Looking at the meaning of true love, Sadhguru gives us a powerful process for taking love beyond words to make it an enduring quality within.
Sadhguru: Generally, we have made relationships within frameworks that are comfortable and profitable for us. People have physical, psychological, emotional, financial or social needs to fulfill. To fulfill these needs, one of the best ways is to tell people, “I love you.” This so-called “love” has become like a mantra: open sesame. You can get what you want by saying it.
Taking Love Beyond Words
One day Shankaran Pillai went to a park. On a stone bench there sat a pretty woman. He went and settled down on the same bench. After a few minutes he moved a little closer to her. She moved away. Again he waited for a few minutes then inched a little closer to her. She moved away. He waited, then inched even closer. Then she moved to the very end of the bench. He reached out and put his hand on her. She shrugged him off. He sat there for a while, then he went down on his knees, plucked a flower, gave it to her and said, “I love you. I love you like I have never loved anybody in my life.”
She melted. Nature took over and they had their way with each other. It was getting late in the evening; Shankaran Pillai got up and he said, “I need to leave. It’s eight o’clock. My wife will be waiting.”
She said, “What? You’re leaving? Just now you said you loved me!”
“Yes, but it’s time. I need to go.”
Every action that we do is in some way to fulfill certain needs. If you see this, there is a possibility that you can grow into love as your natural quality. But you can go on fooling yourself into believing that the relationships you have made for convenience, comfort and wellbeing are actually relationships of love. I am not saying there is no experience of love at all in those relationships, but it is within certain limitations. It does not matter how much “I love you” has been said; if a few expectations and requisites are not fulfilled, things will fall apart. Love is a quality; it is not something to do with somebody else.
The Meaning of True Love
There is really no such thing as conditional love and unconditional love: it is just that there are conditions and there is love. When you talk about love, it has to be unconditional. The moment there is a condition, it just amounts to a transaction. Maybe a convenient transaction, maybe a good arrangement – maybe many of you made excellent arrangements in life – but that will not fulfill you; that will not transport you to another dimension. It is just convenient.
When you say “love,” it need not necessarily be convenient; most of the time it is not. It takes life. Love is not a great thing to do, because it eats you up. If you have to be in love, you should not be. The English expression “falling in love” is very significant. You don’t climb in love, you don’t walk in love, you don’t stand in love, you fall in love. You as a person must be willing to fall, only then it can happen. If your personality is kept strong in the process, it is just a convenient situation, that’s all. We need to recognize what is a transaction and what is truly a love affair. A love affair need not be with any particular person; you could be having a great love affair, not with anybody in particular, but with life.
What you do, what you do not do, is according to circumstances around you. Our actions are as the external situation demands. What you do outside is always subject to many conditions. But love is an inner state – how you are within yourself can definitely be unconditional.
The Next Step
Love is never between two people. It is what happens within you, and what happens within you need not be enslaved to someone else. For fifteen to twenty minutes daily, go sit with something that means nothing to you – maybe a tree, or a pebble, or a worm or an insect. After some time, you will find you can look upon it with as much love as you do your wife or husband or your mother or your child. Maybe the worm does not know this. That doesn’t matter. If you can look at everything lovingly, the whole world becomes beautiful in your experience. You realize love is not something that you do; love is the way you are.
Editor’s Note: The next ‘In Conversation with the Mystic’ on August 4 2014, will see Sadhguru in a lively and insightful discussion on “Life and Love” with actress, film producer and former Miss India, Juhi Chawla.