Symbols of the world's religions



Eruch Jessawala

What a subject love is! A four-letter word, but it contains the universe. There is no end and no beginning to it. Baba said, "I am love and when I take advent, love is personified and made more tangible." Everything is because of love, and the universe came into being because of love. When we, the mandali, had quarrels amongst us, Baba would pacify and soothe both sides saying, "Well, it's all because of love." Wars are fought and nations created and destroyed because of love.

But to digress for a moment, there seems to be a difference between East and West in their conception of love. Do you know what Swami Vivekananda did once? There was a confrontation between him and a padre, a church minister. I don't know whether he was English or American but he was a Westerner. They were traveling in a train somewhere in the United States.

The clergyman asked Vivekananda: "You're from India?"


"Oh," he said, "we have heard that India is the land of spirituality."

"It is so, the land of the flowers of the Lord."

The clergyman replied: "Do you mean to say that we do not love the Lord here?"

"You do love the Lord. But there are differences between people in loving the Lord. There are people who belittle love because they do not know how to love."

And so the discussion went on and on, whether God is to be loved as the people of the India love Him, or whether He is to be loved as in the West where He is more revered than loved and forgotten when there is no need of Him. Vivekananda tried his best to bring out these points with the clergyman, but finally his patience was exhausted.

He opened the door of the moving train whilst it was passing over a long bridge and, catching hold of the churchman, said forcefully: "Do you believe in what I say or not? If not, I will throw you out of the compartment!"

"What are you doing? Wait, wait! I believe it! I believe it!"

Then Vivekananda said: "That is how the love of God is in the West."

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