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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Love and Beauty

Posted: 02/19/2012 9:12 am

What are the signs of love? When you love someone you see nothing wrong in them. Even if you see a fault in them, you justify it in some way saying, "Everyone does that; it is normal." You think you have not done enough for them and the more you do, the more you want to do for them. They are always on your mind. Ordinary things become extraordinary. When you love someone, you want to see them happy always and you want them to have the best.

Love and beauty go hand in hand. If something is beautiful, you cannot but love it. When you love this creation, you see it as beautiful. When you are tired of this creation, you find it ugly. That is why to appreciate beauty, first you must understand love. The understanding I am speaking about is not merely intellectual, but looking into all points. Usually when we love something, we want to possess it. If you appreciate a painting, you want to buy it and keep it in your home. You find a beautiful garment, and although you know you will wear it only a couple of times, you buy it and put it in the closet. You have known only one way of loving -- love it, possess it and forget it. When you try to possess love, you rob it of its beauty, and then that same love gives you pain. Whoever you love, you try to dictate terms to them. In a very subtle way you try to rule them. And whatever you try to control turns ugly.

You have never loved someone and not tried to possess them. It begins in childhood. When the second baby comes, the first baby wants all the attention. "Why did you bring this baby home? Give it away." Many children say,"You belong to me and me alone." It is a deep samskara, a deep impression, this fear of losing our place in the heart of someone we love.

First comes attraction. When it becomes a little difficult to attain whatever you are attracted to, then you start loving it. Have you noticed this? If you simply get whatever you are attracted to -- just like that, quickly -- you do not develop love for it. A longing must arise. That leads to love. But love brings the fear of loss. Yet, a love which has the fear of loss does not blossom. It leads you to other ugly sensations and feelings. Jealousy comes. There is someone you love very much -- a friend, a boyfriend, a girlfriend -- but his or her attention is on someone else. See what is happening in your stomach -- it is churning. You try all sorts of gimmicks to deny what is happening within you. Much ugliness arises because there is fear of loss. You never love something that is big, that is enormous because you have not yet become enormous yourself. And as long as you stay very small, there is no joy, there is no happiness, there is no peace. Joy is expansion, becoming big in your heart. This can only happen in a situation where you are very much in love, but you cannot possess what you love.

Have you thought about why you love someone? Is it because of their qualities or is it because of a sense of kinship or intimacy? You can love someone for their qualities and not have a sense of intimacy. This type of love gives rise to competition and jealousy. If love is based on the qualities of a person, that love is not stable. After some time the qualities change and the love becomes shaky. However, if you love someone because they belong to you, then that love remains for lifetimes. Loving someone because they belong to you, great or otherwise, is unconditional love. Love that is centered becomes bliss.

And when there is so much love you take total responsibility for any misunderstanding. For a moment you may express dismay on the surface. But when you do not feel the dismay in your heart, you arrive at a perfect understanding. You are in a state where all problems and all differences slide away and only love shines through.

In the world, people love you because you give them comfort. If you are demanding proof of their love, are you giving them comfort? If someone doubts your love and you have to constantly prove it, this becomes a heavy burden on you. Your nature is to shed burden, so when love is questioned, you don't feel comfortable. Therefore, do not ask for proof that the other person loves you. Love needs no proof. Actions, words cannot prove the love.

Spiritual practices, knowledge of the Self, service and satsang (coming together in celebration) help to create a sense of belonging. When love springs from a sense of belongingness, then the action or qualities do not overshadow the love. Neither qualities nor actions can be perfect all the time. Only love and a feeling of kinship can be perfect.

For more information, visit www.srisriravishankar.org and www.artofliving.org

For wisdom videos by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, click here.

 
 
 

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