Chapter 4: Some Other Ganges
This is important to understand, since, hearing Nanak’s words, many people thought that “If I become this way he will love me.” No, this is wrong! His love and benediction pour forever. If it were not so, what is the difference between temporal love and divine love? The very bane of human love is: If you do this I shall love you. If you become like this I shall love you. I shall love you only if you fulfill my conditions. This is what the father says to the son, the wife to the husband, the friend to a friend.
Nanak refers to an experience beyond worldly love. His love rains forever. If you fulfill the conditions you will be filled like the upright pot. Filled to the brim, you will overflow with his love and everyone around will receive the overflow.
The guru is one whose vessel is so filled with God’s love that he can contain no more. As he begins to overflow other vessels are filled through him. The guru means one whose wants are all fulfilled, since all desires have died, and longing is silenced. His vessel is so full that now he is capable of giving. And what can he do but give? When the cloud is saturated it must rain. Then only can it become light. The flower saturated with fragrance must give it up to the winds.
In the same way, when your vessel is filled with his love, it will shower all around you. There is no end to his grace. Once you know that you will fill merely by keeping your vessel upright, the grace from above never ceases to pour. Then no matter how much you give out your vessel is always brimming. So remember, Nanak is addressing you when he says he has succeeded in winning his love by bathing in all the holy rivers.
Know that he lives! Otherwise how could you exist? Had he not wanted you to be even for a moment, you would have disappeared long ago. He resides in every one of your breaths. It is he throbbing within your heart. Existence has loved you, desired you, made you. It does not matter what you are like; it is still giving you life. You are already the loved one. But you turn your back to him, afraid of his love. You run away and hide just when he wishes to fill your being. When Nanak speaks of winning his love he means to become upright, stand facing him, and shed all fear.
It is only out of fear that you overturned your vessel, fear that it may be filled with something unwanted or wrong. It is out of fear you have closed all doors: for fear of thieves, for fear of enemies. Out of fear you have closed your heart on all sides. When you close your doors thieves cannot get in, but then the beloved cannot enter! For the door is only one, either for the thief or the lover. Avoiding the thief, remember, you have shut the door to the beloved too! And what is this life without the beloved?
You are so afraid of something entering that you have covered the opening and then cry that you are empty. You complain that no visitor ever comes to your house, no one ever knocks at your door, but it’s your fear that has turned you away from your God.