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Ms. Louise Hawley,






“Divine Love is different from human attachment.

                       It is timeless and constant, not a passing cloud.

                      Make Divine Love your sole idea. It is inherent in you.

                     All you have to do is manifest it in the proper direction.”

                                                                      - Sathya Sai Baba



All I ever wanted to do in this world was to love. I can see that now, but looking back, it wasn’t always so clear. It seemed that I lived my life surrounded by an invisible protective bubble that made me safe from most harm. I felt different than other people, and vaguely wondered: who is this person who feels and thinks so unlike almost everyone else? Who amI and why am I on this planet?


My mother planted in me the beginnings of a wonderful answer to those huge questions. She taught me to love, love, love. In a thousand ways she conveyed this message. She would say, “Remember to love everyone and everything, Weezie, and always be happy.” She would reach out with both hands and pinch my cheeks and repeat slowly three times, “I love you! I love you! I love you!” I loved it, and adored her, and I reveled in her love for me.  


Many years further along in life I met my Dearest One, Sathya Sai Baba—and realized that He truly is love incarnate. Love is not only something He does, it’s what He is! Swami took that mother’s love she had planted in me—surely the sweetest and highest form of human love—and He purified it, transforming it, and me, into something a great deal higher. He taught me to actually be Divine Love.


I hope to shed some more light on what this means, but I’m determined not to complicate it.

Love is simple and I want to keep it that way. I don’t want to figure it out, I just want to be it—and,

ifpossible, to get it across to you. Please be aware,

however, that I will be using ordinary American




English, worldly words, to try to convey cosmic-level information about high spirituality. Specifically, you need to be extra aware when I use the appellation “I”—as when I say “I” did this or “I” didn’t do that. At those times I am mostly referring to my absolute highest Self “I,” the Atma, the “I” as Soul, as life-force, as the divinity within me. It’s the “I” beyond even high spirituality. At this altitude there is no separation whatsoever, between “I” and the Divine. At other times I will be using “I” in the conventional way to indicate this person in the world, me.


My husband and I have roamed the world for years doing seminars on Swami’s teachings. Jack has written four Swami-directed, Swami-blessed books on the Bhagavad Gita. Applying these wondrous principles in people’s lives is what our work is about. We are aware that it is my Dearest Sai who sends us out into the world, and we know that this worldly dance is His. We’re also aware that we are mere members of His troupe, still learning the steps, and, hopefully, helping others learn them.


The foundation rock of all our work is of course Swami’s principle of Divine Love. Everything pales in comparison with this ultra-high love.  In one of our lectures Jack shares a visual model—“The Six Landscapes of Love”—given to him by Swami in a meditation years ago when he was struggling to write about spirit in the workplace. The model shows that love is far beyond what most people think of as love—that is, it’s beyond desires, emotions, relationships, and so forth. The sixth, and absolute highest, “Landscape” is a description of “Love as Spirit: Being Love.” .




This is love at the pinnacle.  Let me quote from the book.

We’ve come all the way on our mission

to love, and begin to realize that love

is even greater than we had supposed.

This is the place we speak of as Higher

Consciousness or Highest Self. In this

place Spirit and Self are the same. Here also, is where Truth and Love are one

and the same. Peace of Mind is so great here it’s beyond mere worldly quietude,

it’s an ultimate tranquility. It’s as though Peace merges with Truth and Love and Spirit here. This is where they all swirl, indistinguishable from one another.


I absolutely adore this level of love. This is love at the most mysterious, rarest level of human awareness—and even beyond that. This is where I live most of my life.


When people begin to see love as being much more than they thought it was, they immediately want to know how to get it. “How,” they ask, “how can I learn to love more? How can I actually integrate this important force into my daily life?” Let’s shed some light on that, too.


Early in my years with Sai Baba He gave me

a simple little song:

Fill me with your grace, Oh Lord,

Fill me with your grace,

Make my love so ever pure,

Fill me with your grace.

I sang it under my breath, many thousands of repetitions, for many years. The more I mentally replayed this little melody, the more it became my own private mantra, a mood that was ever with me, profoundly influencing my whole life.


Eventually I was guided to take it further, to make Divine Love the object of my whole being. My constant yearning for it developed into a personal puja. For the past twenty years, my first spiritual practice in the morning and last one in the evening has been a modest little process that is now second nature to me. I reach out, take a pinch of vibhuti, and touch it to various parts of me. 


     “Grace me to think Divine,” I say, touching the vibhutito my forehead.

     “Grace me to act Divine,” putting it on the crown of my head.

     “Grace me to see Divine,” touching my eyes.

     “Grace me to hear Divine,” touching my ears.

     “Grace me to speak Divine,” touching my lips.

      Then I pause, and hold vibhuti to my heart saying, “But most of all, Dearest One,

       graceme to  BE Divine Love.”


This uncomplicated ritual, repeated thousandsof times by now, has worked its magic on me.

