“O lotus-eyed Lord, as baby birds that have not yet developed their wings always look for their mother to return and feed them, as small calves tied with ropes await anxiously the time of milking, when they will be allowed to drink the milk of their mothers, or as a morose wife whose husband is away from home always longs for him to return and satisfy her in all respects, I always yearn for the opportunity to render direct service unto You” (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.11.26)
It’s so important to feel loved in life. People secretly wish, “if only someone loved me unconditionally”, but for most that remains a wishful thinking for their whole lives.
Well, I know you are thinking, “Oh no! Now he is off again… Krishna is the only one who loves us unconditionally. All that talk of how He is our ever well wisher…He is in the heart as paramatama…I know it all”, I can hear you say, “Give me a break!”
There’s good news! You can come close to receiving love even in this material world. Yes it’s true, it’s very much possible.
The formula is “Give it first, and don’t expect it”. Whether you like it or not, when it comes to love, this world operates on two principles: ‘In giving you receive’ and ‘expectation is the seed of misery’
To put it simply, to feel loved, you first serve selflessly and give love unconditionally. Then you wait, without expecting anything in return. And lo and behold, people do reciprocate, and when you get love, you are grateful, but if you don’t, you aren’t disappointed. Maybe you are, but surely, you won’t be discouraged to give love to others.
“But”, I can hear your silent scream, “How do you expect me to only give and how long can I give, if I get nothing in return?” Now, don’t get disheartened, it’s just a small change.
Make a little shift in your expectation; instead of desperately wishing that the person you love reciprocates with you, adjust and fix your focus on Krishna. Get frantic for Krishna to respond to your love calls. You can cry, demand, beg, plead but don’t give up till He answers. And surely, you won’t be disappointed. Bhakti Tirtha Swami would say his mother taught him a fundamental prayer code, “Pray, Pray, Pray until something happens”
Krishna never deceives. He always gives much more than we ask from Him. But He loves to play with His devotees first. That’s common in love games, right? Krishna tests to see if we are really keen on feeling loved by Him, and just a drop of tear, as you devotedly seek His love, and He is there, filling your heart with abundant joy.
Then you would happily give yourself to others, and yes, people in this world surely respond to selfless love. And that love only humbles us, and floods our own hearts with gratitude. Cultivating gratitude and humility then feeds us spiritually, and fills our heart with richer love, and then it’s all the more easier to give ourselves to others. That’s the virtuous cycle that traps one who turns to Krishna first, and gives himself or herself totally to others.
“Let Krishna tightly embrace this maidservant who has fallen at His lotus feet, or let Him trample Me or break My heart by never being visible to Me. He is a debauchee, after all, and can do whatever He likes, but still He alone, and no one else, is the worshipable Lord of My heart.” – (Chaitanya Charitamrita -Antya, 20.47)