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A Commentary on Gurumayi's Teaching
Love in Action

by Swami Shantananda

The following is a commentary that I have written at Gurumayi’s request to express the intention in her teaching Love in Action, posted on the Siddha Yoga path website on the full-moon day of February 14, 2014. Gurumayi guided me to begin my research for this commentary with sutra three of the Pratyabhijnahrdayam, “The Heart of Recognition,” and with the Narada Bhakti Sutra

Love in Action represents the arising and subsiding movement described in Gurumayi’s Message for 2014. The heart-shaped leaf stands for the Heart of Consciousness, the source of all creation. Love in Action is portrayed by the dried leaf of a pipal tree from the grounds of Gurudev Siddha Peeth. The colors contained in this beautiful pipal leaf are from the full moon and the night sky over Shree Muktananda Ashram. To represent Love in Action, geometrical hearts of different sizes and shapes were selected to make up the pipal leaf. Heart.

The pipal tree, whose scientific name is Ficus religiosa, is a species native to India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and Southwest China. The pipal tree is considered sacred in India. Sadhus (ascetics) like to meditate beneath this tree; and they worship it by performing pradakshina, circumambulating the tree—usually seven times in the morning—while chanting vriksha rajaya namah, “Salutations to the king of trees.” Among Buddhists, the pipal is known as the Bodhi tree, as it was under one of these trees that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment. Moksha.

The scriptural teaching underlying the images of Love in Action is embodied in sutra three of the Pratyabhijnahrdayam—“The Heart of Recognition,” a text on Kashmir Shaivism written by the eleventh-century sage Kshemaraja. This sutra says:
sutra 3
The one supreme Consciousness, in its freedom, becomes the vast aggregate of living beings and the worlds they experience, with each living being and its environment mutually adapted to each other. The interconnection between living beings and their world is possible because of the light of Consciousness, which is their essential unifying nature. Most living beings, however, experience themselves as individuals, unaware of their intrinsic oneness with the supreme Power. Light.

To sustain and enliven creation, the supreme Power incessantly projects itself in luminous flashes, called abhasas by the tenth-century Kashmiri sage Utpaladeva. Each living being is a pulsating, vibrant network of abhasas that continue to flash forth, guided by the divine intention of preserving its distinctiveness. The surroundings in which living beings exist are, likewise, a configuration of innumerable abhasas flashing forth incessantly. In less than a fraction of second, these abhasas arise from and subside into Consciousness. Spanda.

Love is the essential nature of Consciousness. Love makes possible the reciprocity between living beings, and their reciprocity with the world in which they live. Love arises from the Heart and subsides into the Heart. Union.

When you view Love in Action on the Siddha Yoga path website, you discover that certain hearts flash forth to reveal a word or symbol. Each word and symbol is an attribute of love to be cultivated and shared generously. Love.

Love must be understood and experienced. And mainly, love is to be put into action. Therefore: Love in Action.

Attributes of Love

glossary of Love in Action