I do feel graced with all these things, and blessed indeed.


Notice the term grace in both of my pujas. I know it’s all His Grace. And I knew early in my spiritual life that grace was not a rare blessing available only to the pious or lucky ones.

Grace is an ocean of divine energy accessible to all of us at all times. Our task is to tap into that sacred reservoir and bring grace into our lives. My little prayers are not desires for anything, they’re love songs invoking my own truth, the divinity within me. 


When people ask me how to become Divine Love I share the following formula:

First, make Divine Love the very center of your entire life. Focus your consciousness, your entire being on Divine Love.


Second, ask and yearn for this highest love. Put the question straightforwardly:

“Please, Dearest Lord, grace me to be Divine Love.”  Repeat this request over and over with every breath, every moment of your life.  


Finally, let go of all of your striving and just be it. Let grace flow into your heart.  Simply decide to be Divine Love! This sounds outlandish at first, but spiritual logic is poles apart from worldly logic. Swami is clear that Divine Love resides in all of us; it’s one and the same with our divinity within. Letting go is a powerful act of surrender which allows divinity to emerge.




There’s an important spiritual principle at work in this process. It’s the law of attention:

“That on which you place your attention grows stronger.” It’s so simple that our rational minds slip past it without grasping the great wisdom. But think about it. If you put your attention on being sad, you’re invariably sad. If you turn your attention away from suffering and choose happiness, you’re invariably happy. 


There’s magic in this simplicity, and it has huge ramifications for attaining Divine Love. I didn’t pursue love or search for it.  I wasn’t interested in walking some long path to it, nor was I the type to sit around praying for love to find me. I didn’t stop and think about, define, or explain it. I didn’t wait for a feeling to come. I just wanted to be it. I was divinely guided to simply choose to be Divine Love.


Some 60 centuries ago Sai Baba, as Krishna in the Gita, laid out the qualities of people who were dear to Him. It’s a pithy list that includes being forgiving, not getting agitated by worldly ups and downs, not grieving, holding the same attitude toward friend or foe, returning love for hate, possessing firm faith, and several more. It’s a veritable checklist that we can use to assess our spiritual progress.


A bit later in the Gita it becomes clear that Divine Love transcends even those lofty qualities.  We learn once again, but more strongly this time, that Divine Love is Divinity itself. There’s no separation, no distinction whatsoever. We learn also that when we become the Divine Love inherent in us, we actually become Divinity itself. It’s hard to imagine, but we are That Divinity! There’s no separation, no distinction between our Self and God. And what’s more, everyone else is in the same boat. Everyone is divinity. We are indeed all one. Once we attain this realization, that everyone else is but the reflection of our Self, we have arrived at the basis of the unity of humanity.


The Gita then teaches us, “Divine Love is both the way to,   and  the   ultimate  goal   of all human exist ence,



theapex of human spiritual achievement.” As I ponder this, I have to pause and catch my breath. How wondrous it is!


Then the Gita adds, “To be devotional is the sacred plan of nature.” Aha! That is the key to my approach. I don’t have to understand Divine Love. I don’t even have to think about it. I can simply allow myself to become saturated in my devotion. That’s all. I can just bask in veneration.

And so can you.


My whole world now is love. When I go to darshan, for example, I see everything and everybody as love. People, bullocks, butterflies, monkeys, ashram dogs, birds, insects—every thing and every-body—all are Love! Love is my state of being, my consciousness, my total awareness, my mind set. Love is my everything! I turn a blind eye to anything other than Divine Love. Maybe this is my grown up description of that childhood “safety bubble.”


And this is not confined to the ashram. Wherever we go, whatever we do, it’s all love. It’s as true in the bazaar outside the gate as it is in a California mall or a Guatemala mercado. Everything I do, every place I go is now so suffused with Divine Love that I have no other way of being. Because this is always in my mind, how could my life be other than divine? 


It’s an audacious strategy and I appreciate that it may bewilder some people. I’m aware too that we live and work in the world, and bad things happen. And yet I have been guided to simply refuse entry to any of the plethora of negatives that pervade people’s lives nowadays. My state of mind, my consciousness, is everything to me. I never put my attention on non-loving thoughts. I’m unperturbed by wars, plane crashes, tsunamis, or any of the ubiquitous “news at eleven” dramas playing out around me in everyday life. Nothing impinges. Not even our own, or our family’s illnesses and tribulations.




Is this positive state 100 percent? It’s at least 99 percent—so close to being totally upbeat that when bad things do slip by they don’t even register on my attention radar. My sole purpose on this Earth is to love, and to shower Divine Love on all.


About five years ago, as I was quietly waiting for Darshan , a clear voice inside me said, “Loving is your nature.”  Intense shaktifollowed that statement and I sobbed with joy. It was as though God had whispered my inner truth to me. Divine love is me, and God is Divine love. There’s no difference. A few seconds later Swami entered the gate and looked intently at me—as though seeing straight into the depths of my heart.


