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How to Develop Love

by Swami Sivananda

If you really want to root out hatred and develop Prem or pure love, you will have to serve that man whom your mind dislikes. You will have to serve that man who is planning to destroy you. When you hear that your bitterest enemy is sick, you will have to run immediately to his house and shampoo his legs with full Prem. You will have to attend on him day and night, just as you attend on your sick wife, son or mother. Even if inimical feelings rise in your heart, you will have to subdue them by raising frequently to opposite positive feelings of love. This is doubtlessly a trying, difficult Sadhana. But the benefits are wonderful. You will become a centre of power and energy. You will become a spiritual giant indeed. You will become an embodiment of love (Prem Murthi or Prem Vigraha. )

When you try to control anger, when somebody has injured you, you should not only check the big wave of anger, but also try to eradicate the internal burning which remains even though you do not speak harsh words or express outwardly any signs of anger in the face. This is most difficult; but it can be eradicated by continuous service and love.

Whenever your friend is annoyed with you, speak to him first with a smile and apologise sincerely with tears even though you are right. Serve him nicely with Prem. Vindictive spirit is a deadly enemy of peace, devotion, love and Jnana.

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