What is love ?

Hare Krishna!

What is love ? Not looking for a formal definition but trying to understand what the emotion is meant for ?

Sarvam Sri Krishnaarpanam!

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                • Hare Krishna,

                  Still not qualified to understand these deep aspects of love. All goes above my head :-) currently. Thank you mataji for these nice piece of information. But I am sure they will be helpful someday. Thanks a lot.

                  - Jai Shri Krishna !! Jai Bhakt Prahlad ki Jai !!

                  • The regulative principles are called vidhi-bhakti, or the devotional service of the Lord, and they can be practiced by a neophyte with his present senses. Such regulative principles are mainly based on hearing and chanting of the glories of the Lord. And such hearing and chanting of the glories of the Lord can be made possible in the association of devotees only. 

                    (Srimad Bhagavatam----2:9:31----purport).

                    The behavior of the most elevated transcendentalist and that of the most fallen conditioned soul appears to be the same. The elevated transcendentalist can surpass all the regulations of the Vedas, just as the demigods traveling in space surpass all the jungles and rocks on the surface of the globe.( (Srimad Bhagavatam----4:4:19----purport).

                    All bhakti starts with Shradhha..and trust as you said..Faith in the words of Krishna and guru.. and practicing Vaidhi bhakti.. That is following strictly all the regulative principles.

                    I don't say Trust and faith are not essential. They are certainly essential.. without which you cannot have any bhakti.

                    But when it comes to advanced stages like LOVE. These conditions are not applicable.

                    The behavior of the most elevated transcendentalist and that of the most fallen conditioned soul appears to be the same.( SB 4.4.19 purport).

                    These gopis' love was far more than a regular neophyte devotee. It has surpassed all those stages. ( examples of Advanced devotees who have not practiced any rules and regulations given in Vedas are 1. LOrd Shiva ( he is considered to be Param Vaishnava but he lives in a crematorium, He doesn't comb hair or keep his body clean, He applies ashes to the body, He drink bhang, Shiva bhakts called Aghoras even see Shiva in dead bodies and eat the flesh of dead. They say everything is Shiva maay.

                    2. Gopi's of Vrindavan didn't follow rules and regulation of wife( pati vrata dharma, When Krishna told them to leave HIM and go back to their homes as they are married and it is not right to leave husbands at night and come to meet a paraya mard ( someone other than the husband at night ). they didnt listen to His word.. ( If they trust His words then they should have gone back. He gave reference to Vedas also when He said please go back you are doing a paap..( SIN). They cared nothing for the sin also.

                    3. Meera Bai.. She left her husband and family for the sake of Krishna. Didn't follow and rules and regulation of a Patni.. 

                    4. Rishabdev bhagwan.. Was living like a renunciate life. He didn't even comb, take bath, do anything.. he was living life like a trash can. He never cared for himself. He lost touch with surroundings. He was naked all the time. People thought he was mad man. some times he rubbed stool and urine to whole body to keep people away. 

                    They are many examples of advanced devotees who don't follow any rules and regulations given by Vedas. 

                    Vaidhi bhakti is initial stage of bhakti.. But topic of Love is for advanced stage of bhakti. In Vaidhi bhakti you practice.. to reach perfection.. But love is complete different stage.. Raganuga bhakti surpasses all rules n regulations. 

                    Hope you will understand some day.

                    Jai Sri Krishna.

  • Hare Krishna!

    Thank you Prabhujis and Mataji for the beautiful answers.

    Would it be right to summarise the answers as - love unites Jiva with the supreme lord and that "non-separation" is love ?

    Good point Prakash Prabhuji that we give ourself in love which is what the 9th stage of devotion - Aatma nivedanam (complete surrender).

    Sarvam Sri Krishnaarpanam!

  • Hare Krishna,

    Love is not a matter of conquering, it is a matter of giving. We give ourselves to another person in love. It is fall in love; not conquer in love.

    Love is Shraddha. When we love someone, we believe his/her words and follow it. e.g. A Kid is about to eat his most favourite dish and mother comes running and says - stop stop ! do not take that food, there is poison in it. Then he will jump out immediately. And next moment if mother says - I was joking dear. Then he may get little angry with mom, but he will start eating the food again. So when we love someone, we trust what he says. In one sense, amount of love is directly proportional to the amount of trust. 

    We read Gita, but when we start following the instruction given, we start trusting words of Krishna. So we start loving Krishna. To create shraddha in God, firstly we need to create shraddha in His words. And Guru helps in this.

    Now Krishna cannot be known by intellect, nor by studying Vedas. We cannot directly approach Krishna. We have to go through his devotees. So we need to follow our acharyas instructions, push ourselves strongly with determination to walk on the path shown by them, so that serving Krishna (as shown by them) becomes part of our lives. And then mercy will come gradually (Bg 2.64). 

