Friday, June 27, 2014

And if at all you need to define Love ...

Love - As simple as it is the world revolves around love. Roses, chocolates, gifts, valentine’s day, mother’s day, father’s day, family day and many more. But do we really understand what love means or what it could mean. Stop the thought at this juncture and look back in your life. Thousands of quotes, poems, stories, books, cards, movies and much more will come to your mind. But let’s not restrict ourselves to those thoughts. Let’s get to the basics as should be done. 

I searched for the definition of love in dictionaries and here is what I found
love (noun)
noun: love; plural noun: loves
an intense feeling of deep affection.
synonyms: deep affection, fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy, attachment, endearment; compassion, care, caring, regard, solicitude, concern,  
friendliness, friendship, kindness, charity, goodwill, sympathy, kindliness, altruism, unselfishness, philanthropy, benevolence, fellow feeling, humanity
relationship, love affair, romance, liaison, affair of the heart, amour
a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone.
synonyms: become infatuated with, give/lose one's heart to; a personified figure of love, often represented as Cupid.
a great interest and pleasure in something.
synonyms: liking of/for, enjoyment of, appreciation of/for, taste for, delight for/in, relish of, passion for, zeal for, appetite for, zest for, enthusiasm for,  
keenness for, fondness for, soft spot for, weakness for, bent for, proclivity for, inclination for, disposition for, partiality for, predilection for, penchant for 
affectionate greetings conveyed to someone on one's behalf.
synonyms: best wishes, regards, good wishes, greetings, kind/kindest regards 
a formula for ending an affectionate letter.
a person or thing that one loves.
synonyms: beloved, loved one, love of one's life, dear, dearest, dear one, darling, sweetheart, sweet, angel, honey; 
(in tennis, squash, and some other sports) a score of zero; nil.
Old English lufu, of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit lubhyati ‘desires,’ Latin libet ‘it is pleasing,’ libido ‘desire,’ also by leave  
and lief.

But these definitions does not express the true feelings and I continued my search for more information about love. If you think why I want more information the answer is simple. These definitions do not apply to the Divine Love, as we cannot say God had an intense feeling of deep affection or he had a romantic attachment nor was he playing a game of tennis or squash. Then why do we say God is Love. So we need to search for more.

Then I searched for the meaning of true love and I happened to read an article about love in a health section of website. And this is what it  
"Love means never having to say you're sorry," or so the famous line from the movie Love Story goes. But when asked to define what true love is, even the experts have to pause and think. Perhaps it's because true love has different meanings for different people. Dr. Neder defines true love as caring about the health, well-being and happiness of another person to a greater degree than your own health, well-being and happiness. "When you carefully consider your words, thoughts and actions, and specifically how they will benefit that other person," says Dr. Neder, "you're in love."
Now that again put me in dilemma as the meaning gave a thought that this is not a definition which will suit divinity, as many people get sick and hence would not hold true if God loves us. And the definition does not hold true as many people in this world are not happy either. So the search deepens. In the same article Dr. Northrup had a different definition.
"True love comes from the "fourth chakra" and is easily recognized as unconditional support."
This would be true if it was involving only humans. But Love is something beyond animate and inanimate objects and also spiritual. So let me borrow just one word from it and that would be "unconditional".

Many articles say that defining love is a complex procedure. But if that is so then why is it that the world talks about love in poems, songs, stories, interpersonal relationships, spirituality and almost anything. So I have an idea that it has to be something much more basic and simpler. So the search continues.

In Buddhism, you are advised not to have desire as it is the cause of misery. So definitely Love is not just a desire. In Greco Roman thought there are many kinds of love like selflessness, friendship, parental love and so on. Same is the case with thoughts from other parts of the world. I should not negate the thoughts from around the world and should understand what is common in them. Which specifies that love can be towards anyone, anything or a group of animate or inanimate objects too. Is it just a feeling or emotion, the answer is No, as we experience love. So love is directional for sure as it is towards someone or something. The next phase of the search in religious texts as the definition has to encompass the spiritual world too.

Agape: In the New Testament, agapē is charitable, selfless, altruistic, and unconditional. It is parental love, seen as creating goodness in the world; it is the way God is seen to love humanity, and it is seen as the kind of love that Christians aspire to have for one another.

Phileo: Also used in the New Testament, phileo is a human response to something that is found to be delightful. Also known as "brotherly love."

Two other words for love in the Greek language, eros (sexual love) and storge (child-to-parent love), were never used in the New Testament.

Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life (the greatest commandment of the Jewish Torah, according to Jesus; cf. Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 28–34). Saint Augustine summarized this when he wrote: 
 "Love God, and do as thou wilt."
The Apostle Paul glorified love as the most important virtue of all. Describing love in the famous poem in 1 Corinthians, he wrote, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres." (1 Cor. 13:4–7, NIV)

The Apostle John wrote, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16–17, NIV) John also wrote, "Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:7–8, NIV)

In Judaism I found more:

The commandment to love other people is given in the Torah, which states, "Love your neighbor like yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). The Torah's commandment to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might" (Deuteronomy 6:5) is taken by the Mishnah (a central text of the Jewish oral law) to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one's life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all of one's possessions, and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity (tractate Berachoth 9:5). Rabbinic literature differs as to how this love can be developed, e.g., by contemplating divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature. As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: "See life with the wife you love" (Ecclesiastes 9:9). The biblical book Song of Solomon is considered a romantically phrased metaphor of love between God and his people, but in its plain reading, reads like a love song. The 20th-century Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point of view as "giving without expecting to take" (from his Michtav me-Eliyahu, Vol. 1).

In Islam the beginning of the Holy Quran itself mentions about God and Love:
Love encompasses the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold faith. Amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud, or "the Loving One," which is found in Surah [Quran 11:90] as well as Surah [Quran 85:14]. God is also referenced at the beginning of every chapter in the Qur'an as Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, or the "Most Compassionate" and the "Most Merciful", indicating that nobody is more loving, compassionate and benevolent than God. The Qur'an refers to God as being "full of loving kindness."

In Hinduism the mention of love has been at different levels, each having a different meaning. The mention of the Karuna, Kama, Prema, Bhakti and so on. Love is a bit of all these or a combination of all these. The search starts simplifying here. As the understanding of all the above, we can see that 

Love is: A virtue, unconditional, not bound by human feelings like fear or hate, not having expectations or desires, can be towards anyone or anything, forgiving and thankful. The search for the true meaning will continue and I am sure you will search for answers too, as there lays the true human nature of defying  anything and everything anyone says, which lead me to this search too. But I, for the time being would put all these together and define Love. With the  definition of love as I understand, I tried putting it in most of the cases I know and it is a befitting answer. So I feel more satisfied. The definition stands true for Impersonal, Personal, Interpersonal, Spiritual and attraction towards animate or inanimate objects too.

Love - it is the unconditional virtue with no sign of fear or expectations from anyone, anything or any group animate or inanimate, and the gratitude towards them or it. And "Trust" is a bye product of this virtue.

For once, my writing has a lot of I and not we, the reason is simple. When you read this article, the worlds should be for the "I" in you to read. So with Love the submission of "I" or the ego happens and remember "I" is in Sin, Filth, Dirt, Fickle .... and so on. Lets spread love with an understanding and search for more from the universe.

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