Bhakti-highest form of love

What is love-cannot be defined. It has different meanings for different people. It is understood as gratification of the senses, an emotion, fulfilment of duty, sacrifice, devotion etc. What we all know is that love has power. Love has a unique power. It can change the mind. It can make you mad to get something or someone. It can even make you sacrifice everything. It can make one a dacoit or a killer as also a saint. It can make you do the task that you could never have done. It has a tremendous driving force.
Love is seen in different forms and degrees. The lowest form of love is physical love or lust. It is the gratification of the senses. Body is the focus of love. It can be called brain or gene love. In this form of love a certain type of body is loved without knowing the reason. Scientists explain that intense physical love or obsession for a certain body is because of low level of serotonin. Intense physical love negatively affects thinking. One is so focussed to get the loved one that he/she can do anything bad or immoral, to get the loved one. Physical love also enhances the endurance level of the body to an extent that one can work for hours together, sleeping very little and risking one’s health. The worst part of the intense physical love is that its failure in getting gratification of the senses might convert into hatred and make a person violent also. One should never forget that the physical love does not last long. Therefore, long term relationship cannot be made on its basis. The worst part of this form of love is that once you are in its grip, you are in the state of addiction. Your will-power proves to be very weak before the power of physical love.
A higher form of love is seen in parents for their infants. They care and cater to the needs of their children out of spontaneous love. They wake up day and night without any reason. They laugh if their children smile and cry if they feel the slightest pain. They behave so not because of a sense of duty but because of a natural feeling of love.
Love is also taught as a duty to fulfil moral obligations when one lacks spontaneity to perform duty.
The highest form of love is called bhakti (a Hindi word). This is absolutely divine. In this form there is no identity of self. ‘I’ no longer remains in existence. ‘I’ gets dissolved in ‘You’. Meera loses herself in Krishna. Ramkrishna loses himself in Ma Kali. When the divine love develops, you overflow in love. You feel only the need to give. You keep giving your love but still feel you have much of it in you to give. You want to be empty but you always find yourself full. When you are in bhakti you want to give all of it but never succeed in doing so. This is the pain of a bhakt that he cannot empty himself of love. In bhakti you become like a well which is connected deep down to a river. You keep taking out from it but you can never make it empty.
The divine love develops deep gratitude in your heart. The pleasure in the feeling of gratitude or devotion cannot be explained in words, it has to be felt just as the taste of mango cannot be explained in words, it has to be tasted. Love comes into its purest form when gratitude and bhakti develop with it. It can be developed anytime and anywhere. It can be developed in you by any guru. This love is everlasting and does not change. It shines in the form of compassion in the heart of a yogi for every creature on this globe.

This article by Pavan Jain was published in his fortnightly column titled “Mind Mantra” in the Hindustan Times, Lucknow edition.

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