The Meaning Of Love

5

I noticed Hari Priya mentioning this the other day in the forums. It's something I wrote a year ago there. It's an essential point in Krishna consciousness and applies to every aspect of it. Therefore, I am re-posting it here.

This post is about loving other devotees. Please understand how many "other devotees" there are in relation to Krishna. Devotees in the scripture, devotees that we know, the entire planet of devotees who don't know they are devotees yet.

Now, it also is even more important when we talk about our own Spiritual Master. We have to understand what his mission is, and try to assist him with it. (or at least to the best of our own understanding) That is love.

When it comes to Krishna, it's also essential. Love for Krishna does not mean we "want to enjoy Him". That is the distinction between being in material consciousness, and spiritual consciousness. In material consciousness, everyone sees everything as being "for their enjoyment". (in other words, how does it please me, how can I benefit from it, what do I want from it, what can I get from it, how can I use it for myself).

Spiritual consciousness, or Krishna consciousness, means "how can I please/serve Krishna" (also His devotees), not "what can Krishna do to please me".

Any kind of attraction toward Krishna is good, but at some point we need to move beyond only thinking of how Krishna can please us, to "how can I please Krishna". We start doing that by developing love for our spiritual master and thinking "how can I be pleasing to him, what can I do to assist him in his mission of trying to deliver the fallen souls".

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The Meaning Of Love
Fri, 11/23/2007 - 21:10 — Navasi

What does it mean to love someone? When you say that you love someone, what does that mean?
In Krishna consciousness, we understand that love means service.
You cannot say you love someone just because you find them to be attractive or pleasing to you, to your senses.
That's not really love, that's only attraction.
Attraction comes and goes, that's the nature of it.
At one point, we will be attracted to one person, later on, someone else... so, that doesn't indicate that we love them, because it's only based on if they are pleasing to our mind and senses at some particular point in time.
Love means service. If you genuinely love someone, it means you want to, are willing to, do something for them, give them something, make a sacrifice (of a personal nature) for them, help them, assist them....
In Krishna consciousness that would mean helping them spiritually. Helping them advance, talking with them, giving your time to them, being willing to understand them and their needs spiritually.
We see a lot of devotees will sign letters, "your servant" .... they do this because they understand that is what real love means, to serve, to give. That is the meaning of Love.
I would appreciate very much any comments or discussion on this topic from anyone.....
Thank you,
Love,
Navasi

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Comments
Wed, 12/03/2008 - 13:05 — Dhama Rupini
Dhama Rupini's picture
The Meaning Of Love

Hare Krsna Navasi Mataji,
I thoroughly appreciated reading this blog entry. Actually I initially read this topic in the forum quite a while ago. It's wonderful revisiting the topic.
Prior to becoming Kc I always believed that love entailed making someone smile, being caring, compassionate. In essence being a wonderful human being to those who are near and dear and kind to those who one may encounter.In fact I always believe in a gentle smile and over the years, as a teacher I've found that it's indeed comforting to my teenage students to smile gently.The world is filled of harshness and that's why I absolutely love the verse from Bhagavad Gita that stresses being kind to ALL living entities...."who is friendly to every living being...." (chapter 11.55)
Well my views have changed a bit now I understand it's imperative to serve others and one can really and truly assist by helping their spirituality. So I've got an enhanced perspective on love.
I've also found that projections of love in the material world are so misleading. The sitcoms, magazines, novels and almost every aspect of our daily lives are filled with false notions of so called love. It's love that is based on the bodily concept...infatuation with the physical. I truly believe real beauty lies within and someone's relationship with God in fact makes that person beautiful. So love is engaging in service and real loving begins with a focus on quality chanting then we can truly love and serve Sri Krsna and others.
This blog was wonderful!!!!!!!!!
Haribol
Julia

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 21:06 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Smiling Teachers

Dear Julia,

If someone's occupational duty is to teach, as yours was, then smiling at your students so as to comfort them and be a source of shelter and kindness in this world is service to them.

I understand what you mean that your perspective has been enhanced and now you see that there is more you can offer, namely Krishna.

It's still good to offer smiles and comfort when ever we are in a position to do that, no matter who we are. Teachers have an even greater reason to do it, as you said, the children need shelter and comfort.

You are right:

"So love is engaging in service and real loving begins with a focus on quality chanting then we can truly love and serve Sri Krsna and others."

That's very well put.

Nice to hear from you again.
I'm glad you appreciated this blog.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 06:34 — Snehal
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Love and selfishness

Hare Krishna!

It is said that there exists no true love in this material world. I agree to this.

Every individual is selfish because of his false ego. But the degree of selfishness varies. Some of us are less selfish while others are very selfish. The more selfish we are, the less likely we are to love Krishna. Then what to speak of loving his devotees.

If we try hard to cultivate selflessness and eradiate selfishness, we will be able to serve Lord in appropriate mood meaning with love. And once we appreciate Lord in a proper way, we will start loving everything that is associated with Him (His devotees, His creation and all living entities). With selflessness, compassion will be produced in our hearts which will inspire us to serve and help devotees.

