Bhakti Yoga Part Two Our Need to Love the Absolute
The question arises: does God need our love, or do we need to love God? God loves everyone the same. We are the one who give God different attributes so that we may conceive of God. We need to love, we need to experience our higher Self. By loving God, we begin to love ourselves, our neighbors, our life, our country, our existence. We begin to bring ourselves in tune with the Absolute.
A true bhakti yogi knows that prayer does not help God. God does not delight in praise. But prayer is a great benefit to us. It brings us in tune with the Infinite. It opens us to the strength, wisdom and courage that comes from being near to the Absolute. It develops the goodness within us, and brings us in touch with our atman or individual soul.
Ramacharaka (1904) believes that we must have utmost confidence in God, and that we will be guided in every step. With such confidence our mind will be filled with the knowledge that will enable us to know how to act and we will be given the strength act. We will be guided by the Spirit. But most importantly is one’s relation to God and that God is the great Center of Life. “We are like atoms in the rays emanating from that center. We are not apart from Him, although we are not the center itself. The power and wisdom flowing out along the rays are ours, if we elect to use them, and allow them to use us.” (p.191) He explains that the center is pure Spirit and as we unfold spiritually we draw nearer and nearer to that center. Divine attributes are partaken by us as we approach that center.
So one who has developed devotion lives in this world like a normal person but develops qualities of a bhakti. That person is an optimist, cheerful and finds the bright side of things. That person loves all of life, is courageous, tolerant, merciful and forgiving. That person does not know what is selfishness, envy, hate, fear or worry. That person radiates love.
Then the answer to the question; Do we need to love God? is simple. To be happy, joyous and content with ourselves and others, we need to love God.