All I ever wanted to do in this world is love.


               *          *          *



Instrumented Self-Inquiry


“The Truth has to be both

known and experienced.”

                      Sathya Sai Baba


Now, dive deep with me into this stupendous topic from a different angle. Swami says that Self-inquiry is at least 70 percent of your sadhana(spiritual discipline). Acquiring high wisdom takes searching within, which is the very foundation of your spiritual development.


What follows is a simple, practical self-inquiry instru-ment , “How Saturated With Love Am I?” which was drawn from various teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. Using this instrument brings the lessons home in a personal way.


The idea of application is the beating heart of this approach. My husband and I utilize these Instruments at our seminars and lectures. Participants can choose to use or not use them, and do so in the privacy of their own inner rooms. People love these simple but profound spiritual tools, and feel helped in a tangible way by them.


Moving into Divine Love is the central expedition of your life. The teachings presented here may be the most important you ever encounter. Take this seriously, lovingly, and with great cheerfulness. In the final analysis, the only real destination in life is your divinity within. In the end it’s all you have. 


 “The moment you see your own inner beauty

 and are so filled with it that you  forget all else,  you become free from all worldly bonds. You realize that you are all the beauty, all the glory, all the power, all the magnificence of the universe…”                    - Sathya Sai Baba


Now open your mind and heart to this instrument and to the flow of love within you, and apply it right now in your life. Proceed with Divine Love.  I love you,


                                                   Om Sai Ram


                                                Louise Hawley

 Prasanthi Nilayam



Louise and her husband Jack Hawley are long-standing devotees of Swami Besides four books, Jack has

 produced an audio CD of the Bhagavad Gita for Westerners , listening to which is very educative.



A spiritual progress instrument drawn from the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita


     Early in the Bhagavad Gita’s timeless spiritual teachings the breathtaking principle of Divine Love (beyond mere worldly love) is gradually introduced.

     As the Gita’s 18 chapters roll out, these crucial teachings are interspersed throughout the text, restating the same truths in different contexts and imageries like a mother repeating lessons to her child, so the real truth of Divine Love gradually becomes clear.    

     Here we have taken those teachings a step further, making them into a modern self-inquiry inst-

rument . It may at first, register as a “test,” which can be met with some resistance, but it’s not a test; there are no right or wrong answers here. Just take a deep breath, dive deep into the teachings, and find yourself comfortably participating in your spiritual evolvement.

     Proceed unhurriedly in a mood of high receptivity. Notice your awareness shift as you progress. Do not seek to learn the material, but to become it – to actually be the high consciousness that permeates the teachings.




·    Treat the Gita Teachings below as if God were expounding them to you. 

·    As you read them (reverently), put a 1—9 self-rating in the blank next to each item (see scale, bottom of page). Ask yourself, “To what extent do I understand and practice this in my daily life?

·    You be the helpful professor: give yourself an overall grade here_______ (A+ through D- or F) in terms of how “loving” you think you are now.   

·    List the two or three things you have to do during

this year to raise your grade at least one level.

·    Date this sheet and revisit it later to check your progress. (You will be pleasantly surprised.)

      *               *               *               *               *               *




    Again, as you read ask yourself: “To what extent

    do I understand and practice this in my daily life?



___“Divine Love is both the way to, and the ultimate goal of all human existence; it is the pinnacle of human spiritual achievement!


___ It may seem impossible to you, but a human can come to really know God—not merely about      God, but to literally be One with the Divine. This is the profound plan and purpose of creation which is hidden from most people.


___ The only way for you to achieve this is through unswerving devotion to Me, God, who is the Divine Love that lives in your heart. 


___ Wise yogis ceaselessly love Me (the Godhead,

Brahman),  and they know that  the very love they

are experiencing for Me is Me, for I am Love! 


___ Make Divinity your fondest ideal and highest      goal. Set your mind and heart on Me, the Divine.


___One truly is where one’s mind is, so fix your mind on Me, be absorbed in Me alone, focus your  devotion on Me, still yourself in Me, and make all your acts an offering  to Me. Being saturated with devotion and  faith leads you quickly and surely to Me.


___ When you live your whole life in Me each of your contacts with other beings becomes inwardly an adoration.


 ___In a constant state of deep love for God, the true devotee recognizes nothing but God in the world. Through this unswerving, single-minded love (ananya bhakti), you come to know the essence of My supreme glory and you enter into My Being.


 ___When you love, you know Me; you know My innermost nature, the Truth of what I am. The act of loving is itself the real experience of knowing Me. As a knower of God you in fact become God.


 ___Give Me your whole heart. Make Me your very own. Then you will discover Me and come to Me. I promise you this because we are forever linked through love, the greatest of unifying forces.” 



       never               seldom                  sometimes                  frequently                     always


                                                                Adapted from Roadmaps to Self-Realization (2006, J. Hawley), p. 74  


(Reproduced from Sai Vahinimagazine November 2007)