Love and Lust:
Love is love only when it brings balance. If it does not bring balance it is something else. If it does not bring coolness, peace, it is something else. Then lust has been mistaken for love.
Lust brings imbalance, anxiety, excitement. Love brings tranquility, silence, equilibrium.
That is the criterion to know whether it is love or not — whatsoever brings a state of balance is good and wholesome.
If we can keep ourselves alert and remember continuously that love is love only when it brings balance to our inner being, by and by through balance it will become prayer.
Love is the door to divinity — lust is the door to the lower levels of existence. If it becomes lust, passion, excitement, anxiety, one starts falling backwards. If it is love, tranquility, coolness, silence, one starts rising upwards. Then, instead of falling in love, one rises in love.
Love and lust begin from the same rung on the ladder… the ladder leading to hell and heaven. It is the same ladder: depending on what we start with, if it evolves into pure, unconditional love, we ascend to heaven and if it gets contaminated by too much passion, which eventually degrades into lust, we descend into hell.
Love and Attachment:
Many a times attachment is mistaken for love and that becomes the cause of our misery. When people say that they love someone and if they are asked, ‘why do you love that someone?’; if they give a reason then it is not love, but attachment to whatever reason they have given. Attachment can never be sustained. It is subject to change and modification. Whatever we are attached to is bound to change and we may not like what it changes or modifies into. Then our attachment, which was mistaken for love will disappear.
Let us analyze this. If someone loves a person for his / her beauty, then if that person loses that beauty, then the so called love, which is in reality attachment to that beauty, will also go away. When the cause (beauty) doesn’t remain, then the effect (attachment) will also vanish. That is the law. The same applies to whatever may be the cause — wealth, good voice, talents like singing, painting, etc. When the cause changes, the effect, that is, the attachment will no more be there.
Sometimes people put conditions for so called “love”. We hear people say “If you do this then I will love”, or “If you love me you will not do that”. Some of us love only if we are loved in return, like a commercial transaction. Love is not a trade agreement or business transaction based on some terms and conditions.
Attachment is always conditional, whereas love is always unconditional.
We are attached to those things and beings which appear to give us some kind of joy, pleasure or happiness or some kind of benefit.
If we examine our life our relationship with another, we shall see that we are really not concerned about another; though we talk a great deal about it, actually we are not concerned. We are related to someone only as long as that relationship gives us refuge, so long as it satisfies us, benefits us or gives us some joy or pleasure.
The dependency based image of “love” can at best be described as obsessive, possessive and addictive, needless to say unsustainable.
Always remember, the thing or being, we are most attached to, will become the cause of our biggest misery, sorrow and pain.
Detachment is being close to what we most want to be free from and using it to make us grow.
Similarly, crush or infatuation, which the teenagers usually have, due to the changes that goes on in them during puberty, is just a passing phase. They will eventually grow out of it.
Love and Fear:
Fear is one of the natural human expressions. Fear of death being the most overwhelming fear.
Fear and love are contradictory terms. Love is the absence of fear. But we fear love because the sense of otherness gets dissolved in pure love, since it was imaginary from the very beginning.
A sense of otherness and Pure Love cannot coexist. Fear is where the other exists.
Love is an absolute and cannot be diminished by time or distance. It can be obscured by fear, but its brilliance is never really diminished. Fear closes the mind; love opens the heart and dissolves fear.
Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
We shall never understand the complex problem of love till we understand the equally complex problem which we call the mind, because it is the mind that destroys love. People who are merely clever, cunning, do not know what love is, because their minds although sharp, are superficial, they live on the surface and love is not the thing that exists on the surface.
We gain an attachment to a thing outside because of our firm belief that the other object is absolutely Real. Nobody has yet been found in the whole world who has fallen in love with his own shadow, simply because he knows that the shadow has no reality other than himself. This realization that the external world of objects and beings is as illusory as our shadow removes all fear.
Love is of three varieties: Unselfish or samartha, mutual or samanjasa and ordinary or selfish or saadhaarana. Unselfish love is of highest kind. Here, the one who loves, seeks only the welfare of the beloved and does not care whether he / she suffers pain and hardships thereby. The second kind of love is mutual love in which the one who loves desires not only the happiness of his beloved, but has an eye to his own happiness also. Selfish love is the lowest. It makes a man care for only his own happiness without having any regard for the feelings of the beloved.
Nobody is born for another. Nobody is here to fulfill our ideals and how he / she should be. We are master of our own love and we can give as much as we want — but we cannot demand love from the other person, because nobody is a slave.
To give love, we must become independent in ourselves and be a pillar in life for others to hold on to us. Such an individual, who needs no crutches for his own existence, alone can have the power to give love. All others are receivers of love.
Pure, Unconditional Love:
If we analyze, we will discover that we tend to love those things and beings that appear to give us some kind joy, pleasure or happiness. Similarly, we dislike or hate and try to avoid those things and beings that seem to give us some kind of sorrow, pain or misery and are generally indifferent to things and beings that neither give us joy or sorrow. In our analyses, we will also discover that we love ourselves the most. We love ourselves unconditionally, irrespective of weaknesses, shortcomings and defects that we may have. If we also accept others as they are, along with their good and bad habits, defects, and weaknesses and strengths and love them inspite of rather than because of, without any selfish motive, then our love for them will be pure, unconditional love. This love takes us to the divine realm. Pure, unconditional love is the door to divinity.
Loves gives nothing but itself and takes nothing but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed, for love is sufficient unto love. Love cannot be forced; love cannot be coaxed and teased. It comes out of heaven unasked and unsought.
When some things are special it is sorrow.
When one thing is special it is deep misery.
When one thing is everything it is sheer torture.
When nothing is special, all is joy.
When everything is special it is Supreme Unconditional Love.
Therefore if a friend loves you alone and no one else, you would be wise to urge him / her to give his / her heart to others for unless he / she does this, it is a feeble (and hungry!) heart he / she offers you.
As far as possessiveness is concerned, love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away.
Therefore when you love something or someone dearly, let it go; if it comes again it is yours and if it doesn’t, it never was.
Love never claims it ever gives. Love ever suffers, never resents, never revenges itself.
Love is reckless in giving, oblivious as to what it gets in return. Love wrestles with the world as with itself and ultimately gains mastery over all other feelings.
Rumi despairs of defining love. “However much I might try to expound or explain love, when I come to Love itself, I am ashamed of my explanations…Love alone can explain the mysteries of love.”
“Love is an endless mystery, for it has nothing else to explain it. Love’s gift cannot be given, it waits to be accepted.” – Rabindranath Tagore
“Love is not a thing to understand. Love is not a thing to feel. Love is not a thing to give or receive. Love is a thing only to become and eternally be.” – Sri Chinmoy
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Where there is great love, there are always great miracles.”
Love postulates duality. How can the Self be the object of Love? Love is not different from the Self. Love of an object is of an inferior order and cannot endure.