Love is a form of knowing or understanding, something beyond the intellect, writes VILOO H. ADAJANIA

Love is difficult to be defined. One definition of love (of the most pure and exalted kind of love) is that it is an absolute and unqualified wish for the happiness of another individual.

Dr. Annie Besant, speaking about love, says in one of her lectures that love is a form of knowing. When there is love – real love, not what is often a mere passing attachment which is called love – there is the possibility of knowing, something beyond the intellect. Her words suggest that real knowing or real understanding is entirely fused with love.

This century is perhaps notable for regarding everything – animals, trees, earth, people – as objects of utility from which we can extract something useful or beneficial. Also, our relationship with people is generally conditioned by the desire to gain something, be it just emotional security or comfort.

  1. Krishnamurti urges us to find out what creates bondage. Bondage is not real love, but sentimentality towards particular people in an emotional relationship with them. Where there is this kind of sentimental feeling, it can easily change and become anger, frustration and cruelty. We can find many such cases in ordinary life, of so-called love turning into animosity and hatred for lack of compassion, mutual understanding and tolerance. So what we call love brings with it many complications and gets into a state of inner turmoil.

You cannot begin to love humanity just by wanting to. For that, preparation within us is an essential prerequisite. When one’s whole being is unselfish and unprejudiced of preconceived notions and when the mind is unconditioned of its habitual ways of thinking, believing and reacting, that there is space within, there is void within for spontaneous receptivity, for better understanding people, that is, when the chatter, the noise, already filling up the screen of the mind, ceases. To dare to listen beyond the borders of our prejudices, is something that few of us are willing to undertake. But this preparation is a must. Unless we change from within, we cannot truly love and only when we truly love can we bring about good for others.

At first perhaps love is felt only for an individual and is tinged with strong emotions, selfishness and the longing for possession. As life after life on earth unfolds its experience to the growing soul, ever deeper and more universal emotions are felt, and love becomes slowly purged of selfishness and passion. Its realm extends and includes no longer only one but many an increasing number, first the nearest and the dearest ones, then one’s companions and then a still larger group of friends. With the growth of our spiritual progress, our ambit of love extends; the longing for possession drops away, for the greatest joy lies in serving the object of affection, not in ownership.

When thus we move amongst mankind, regarding human beings as our brothers, to be loved, and, if need be, protected, sheltered and guided, we shall find that all unkindness vanishes, that it is impossible for us to think uncharitable thoughts about another or to hold him up to ridicule or criticism in any way.

When we truly love, it is the inner man that we love, not the mere outer personality with its frailties and flaws; it is the divine within each one which calls for the divine from us, and in friendship and love we see the working of a consciousness which transcends the mind and its capacities.

The Lord Buddha and J. Krishnamurti have both pointed out that when action arises from ‘thought’ there is no love. ‘Thought of love’ delude a person into believing that there is love in the heart. It is a misconception. When love is bound by ‘thought’ there is a feeling that some people matter tremendously and others do not. It is not love, it is a form of self-seeking. It is the relationship of convenience which is not long-lasting. It has a strong hold over human psychology, making man impervious to the higher aspects of pure love and deep understanding.

There is one thing that one must always keep in mind and that is that God is to be found in the hearts of all, the sinner and the saint. Nevertheless, the layers of greed, deceit and malice overshadow divinity and the feeling of love in man. But, at some time, a sudden change of heart comes to prove that the glory of God cannot be effaced. Love free of impurities will shine forth.

Pure love comes from spiritual intelligence, which, according to Buddhist Thought, is intelligence of the higher order (beyond the reach of some of us) and which does not exist without compassion. Love born of such a spiritual mindset accompanied by a sense of responsibility to take compassionate action, must be felt and developed. It asks nothing in return, it only longs to give; it does not require gratitude for its sustenance, or appreciation for its growth. Love for the sake of love, for the sake of giving happiness, is its own justification for existence.

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