I first saw the Bollywood film DIL SE back in 2006 and was thrilled to see the ideas of Devotion to God as a way to reach Enlightenment in this beautiful film by Mani Ratnam. Loving God is accepted in both Sufism and Hinduism as the easiest and safest way Home.
In fact the great masters all admit that in the end, devotion and Loving God is what carried them across into full release. Even though Kashmir Shaivism is very intellectual and mental, the wonderful enlightened master and scholar Swami Lakshmanjoo says exactly the same. It is Love that will deliver you because God is Love and when we lift our own frequency waveform, our consciousness into states of Love, states of Surrender to the Beloved, we resonate with God and move into Union. Yoga means Union, and this is what we all seek.
We seek to return to our Source, to that state of consciousness we initially emerged from before and as we took on the Veil, the various layers of self-deception, and began to play, to ‘pretend’ and delude ourselves that we are not the Eternal One. But there is only One, and each of us is a part, a portion of That. There can be no other. Our return to that original state is what drives everyone, no matter how evil, decayed, deluded and confused by this self-created miasma of amnesia.
I never believed the film DIL SE was solely about terrorism. Rather this extreme aberrant of the human experience is used as a dramatic environment to allow Mani Ratnam a creative ‘tour de force’ to reveal one of life’s great mysteries: Our eternal sense of separation and longing.
There is an unforgettable night scene up in the mountains set to haunting music and bathed in transcendental blue light that is a cinematic classic. Alone at last with his beloved, for one sweet moment our love-struck hero melts her icy defenses. Intense close-ups fill the screen and invite us to journey into their eyes, their tender smiles, and subtle expressions.
‘I like this distance between us the best. Without this distance, I would have no excuse to get close.’
He tells her that he likes ‘very much’ that he can read nothing in her eyes, that there is so much hidden in her. Isn’t this the relationship that we all have with the eternally silent, sphinx-like Cosmos? He says: ‘I like this distance between us the best. Without this distance, I would have no excuse to get close.’
Here Mani Ratnam expresses something deeper, something eternal about the human condition itself – the essence of what drives us all, the space that allows us the adventure into the unknown, the appearance of separation and inevitable return to Union. How can God experience Itself, Its reflection in all Its endless forms and expressions without this distance?
The pursuit of the elusive beloved, even to the death, is not about some lovesick fool, but rather is the essence of the underlying universal reality of all our lives, and what it means to be human, to long for something that seems to be always somehow beyond us.
When we cultivate a relationship with the God-within us, we find that in a mysterious way the actual Union deprives us of this “distance” required for us to Love our own Self. Distance is required for a reflection in a mirror. I believe this is why Ramakrishna continued to practice devotion to his beloved Kali, he simply did not want to give up that distance and the amazingly sweet experiences of ecstasy that came from even the smallest separation.
Thus I suggest that it is God’s Desire that we cherish every moment of our Return, even the anguish, the heartfelt longing, but especially the subtle tender feelings that can only come from Loving the immeasurable imperishable immensity God. You will find your own expressions of sublime and subtle intimacy with the God-within. Bhakti acknowledges the relation not only of lovers, but of Mother and child, and dear friend, and more. Make God exactly what you have always wanted in another. God is All.
This is the intention of the God-within you, to provide precisely what you long for — because this is also what God longs for, to experience Itself through you, through us all. And I am learning that this is God’s gift to Itself also, because God is enjoying every nuance of every moment right along with us. After all, this is God’s Play, the Divine Lila. So enjoy it together as One. The God-within you is waiting patiently, lovingly for your Return.
V. Susan Ferguson / December 22, 2016