Love and Relationships from a Spiritual Perspective

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Question: There is a Korean word for a daughter that conveys concepts of love, respect, obedience, humility and service to your parents.  That word has shaped my life.  I have not found a word in English that conveys the same idea. My concern is if I become devoted to god, doesn’t that decrease my devotion to my parent?  Or is this the last frontier where the feelings of attachments must be detached.

Answer: In Indian culture and in our scriptures also love for the parents and vice versa is recommend. But it is love in relation to God. Originally love is for God and if we have love for God then we also love his creation and created beings. Among all created beings parents and teachers occupy a special place. They are honored, respected and loved just like God. Mother is given the highest place of respect, more so even than the father.

So there are two ways to love – independent of God and in relation with God. The first one remains at a material level , no matter how intense it may be. The second one becomes spiritualized. The first will bind one to karma and the material world, and the second one will make one free of karma and liberated. In the first chapter of Bhagavad Gita Arjuna is expressing the first type of love and Krishna is disapproving it.

In the world history there are many examples of the first type of love, such as Romeo and Juliet, and people are very fascinated by it. But from the spiritual point of view such love does not have much value. However if Romeo and Juliet had seen each other in relation to God then their love would have become sanctified and would have liberate them.

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Question: I do understand broadly your point on romantic love being a part of kama, although am not completely clear on the concept. Meanwhile, the following questions have arisen:

If everything related to love generates in the brain as the TED video suggests, why do we talk about love as an aspect of the soul or heart? The entire concept of soul connections, kindred spirits and people you have a soul affinity for, gets negated if I were to believe this video? What are your thoughts on this?

Answer: 1. Kama is related with the brain and prema with the heart or soul. This researcher has no idea about it. Actually these Western or modern scientists do not believe in the soul. They study the body like a machine, even when studying emotions. So they get limited in their understanding.

Question: I would like to understand more about your definition of love which may help clarify this further. However, romantic love that you feel for your partner, husband or wife, forms the basis of one of the most important relationships in life. Therefore, if that is also a part of kama, then where does prema fit into the scheme of things? Is it possible to practice or bring prema into the most important relationships of our lives? Where it transcends the kama bit to become more aligned with the concept of real love?

Answer: When I talk of love I have a very specific meaning of the word in mind. Kama and prema look exactly similar but are worlds apart. All this research falls in the category of kama. Even romantic love is another expression of kama.

I suggest you listen to my talks on “Art of Love” and then you can raise further doubts/questions. People in general, Indian or Western, have zero idea about real love – just words and empty talk, which they have learned from movies, poems and novels. Bas.

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