There are four principle pathways that lead to enlightenment: the yoga of love, the yoga of service, the yoga of knowledge and the yoga of mysticism.
Each of the yogas is a way to eternity, to eternal realization. In the course of an individual being's evolution we will practice each of these yogas. In one incarnation, in one lifetime, we may just focus on the path of love, in another the path of service, perhaps in another knowledge or mysticism. One path is not superior to another. Each path has something special to offer. It is a way, a bridge between the finite and the infinite, between here and eternity.
The path that is followed by most persons in the beginning of their spiritual search is the path of love. Love is the easiest and most effective way to begin our search for self-realization, for our selves. Love is the highest of all qualities that we can experience. The more we know about love, the more we experience love, the happier and more complete we are.
We live in a world that is very interested in love. The songs on the radio talk about love. Everyone is always looking for someone to love, someone to be loved by. As a matter of fact, it seems that love is an obsession in our world. Yet it would seem that for all that people go through to experience love or to give love, very, very few people, if any, gain real happiness or satisfaction or freedom or peace from their love. Why is this?
If you want to follow the path of love, it's a good idea to meditate on the heart chakra every day. The heart chakra is the chakra in the center of the chest.
Love is, in its essence, a free, formless strand of luminosity. It is a light that uplifts our awareness, that transforms our consciousness, that kindles in us the flame of self-giving, knowledge and power. Love brings future into the present. It can cause us to take a quantum leap in our spiritual growth. It knits families together, friends, lovers, societies, nations and perhaps one day a world. If we examine the essence of existence very closely, we'll find that the essence of existence is love. There really is nothing that isn't love. God is love. Truth is love. Beauty is love. Everything is a formation or an aggregate of love.
Naturally there are different forms of love, different expressions of love. We can really say that the gradation of love is determined by to whom that love is directed. In the most immature type of love we love ourselves. We're interested primarily in our own satisfaction, in our own happiness, and we don't really care too much about others - self love, the love of the ego. In more mature and advanced states of love, we love others, the world, God, eternity. In the most advanced state of love we don't love for any reason or any purpose. We don't even direct our love necessarily to an object. We just love for the sake of love. Love is beginningless and endless ecstasy. It's an unfathomable mystery. It is the study of our lives.
Most people suffer in love because of attachment. Attachment means that we're interested in a net return on our investment. I'm going to invest something and I want to receive something back. Not only do I want what I invested back, but more. This is the capitalist notion of love. This kind of love doesn't work very well. As a matter of fact, it destroys the very nature of love. Love is giving. Love is enjoying. Love does not seek to please itself, but it offers itself and its life to others. So when we are engaged in a love of limitation, a love in which we try to get something back, we're never really satisfied. Even if we can get back what we want, or what we thought we wanted, we're not really satisfied because we know deep down inside of us that we really didn't want anything. We just wanted to love and be loved. That was all.
To find out what it is you really want in life you have to be very, very honest. You have to be willing to accept your divergent selves and to always do what is right. To apprehend what is right it's necessary to meditate, to give to others, to purify your being and your nature, to become humble, pure, free, to accept the hard times and the easy times. The art of spirituality is really learning to be happy - in any condition and in any circumstance. This is the art of love.