By magnifying love, you magnify the power of the heart. Herein dwells subjective and intelligent powers, such as empathy, insight, and intuition. When you first fall in love you may experience an increased capacity to access the power of your heart. It is not uncommon for you to be able to intuit what your partner is thinking or feeling, even if you are in different places. Your marriage will naturally enable you to communicate in an intuitive way. You may know what the other is about to say, know what he or she needs or wants, and be able to hear his or her thoughts.
The heart also serves as a portal to inner worlds, the astral plane. This is the devic plane, devaloka; it is a vast realm of power, knowledge, and home to forces and entities. Just as meditation develops your capacity to perceive and operate on this plane, so too can marriage support this skill. As a corollary to the deep listening discussed before, you can deliberately exercise your ability to perceive and connect with inner forces, beings and deities through the portal of your enlivened hearts.
You may identify the subtle beings that dwell here as angels, archangels, deva’s, gods, allies, nature spirits, elementals, dakini’s; there are numerous names and definitions for these, depending on what cultural and religious frame of reference you have. These entities and beings serve many functions; many are those whose purpose is to support and work alongside people. They can serve as intermediaries, and can effect transformations and actions for us; they may assist in channeling blessings and prayers, resolve conflicts, heal the body and the emotions, solve conundrums, provide protection, reveal unknowns and provide insights; there are deva’s that serve to help people transition out of bodily life into after-life.
Some deva’s associate with individuals, as a “guardian angel”; they can also associate with you as a couple as well. They will become your personal protectors and emissaries, and will further support the inner work that the two of you undertake. You may also come to know and recognized well-known and powerful deva’s, gods and goddesses. If you invoke them and honor them, they will serve you with their unique powers. You will also discover that your intimate and immediate experience of them is far deeper, more alive and complex than the artistic renderings that commonly depict them in popular culture. You will discover that they are far from imaginary, that they are vivid, powerful, living and present right here and now inside you. Once you see Ganesha’s twinkling eyes and soft radiant skin, and experience the immense blessing contained in his belly, you will always know that he – and his power – is real. Once you have encountered Kali, with her black skin and fierce eyes, along with her nakedness and her terrifying and yet alluring appeal, you will never underestimate her power. Once you meet Archangel Michael or Shiva’s son Muruga in his awesome armor and powerful spear, and you experience its capacity to conduct Shakti like a lightning rod through the core of your being, you will know and respect that this entity is an emissary of the deepest truth. Once you experience the true compassion of Kuan Yin, you will know that there is no grief or wound that is larger than your heart’s capacity to endure.
Devic work elicits the paradoxical tension of knowing that they are both part of you and yet are beyond what you think of as “you”. Deva’s can be considered aspects of you and your intimate, personal subconscious, and yet they are simultaneously experienced by millions of other people as well; they are part of our collective subconsciousness and yet are intimately part of who we each are. They dwell in a place that transcends ego and our sense of individuality and yet they are not outside of us, off in some outside world; they are right here, right now.
In the same way, you and your partner are both separate from one another and yet share the same ground of being, share the same heart space. The love you feel is rooted in both your own heart and yet also comes from your beloved. This is a place that eludes conceptual characterization and cannot be completely described and defined; you can only explore the heart using your intuitive mystical knowing. Like deva’s and devaloka, love and the heart cannot be pinned down, yet they remain vast forces that you experience. As you become familiar with the paradoxical power of union with your beloved, you will also be able to comprehend the paradoxical nature of deva’s. It is important to note that deva’s do not always fit neatly into our idealized and civilized notions of angels and deities. You can dabble with animal spirit card decks, and imagine your kind spirit guide, and have a framed sanitized painting of Kali on the wall. But when you truly enter devaloka, you may also encounter demonic forces and fearsome creatures. Like their counterparts in Nature, wild animal spirits are not tame and do not follow instructions as a domesticated creature might. You may be threatened and attacked by entities you have never conjured before. It is no child’s play, and you need to understand the importance of protection when you do this work. You must learn to proceed with respect and vigilance.
The domain and existence of deva’s is a vast subject, well beyond this brief essay and is not unique to marriage sadhana; it is available to anyone with the mystical skill and inclination. Many practices will introduce you to this realm. The subject deserves mention here, only because marriage sadhana can enhance your ability to explore this realm; the skills you learn will both serve you, and will help you serve the world.
Next Essay: A Husband’s Sadhana