How to love God


Hi. I'm struggling with my love for God since I don't know how to love Him/Her. If I think about Him in an abstract way I don't know what to love. If I think about God in the form of, let's say, Yogananda, I don't know how to make this love impersonal. And I don't know how to love God in any of His eight aspects (light, sound, peace, ...).

Because of this, I also don't know how to love God in everyone (how to see beyond looks and personality).

Please help. Thank you!

—George, Europe


Dear George,

Please forgive me for taking so long to answer your question. It is a very important question.

Swami Kriyananda writes that when he came on the spiritual path and heard about the importance of love for God as the Divine Mother, he found this difficult at first. But then he remembered his godmother. She was a very sweet and loving woman and yet more distant from him than his own mother. So, he began to focus on the Divine Mother by imagining Her in the form of his godmother. That helped to open his heart, and he was then able to direct that love to the Divine Mother, which is also AUM, the Creative Cosmic Vibration (a much more impersonal concept, yet one that is imbued with love.)

You could try something similar. Can you imagine someone in your life for whom you feel a great love and trust? It could be a relative who is no longer alive, someone you know only slightly but find deeply inspiring, or even a pet. Can you begin to focus on the love you feel when you hold their image up in meditation? Can you then, now, remove the image of that person and direct that same love to their Creator?

Whatever person you love is lovable because they are created by the Source of all love and are a tiny reflection of God.

One time Swamiji said to us that the love we feel for Yogananda is not really personal because we never knew him. When Yogananda was alive, it was easy for people to become attached to his lovable personality, attached to if he looked at them and smiled sweetly, and so on.

For us now, our relationship with Yogananda must be much more directed to his vibration. So, while you can try the exercise I mentioned above, I don’t think you really have to worry about becoming too personal in your relationship with Yogananda. When you read his books, tune in especially to the deep inspiration of God he transmits. When you listen to his recordings, try to attune to the vibration of joy and love coming through his voice. This will help you see him in his vaster nature.

The most important thing is to begin somewhere to focus on that love and not to worry too much about the details. Of course your love will not be perfectly pure when you begin. It will not be perfect until you are one with God. But better to start somewhere than to be overly careful about exactly how to love God. We cannot “figure out” love with our minds, but need to start where we feel even a taste of it, and develop that more and more.

In divine friendship,