimad Bhagavatam, and explained to us by our gurus. There are many ways we can conceive of the love letter from God. The Gita and Bhagavat could be considered such love letters to our soul, as is our guru, who is an expression of that letter (and such scriptures), and an example of one who has answered his own letter. The holy name is another–this one we vibrate and feel ringing in our heart. Then there is who we have become, and are becoming, by hearing those expressions of that love letter. And finally, there may be the intensely personal “letter” we feel is specifically for us and our unique circumstances(which perhaps you are referring to), that may combine all the above possible expressions, and our feeling of moving closer to the goal by our guru’s grace and our crying out in prayer. I also like to think of my writing as one way I endeavor to answer that letter, the call and response, or back and forth, reciprocation of love. As we have been blessed, we endeavor to share this with others. That is gratitude and kindness.