So lets chant sincerely and intensely as this will burn all selfishness from our hearts to ashes and increase our love towards Krishna and His devotees.

Haribol!

Snehal

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 02:06 — Go-Seva
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Love and service

Hare Krsna~ When you truly love someone, you must serve them without be forced, because you want that person to be happy and content. I love my children and my husband; therefore, I wake up everyday intending to serve them in whatever way they need, no matter what it takes. I love Krsna even more, and whenever I am awake, I serve Him in whatever ways I can. Before I even serve the children or husband in the morning, I offer the Lord juice or hot herbal tea or fresh water and incense. Then I can proceed with my daily familial duties with an even better service attitude, as I feel content to have served the most important member of the family first.

In his book "What Is The Difficulty?", Srutakirti Dasa talks about how, during one of his many worldwide arrivals at airports with Srila Prabhupada, the devotees had greeted Srila Prabhupada with an esctatic kirtan and torrents of tears. However, he himself was not crying. He became disturbed by this, thinking he was a cheater, an impostor, thinking he didn't feel the same love for his guru that others seemed to feel.

He asked Srila Prabhupada, "All of your disciples have so much love for you. It makes me feel so bad. I lack this intense love. When I'm with you at the airport, I can see everyone dancing, chanting, and crying. I have so much association with you, yet I do not feel this overwhelming love like they do."

Srila Prabhupada remained silent. Some time later, Srila Prabhupada called him into his room.

"So, do you like serving me?" he asked.

"Oh, yes, Prabhupada," he said. "I like serving you very much."

"Then, that is love," he explained. "Everyone can do so many things....singing, dancing, and jumping up and down. But you are actually doing something. Isn't this love?"

"I guess so, Srila Prabhupada," he said.

"So, you just do your service," he continued. "That is all that is necessary. This is what love means - to do service."

In another section of the book, Srutakirti muses, "Srila Prabhupada, many times, I have heard your disciples ask, "Why doesn't Krsna force me to serve Him?"

"If you are forced, there is no question of love. It must be voluntary," Srila Prabhupada answered.

I don't think there is a better authority in this world than Srila Prabhupada. But that is just the opinion of one loving soul!

Haribol!

Love, Your servant,
Lisa

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Thu, 12/04/2008 - 05:18 — bhaktincarol
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love

Hare Krsna!

This makes me think of a temple class I was at that has so stuck in my mind. The devotee giving the class spoke of love, in respect to loving Krishna and His devotees.

Krishna wants us to love Him, but He wants us to have relationship with Him and serve Him (and His devotees) of our own choice. Not because we feel required, or forced in any way.

If it is forced, it cannot be love.

It has to come of our own free will.

The same devotee went on to say that we should serve joyfully, not with a grim mindset, not just thinking we need to get it done, but joyfully, while tolerating all impediments.

bhaktin carol

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 03:07 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Srila Prabhupad

Dear Lisa,

Thank you so very much.

This is another of the most beautiful comments you have made, or that I have read.

Thank you for showing me Srila Prabhupad, allowing me to see him, hear him.

Saying this.

Thank you.

Your servant, with love,
Navasi devi dasi

*Also: Your morning program is wonderful. Very nice.

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 04:20 — Go-Seva
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You are so very welcome

I am very happy to have the opportunity to serve you in this way.

Your loving servant,
Lisa

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 01:20 — Hari_Priya
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Love for Krishna

Hare Krishna!

There are five kinds of 'Bhava's (moods) in Bhakti. They are Shanta, Dasya, Sakhya, Vatsalya and Madhurya Bhavas. These Bhavas or feelings are natural to human beings and so these are easy to practice by us fallen souls.

In Shanta Bhava, the devotee is Shanta or peaceful. He does not jump and dance. He is not highly emotional. His heart is filled with love and joy. Bhishma was a Shanta Bhakta of Krishna.

Sri Hanuman was a Dasya Bhakta. He had Dasya Bhava, the servant attitude. He served Lord Rama whole-heartedly. He pleased his Master in all possible ways. He found joy and bliss in the service of his Master.

In Sakhya Bhava, Krishna is a friend of the devotee. Arjuna had this Bhava towards Krishna. The devotee moves with the Lord on equal terms. Arjuna and Krishna used to sit, eat, talk and walk together as intimate friends.

In Vatsalya Bhava, the devotee looks upon Krishna as his child. Mother Yashoda had this Bhava with Krishna. There is no fear in this Bhava, because Krishna is your pet child. The devotee serves, feeds, and looks upon Krishna as a parent does in the case of her/his child.

The last is Madhurya Bhava or Kanta Bhava. This is the highest form of Bhakti. The devotee regards the Lord as his Lover. This was the relation between Sriamti Radharani and Krishna. Lord Chaitanya too has this Bhava.

We can have one or more than one of this Bhavas towards Krishna. Krishna can be our God, Master, Friend, Child or Lover. It depends on our temparement and stage of our progress as to what Krishna means to us.

But He will sure be what we want Him to be.

