Every being on this planet has experienced love. Love is what drives the whole world. Yet we don't understand it fully. Why do we love despite the pain that it accompanies? Why does love sometimes turn into hatred? Let us understand love more deeply.
A deeper meaning of love
Through the ages, philosophers, scientists, dreamers, and poets have striven towards one goal: to perfectly define love. Scientists say it is the release of specific biochemicals. Dreamers and poets call it a fiery passion. Many of us have defined love as spell-binding and even misery at times. But did you know love is not just an emotion? Here are six lesser known meanings of love that will give you a deeper perspective about it.
Love is in the pulls
“Wherever there is a pull, there is love.”- Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
That makes the gravitational pull of the earth and the sun an expression of love too!
Diving below the astral space, you will experience love when your pet leaps towards you with joy, it is in your feeling towards your favorite dish, in the peacock’s dance in the rain, and between the mother and baby of every species. Basically, it is everywhere!
Love is inexpressible
We’ve been trying to express love since the ages. We've been trying hard: from valentine cards and heart-shaped candies to love letters and gifts and the care and concern we show to our loved ones. Still, it doesn’t feel enough. It remains indescribable, inexpressible!
Sage Narada describes it succinctly, ‘muka svadanvat’ or ‘love is the joy of taste that a dumb person cannot describe’.
Love is unconditional giving
Often, our love turns into misery when our loved ones don’t meet our expectations. We blame them and feel miserable. But, that does not change them or change the situation.
One definition can help overcome these inevitable situations. Love expects nothing in return. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains, “If your love is there to help others, nobody can destroy it. But if your love is to get something from the other - sooner or later - it will be broken into pieces.”
Unconditional love is beautiful. It is also practical. It saves our mind from the emotional distress that accompanies unmet expectations.
Tip: To nurture unconditional love, start accepting people the way they are. Take responsibility for the upliftment of your loved ones. Support them for their growth even if they give you nothing in return.
Every emotion is love in disguise
The meaning of love is not limited to a mushy feeling. If you look carefully, you will find it hiding in every emotion.
Take jealousy, for example. It’s our love of possession or a person that makes us jealous. Hatred for rowdiness is love of humility. Greed for money is love of it. Fear of heights is, actually, love of safety. Anger is love of perfection.
Experience the shift with an online guided meditation.
Love is Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram
A Sanskrit definition of love is Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram.
Here, love means consciousness. As the consciousness rises, love is a by-product. Love transcends its definition from an emotion to infinite consciousness - Shivam.
Consciousness is beyond the measurable, thus limited world - it is the eternal truth. This gives another meaning of love as Satyam or truth.
The consciousness is so blissful that love becomes Sundaram or beautiful!
Preserving your love is a skill
“The word yoga means skill - skill to live your life, to manage your mind, to deal with your emotions. Skill to be with people, to be in love and not let that love turn into hatred.” - Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
There are some situations in life which can make us bitter and resentful. At such times, it’s difficult to recognize love with all its facets. The hurt and blemishes can be washed away with practices like yoga and meditation. Brushing teeth maintains dental hygiene. Meditation maintains ‘mental hygiene.’ These are little gifts to yourself. Go ahead. Show yourself some love.
Based on the book, ‘Love is not an emotion' by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and inputs from Prashant Lalchandani, faculty, The Art of Living