    - Jai Shri Krishna !! Jai Bhakt Prahlad ki Jai !!


    Bg 2.64
    It is already explained that one may externally control the senses by some artificial process, but unless the senses are engaged in the transcendental…
  • Hare Krishna prabhu ji.,

    I will try to explain this topic..though it is lengthy, I hope you will spare some time to read it.

    First of all Love is most confusing topic cannot be easily understood.  Cannot be told in words so it Undefined. 

    Different age group have different meanings to love but no one has ever touched what is Love in real sense. All assume that they have seen love.

    1. Some say..Love is between a girl and boy. Bollywood has hyped this  topic to such an extent...making so many movies over it as if love is only existing between a boy and girl only.

    2. Some teenagers fight with their parents for marrying certain boy or gal they say we love them. We cannot live without them. IS this love? Or is this selfishness? 

    "I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THE OTHER" it is like your happiness sake you want the other ( it is all about you). Is it not selfishness?? rather.. Where is love here?

    3. Some say ... Only pure love is with parents.. A parent says I want my son to be an Engineer... It is because I have not secured a seat when I was of his age. I want my son to become an Engineer now.. ? I want him to marry this girl only ...Is this Love?? IS this not selfishness?.. all what YOU want.. You are Imposing it on other..to follow your orders.

    4. Some say ... I love my country..I can die for it. I will kill all others ( jihaad) to save my country my people.  Is this love ?? Is this not selfishness. How can love for one's own community be called a love? it is selfishness only.

    5. Some define love is nice feeling a great emotion... what is feeling ( is it sensation) touch?? is love just related to body sensations? It is lust basically it is selfishness. If we are getting a pleasant feeling emotions or sensation from some other person's presence ==>>Is it not all about you? it is selfishness only.  If the person is getting pleasant sensation from one person now and then tomorrow he gets used to the person or loses interest in the person ( as he/she became fat, old, ugly) then moving to another person to get pleasant sensations from another person. IS this love? Nope It is all about You, you , you. Is it not selfishness?? Where is love in this??

    6. Are we saying Love is dependency? Like a child says I love my parents because they take care of all my needs. so, I love them? IS this love? Nope it is dependency. Again it is for your selfish sake your depending on some other person and you call it as love.

    7. If you ask a Sportsman he says I have passion for the game. I love playing football. Is this love? well, It is all about boosting you ego when you win the game.. that gives you a  kick. but it is not love. It is all about your winning.. It is again selfishness.

    IS victory or achieving/wining something  defined as Love? Nope..

    8. If you ask a teenage he will say .. Love is attraction some chemical changes that happen in body due to hormones this is love. ? we lose control over ourself and mind is lost..in love we donno what is going on.. Is this love?? Nope. 

    9. If you follow my conditions and rules then I love you? is this love?????? nope..Today I love you becoz you are following my conditions but tomorrow you don't follow my conditions and rules then I don't love. Love is not conditional. Love should give freedom rather. It is attachment that makes you say ==>This person belongs to me, so he or she should follow my orders and conditions.

    10. Principal/ teacher==> says My students follow me strictly whatever I say.. Is this love? or fear? Obviously  Fear is not love. they do work and do whatever you say out of fear. 

    11. A mother says I love my son. I want him to do this ..so that his life would be good.. IS this love or expectation?  Is this attachment to the son or Love.? Obviously not love. Where there is expectation there is no love.

    12. A husband says I love my wife, my car, my son, my family >. I am a responsible person..Is this not all about You , your , my , mine.. IS it not selfishness? Where is love in it. It is like You are putting a stamp on these things that they belong to you.

    13. A woman saying I have to live with my husband I depend on him as he gives me food, shelter and clothing and takes care of my needs.. Is this Love?? It is dependency again. She says I don't really like his views in all situations but I have to live as I am married to him and what will society say If I leave him and go. IS this Love? Nope.

    One may say......If someone's happiness becomes your happiness.. then it is LOVE.  For this I must say..one example...teenager says...I love taking drugs and my parents were against it. Now they see that my happiness is in taking drugs so they are okay with me taking drugs now as they started to find their happiness in my happiness. Is this love??????? NO Not at all.

    Some says love is addiction.  Addicted to someone or something means it is fully about you. Selfishness only. No love. We are addicted to a thing becoz we cannot live without it. "WE", MY, Mine< all about you.  

    I love tasty food..Delicious rasgulla.. Is this love? Can you leave it? nope.. I cannot leave it without eating.. I cannot stop myself from eating Rasgulla .. I am a slave to it..Is this Love/attraction/attachment? definately not love. You are so dependent on it that you cannot live without eating Rasgulla. If it is placed before you ..you will have it. 

