People often talk of ‘falling’ in love; you must actually rise in love. Therefore, establish a firm and loving relationship with God, first and foremost. Make God your father or mother, your friend or brother. Let everything you do strengthen this relationship with God.
Bhakta Prahlada established such a relationship with God at a very young age! Prahlada was born a great Hari-bhakta and a Dharmatma. His mind and heart and soul were filled with devotion to Hari.
His father Hiranyakashipu was determined to wipe out all traces of Hari-bhakti from his kingdom. He used his demonic power to commit every form of adharma; he tortured sadhus and sages; he harassed the virtuous and the pious. He began to act as if he were God. He even insisted that he should be worshipped by the people of his kingdom. On pain of death, people were forbidden to utter the Name of Hari.
Prahlada refused to be cowed down by his fathers threats and coercion; the Name of Hari was on his lips constantly. Hiranyakashipu was so incensed by his son’s Hari-bhakti that he put the little boy through the most excruciating torture. Prahlada was thrown down from cliffs: he was sent to be trampled underfoot by wild elephants; his father even attempted to have the boy thrown into a fire to burn him alive; and cast away into the ocean to drown to his death.
But the child was a true devotee of the Lord; and true to his role as deena bandhu, Sri Hari saved him from all the compounded evil and multiple tortures inflicted by his cruel father. And the name of Hari never ever left his lips or his heart.
You all know the familiar story from the Puranas: the Lord came down as Narasimha, to protect the child from his father’s wrath and torture.
When you have established such a relationship, you will find it natural to offer the love of your heart to everything and everyone around you. For if we are all God’s children, we will surely learn to accept and love each other as we are and in spite of what we are.
The best way to show my love for God is to love His children.
* February 14 is celebrated as Valentine’s Day.
Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader
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