On Valentine’s, a very valid question is – What is True Love? What is the real meaning of love?
Love is a very strong emotional feeling of affection or liking. When a person really loves another person, it is either a deep love for the beloved or for a parent, a sibling or a friend. We often hear people say, “I love you.” What do they mean? Do they really mean that they love someone or they are just saying it because they are attracted towards them? Is it just a crush, physical affection or the attraction that causes them to say this?
Sometimes it’s just lust. One needs to express one’s physical need and so he expresses love but in reality, it’s not love. Then, what is Love?
Love is different from lust, or a crush that is purely physical. One may have platonic love which is affectionate but has no romance. Love is different from respect towards an adult. One may respect a parent but not love them. Love is different from compassion towards a suffering living being. One may feel strongly and empathetically for the downtrodden but not love them. All of these are various forms of love, but not really love.
Love is different from TRUE LOVE. What then, is True Love?
If one analysis, one will understand that True Love is a combination of emotional, physical, intellectual, and Spiritual love. If there is the love of body, mind, heart, and Soul and this love are really strong – we can call it True Love, otherwise, love doesn’t last. It’s just a crush that bursts like a balloon.
But while this is strong love that makes relationships last, it is still not True Love. True Love is not about loving the outer appearance of a person but the inner person, it is unconditional. It is not selfish or for a reason.
In material love, the emotion is, “I love you because I need you,” while pure love says, “I need you because I love you.” There is a big difference.
True Love is the love for the Divine that lives in each one of us as Soul – the Divine Spirit that gives life to all. The ancient Egyptians used to divide love into seven types. The first being Eros or physical love or lust. They even had a God by the name – Eros. The most advanced and beautiful love as per them was Agape, or Spiritual love, love of the Soul.
The Sufis believe that love is either Majazi or Haqiqi. While Majazi love is worldly, Haqiqi is Spiritual love. Therefore, it is necessary to destroy Khudi (Ego) in order to become one with the Supreme. In Ishq-Majazi lovers have normal earthly feelings of joy, pain, agony, and ecstasy. In Ishq-Haqiqi the lover is human and the beloved is God. But he does not ask for worldly comforts. Neither does he yearn for heaven nor is he afraid of hell. He only seeks Lord, his beloved.
Well, we can go on and on as love is as big as an ocean but if one wants to realize the true meaning of love then it is this. As long as we believe that we are ego, we say, “I love you.” There are two elements, ‘I’ and ‘you’. When we realize that we are not the body or mind but we are the Divine Soul, and there is no difference between you and me, then the love we develop is true Spiritual Love.
Love, that is eternal; love, that has no conditions and no expectations, is universal love – love for the Divine. However, this love is rarely found. As we live in ignorance, we are unable to understand this kind of love and we only realize ‘love’ and not ‘pure love’.
This Valentine’s let’s go beyond love, let’s cross pure love and go to the True Love. That will be the greatest Valentine’s gift.