    Then what is love? LOVE IS NOT--Fear, Dependency, Selfishness, Attraction, Patiortism, Sensation/Feeling/Emotions, Hormonal changes, Expectations, Responsibility, Addiction, condition.

    What we call love is all about some selfish motive ONlY.

    If Someone says I am finding love.. in this world they cannot ever love. A person who is full in himself can only love. If you don't have completeness what will you give others... You will be a seeker only not a giver.

    Then  what is LOVE?

    Can a person love anyone who is not happy with himself??????? If one is not satisfied within HIMSELF One is not content within HIMSELF or IF One is not Bliss HImself can He love anyone???? NOPE HE CANNOT. If a Person is not content/happy/Blissful in Himself he will make USE of other person to fulfill the gap within him. He will want someone to fill Happiness in him. 

    Krishna is Full In Bliss He is Supreme Bliss Himself.  He is not needy.  He is not looking for someone to satisfy Him.   He is not lusty.  He is complete.  He is not craving /longing for other person or thing to Satisfy Him.  Only such a person who is all Blissful all complete all contended...can love someone.

    Desire is the root cause of all evil.

    When you were a baby you were complete full in yourself ..had no desire. when desire crept in you started to feel..something lacking in you and you have to get something from somewhere to fill the gap within you. When you got that thing you felt you are fulfilled. But then desire of new things always came in again and again you felt a gap within you. 

    Let us say you wanted to buy a 4k Tv .. it is a desire you tried hard,saved money.. and  got the Tv for a momment you feel Ahh..  now my desire is fulfilled.. But again there is another desire.. you are looking now for its fulfillment. But is there any end to the desire? 

    We all have one desire that is left in us always common to all..... That there should not be any desire left in us. DESIRE TO BE ABSOULUTELY FREE WITHIN....We all feel we should be completely fulfilled always ...Now where can you find complete fulfillment of all desires?  Certainly not in the material world.

    Stage when you feel absolutely complete within yourself.. You are not having any lacking within you .. then only there is no SELFISH state. RIght? You are not now looking to satisfy your self. Your existence is not dependent on others.  

    I don't look for my son to make me happy/ or i don't look now for my lover/wife to make me happy. I don't need this world to make me happy. I don't need money to make me happy... I am happy within myself!!!!

    We always try to expand ourself..to find happiness. we tried to expand our family got married.. in the hope that marriage may give us pleasure.. we make kids thinking that kids might give us joy..we have expanded  ourselves but alas! we couldn't find permanent happiness in of our endeavors till now.

    Permanent completeness completely free from all desires....is the stage of expansion with the Supreme.  U become one with the Supreme bliss. You come to know that you are part and parcel of the supreme bliss.  When you experience the Bliss supreme this is called  Pure Love.

    When your existence is no longer important.. You are now not needy or wanting for selfish fulfillment of desire. You are experiencing complete bliss within you. you are experiencing Supreme bliss ( Krishna) in you. There is complete Satisfaction complete fullfillment no desires left within you. 

    Desires are all there until you feel you are body. Now you feel you are soul and part of infinite bliss.  Lost false ego that you are body,  lost all desires. This is the stage when you are in love. Jivatma uniting with Parmatma. As soul being a part and parcel of Supersoul,  now It understood that it can get complete fulfillment of all desires if it merges with the Supersoul. This is only called Pure Love.

    Gopi's of vrindavan are topmost of all devotion and bhakti becoz they selflessly loved Krishna. They didn't want anything for themselves.  Even they were ready to give their dust of their lotus feet to Narad muni to cure Krishna's headache even if they get any sin and have to go to hell also, they didn't care.   

    Pure love is defined as selfless, one which grows day by day..( like today love is there tomorrow gone this is not love), without attachment. Free from fear, dependency and selfishness without expectations, and without any conditions..

    Pure love sees no boundaries like this is mine so I will love.. No limitations. Love expands and crosses all boundaries to  see Krishna in all beings and loving all  as Krishna as all are souls and all souls are part and parcel of Sri Krishna is defined as pure love.

    Srila Prabhupada video clearly defines Love as simply seeing Krishna in all being and that is love. Simple and complete in itself. When we see Krishna in all beings we don't and cannot hurt anyone on this planet. That is love.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cj1i2KeGbno    Pls. watch.. Srila Prabhupada says Simple definition of Love.

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!!!

  • Sevak

    Hare Krsna

    The responses given here - > What is Pure Love could be useful. 

    Hare Krsna

    What is Pure Love?
    Hare krsna! My dandvata pranam to all devotees. I am eager to know, what is pure love? I think it is undefinable, how can we start loving lord? do lo…
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