Love is of three types. There is first of all, the love which one has for those things and those individuals which bring what one desires. So there are times when people call desire love. I love chocolate ice cream. But what is it really? You have attachment to chocolate ice cream and you desire chocolate ice cream. So sometimes love is like this. It is something you desire, someone you desire. You say, ' I love them ', but it is really that you desire to possess, to have that which you form attachment to. And so this is one type of love.
Another type is the love one feels in a deep and lasting relationship towards a child, a husband, a mother, a wife, towards one's parents, love that is built upon many years of experience and a likeness of mind. It is built on complex emotions which involve not only attachment but many memories, appreciation, care. Many feelings go in this type of love and some of them are oriented towards one's wants and needs and some are oriented towards the needs of others, the care of others. In this type of love one may also discover a love for living beings in general. And in this love one may find that caring for the needs of others brings a certain reward in the life.
Through caring for the needs of others, the seeds of selfishness are removed from the human mind. Through caring for the needs of others a living being comes to understand that this small body and small mind with all of its pain and sorrow, needs and suffering and joys and desires is not the end all of existence. One comes to appreciate a larger context for one's existence, what has been called a self-actualizing approach to life. One begins to perceive that there is more to one's life than the pleasures , than the seeking of pleasures of this little self.
There is a greater, vaster existence of which you are a part and in seeing this vast existence, a certain freedom is found, freedom from the bondage of the constricted life of the little "I", always meeting the needs of the little "I", always thinking of what the little "I" wants. This type of life becomes very confining, very restricted and is bound to end in suffering. But when, through the expansion of one's love, first for family members, for those around you, then circling out to larger and larger seas, one comes to be aware of the needs and feelings of others and to sincerely care, what is the welfare of those beings - when they have joy, you have joy - so in this way, you become self-actualizing. So through service to living beings and love of living beings one may advance a great deal in terms of spiritual development.
But there is yet a third type of love. The love of God, the Divine
Are not all people divine, all beings divine? In this third type of love, not only is there desire to bring happiness to those around you, those you care about, but there is expansion of one's appreciation, one's association with the Great. And you know, it is the nature of that Divine Entity to love all beings, for all beings are a part and parcel of Him. All beings are His own. The very nature of the Great is love itself. And what type of love is this? It is pure, immutable, self-resplendent, unqualified. The presence of that Divinity is most clearly seen in the emanations of Divine compassion, for in the flow of infinite compassion from the heart of that Supreme Nucleus of this cosmological existence, flows an all encompassing wave of unconditional love, a compassion without boundaries.The love of that Supreme Entity is unconditional, whether you are naughty or you are nice, still that Great Entity will have utmost love for you. That love knows no bounds, it is unconditional. That is the great compassion of the Divine Being.
But then comes another stage, when love of the living being matures still more. At this stage the living being say to Parama Purus'a, Supreme Consciousness, Divine Father of this entire Cosmos; 'Oh Lord, I love you so much I don't want anything for myself, I only want to make you happy, to please you. Lord let me serve you, let me bring happiness to you.' This is the love of the bhakta, this is the love of the one who knows true devotion and attaining to this stage of love - love that is completely surrendered, entirely selfless - the living being comes in close proximity to their Cosmic Father, their Cosmic Mother. They come very close to Parama Purus'a because, what is the nature of His existence? It is love unconditional. It is an emanation of pure, unrestrained, unconditional compassion.
So, when the bhakta, through maturation of the heart removes the umbrella of ego which has kept them apart from true knowledge of their unity in the infinite ocean of Divine compassion, when the umbrella of ego is closed, the shower of divine grace will fall upon the bhakta, the devotee, and they will feel their oneness with Parama Purus'a. They will feel His infinite compassion, His great love for them. But as long as the ego is covering them, like the umbrella, they will never feel the shower of His grace because they are warding off their knowledge of this experience with this umbrella of ego.
In the purity of this selfless love, the last shreds of ego begin to fall away like an encrustation, a hard shell no longer required. And the resplendent beatitude of the all compassionate existence of the Self shines in its full radiance. In the shower of this infinite grace and compassion the vestiges of ego get dissolved and I and Thou become one. Then there is no 'I' and no 'Thou', only One, pure, immutable, self-resplendent, all compassionate, effulgent Self. So let nothing bar your way in this path to Greatness. Alright. Alright.