What is Love?
Love is an emotional feeling of attraction, closeness, intimacy, strong liking, and source of enjoyment to be together with someone or something.
Love can take different forms with different things and beings. Examples:
“I love coffee”; “I love my new dress” : “I love my native place” – these are to do with things.
“I love Ilayaraja songs; I love watching thriller movies” – these are to do with abstract things.
“I love my dog”; “I love my cat” — these are to do with living beings other than humans.
“I love my friend”; “I love the comedian Vadivelu” – these are to do with third persons
“I love my cousin brother; I love my brother in law” – These are to do with distant relatives.
“I love my mother/ sister/ son/ daughter/brother/ grandfather” – these are to do with blood relatives.
“I love that girl; I love that boy” – these are to do with a specific person of opposite sex with a marital or sexual intent in mind.
“I love my husband/ wife” – these are to do with existing intimate relations
“I love Lord Shiva; I love Lord Krishna” – this is bhakti – devotion to God.
It is quite obvious that the intensity of love, the reverberation of the joyful feeling that love generates is not same in the various categories of love that we saw above.
The love a boy develops on his girlfriend is not of the same frequency or intensity as the love the boy has on his sister. The love one has on his father is not same as the love one has on the pet dog. Strange it may seem, but the present day truth is that many people are able to love their pet dogs better than their fathers!
When it comes to love, all of us are both givers as well as receivers. All of us, with varying degrees of intensity, are capable of giving love and receiving love. No one can constantly be giving love without getting back any love in return. No one can keep on receiving love without giving something back. Think of it: If pet dogs don’t reciprocate any love, no one will ever keep them at home!
What is the source of Love?
Where from does love spring? Why at all does a person express love to another? Why does a wife love her husband? Why do parents love their children?
According to Sanatana Dharma, God is the in-dweller in all beings. God permeates the entire creation. Even though each of us seem to have different personalities, our Self – Atman is one. It is like different beads of a necklace strung together in a single thread. It is like a single sun reflecting in hundred pots of water. Atman is that thread; Atman is the sun. Atman is Sat-chit-ananda – Existence-knowledge-bliss. It is the bliss of the atman that gets expressed in the form of love.
In the Hindu scripture Brihadarayanka Upanishad, The saint Yagnyavalkya says
‘A wife loves her husband not for his sake, but for the sake of her own Self…… …..
The above are excerpts from the eBook “What is Love? Where is True Love?”
To read the full eBook,