Hare Krishna!
Hari Priya

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 01:02 — Snehal
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When.......I love You and You love me

Hare Krishna!

When I truely desire You to be happy, I love You.

When I truely desire You to be pleased, I love You.

When I happily and whole hearted sacrifice my interest for You, I love You.

When I just want to give You and dont expect anything in return, I love You.

When I completely surrender unto You without any regrets, I love You.

When I am crying and still thanking You for the tears, I love You.

When You accept a fallen soul like me, You love me

When You forgive me for all past deeds, You love me.

When You shower mercy on me and protect me, You love me.

When You give me Your rememberance and guide me back to Godhead, You love me.

Sometimes, I dont understand that You love me, but yet You continue blessing me, You love me.

Haribol!

Snehal

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 21:29 — tekisui
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Who's to say?

Who is to say whether something indeed is love or service, or whether it is not love or service?

We might have the intention to serve someone, but this doesn't necessarily mean that our actions will indeed come out so that they will be of service to others.

We might think we love someone, and we might think we are doing things that show we love someone - but this does not necessarily mean the other person will indeed feel loved.

Statements like these come to mind:

"I am never going to be good enough for them. My love, my service is never going to be good enough for them. No matter what I do, they are never going to consider it love/service, and they will continue to think of me as bad, inept, evil, worthless."

"I love/serve you, but you're just too selfish / too stupid / too evil to see it!"

"Of course you love me. You just refuse to admit it."

"Of course he loves me. By beating me, he is just serving me so that I may realize I need to be more humble."

So who is to say?

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Tue, 12/02/2008 - 21:53 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Intention

Dear Tekisui,

You said it in your comment.

It's the intention.

Krishna sees the intention. The intention to serve, assist, please, devote ourselves, i.e. love Him, that's what He sees, that's what He wants.

We are never going to be able to always (or even often) be of service or assistance or value to any or all devotees. We're all conditioned souls.

Srila Prabhupad is not a conditioned soul, of course, but any devotee like he is, pure that way, they will also see the intention.

That does not mean that Srila Prabhupad will condone anything and everything we do, but it does mean that it is our intention to serve him that matters.

No one else can say what anyone else is doing or not doing, or what their intention is or isn't. No one is able to make that judgment, only Krishna can.

Or, a persons Guru, for them.

That's why I keep saying (and I know it frustrates you :) :

All we can do is change ourselves. Let Krishna take care of others.

Just worry about making sure you have the right intention. That's what matters.

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 12:04 — Faith108
Faith108's picture
can intention be (kinda) love?

Hare Krishna!
Krishna tells us in the Gita that anyone who offers Him a flower, leaf, etc. "with love" He will accept it....
At the present moment, I am unable to feel love towards Krishna. I offer Him food/beverages for selfish reasons: to take His prasadam for myself and share it with other living entities. As I've stated in my profile, I want to "infect" as many living entities as possible with Krishna. I *know* that prasadam is a great way to do this!
Your opinions, please?

CHANT & BE HAPPY! :-)

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Wed, 12/03/2008 - 20:58 — Navasi
Navasi's picture
Intention To Offer

Dear Faith Mataji Prabhu,

Yes, your intention is devotion.

Your intention is "to offer food to Krishna that He will accept it".

That is devotion,

"Krishna, I wish (intend, desire) to offer this to you, please accept it".

That is devotion to Krishna, and offering food with devotion.

Your reasons concerning the prasadam after He has accepted it are not selfish either.

Wanting to receive the Lord's mercy (prasadam) and wanting to share the Lord's mercy (prasadam) with others are the most un-selfish things you could desire.

Chant & Be Happy! :)

Hare Krishna,
Navasi

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Mon, 12/08/2008 - 13:18 — Faith108
Faith108's picture
love that mercy!

Krishna prasadam ki jai!!!!

CHANT & BE HAPPY! :-)

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Sun, 12/07/2008 - 09:23 — Gopa Aaron
Gopa Aaron's picture
Love

Hare Krsna, I could talk about the higher-minded concepts of Love but I've realized that due to being born into a nice family I have learned a lot about Love. My family loves me no matter what. I see that it is the same way with Radha-Krishna.
Of course we have to keep our spiritual lenses on in order to see this because it might appear that Love is conditional here, but it is'nt really. If we go to the Source first then we can see where all of the Love expands into. We also learn what to avoid, being false love, etc.
I'm learning to have no real attachments here but to learn that everything is given to us by Lord Krsna and that we have the ability to make decisions on what we want out of life. Mine is to be with God and with people of God. Sometimes that can be seen as a lofty decision so at times I have to learn to be more humble and to accept other people and their differences.
We are all in this together and we all can work this out.
I aspire to serve Lord Krsna and His Gurus and devotees and everyone else as well.

Hare Krsna,
Bhakta Aaron

WHER ARE YOU?

where is Navasi Devi?..

Still alive

She hasn't been bloggin' here for years now. I believe she founded it too distracting, but you would have to ask her, or someone else here on Krishna.com

dasanudas Karnamrita