Love (प्रेम) encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the spouse, which differs from the food. Most commonly, it refers to a feeling of a strong attraction and emotional attachment. Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System considers that love should be for the enlightenment of all the lives.
Love Definition (प्रेम की परिभाषा)
The word “love” can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts, which is strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties e.g. maternal love for a child. It is an attraction based on sexual desire, affection, and tenderness felt by lovers. Love is affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests. It is an assurance of affection. Love is warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. It is an unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another, such as:
- A fatherly concern of God for humankind
- Brotherly concern for others
People can be said to love an object, principle, or goal to which they are deeply committed and greatly value. For example, compassionate outreach and volunteer workers’ love of their cause may sometimes be born not of interpersonal but impersonal love, altruism, and strong spiritual or political convictions. People can also love material objects, animals, or activities if they invest themselves in bonding or otherwise identifying with those things.
If sexual passion is also involved, then this feeling is called paraphilia.
Interpersonal refers to the love between human beings. It is a much more potent sentiment than a simple liking for a person. Unrequited love refers to those feelings are not reciprocated. Interpersonal is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. Such love might exist between:
- Family members
There are also a number of psychological disorders related, such as erotomania.
Biological basis (जैविक आधार)
Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist, and human behavior researcher divides the experience into three partly overlapping stages:
- Lust (हवस)
- Attraction (आकर्षण)
- Attachment (आसक्ति)
Lust is the feeling of sexual desire; romantic attraction determines what partners mates find attractive and pursue, conserving time and energy by choosing; and attachment involves sharing a home, parental duties, mutual defense, and in humans involves feelings of safety and security.
Three distinct neural circuitries, including neurotransmitters, and three behavioral patterns, are associated with these three romantic styles.
Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months.
Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including:
- The neurotransmitter hormones
Norepinephrine, and serotonin, the same compounds released by amphetamine, stimulating the brain’s pleasure center and leading to side effects such as:
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite and sleep
- An intense feeling of excitement
Psychological basis (मनोवैज्ञानिक आधार)
Psychology depicts it as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg formulated a triangular theory of love and argued that it has three different components:
- Intimacy (आत्मीयता)
- Commitment (प्रतिबद्धता)
- Passion (जुनून)
Intimacy is a form in which two people share confidences and various details of their personal lives and is usually shown in friendships and romantic love-affairs. Commitment, on the other hand, is the expectation that the relationship is permanent. The last is sexual attraction and passion, which is shown in infatuation as well as romantic.
Evolutionary basis (विकासवादी आधार)
Evolutionary psychology has attempted to provide various reasons for love as a survival tool. Humans are dependent on parental help for a large portion of their lifespans compared to other mammals. Love has therefore been seen as a mechanism to promote parental support of children for this extended time period.
Comparison of scientific models (वैज्ञानिक मॉडलों की तुलना)
Biological models tend to see it as a mammalian drive, similar to hunger or thirst. Psychology sees it as more of a social and cultural phenomenon. Certainly, love is influenced by hormones, neurotrophins, and pheromones, and how people think and behave is influenced by their conceptions.
Cultural views of love (प्रेम संबंधित सांस्कृतिक विचार)
Ancient Greek (प्राचीन यूनानी)
Greek distinguishes several different senses in which the word ‘love’ is used. Ancient Greeks identified four forms:
- Kinship or familiarity (in Greek, storge)
- Friendship and/or platonic desire (philia)
- Sexual and/or romantic desire (eros)
- Self-emptying or divine love (agape)
Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of romantic love. However, with Greek (as with many other languages), it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words totally. At the same time, the Ancient Greek text of the Bible has examples of the verb agapo having the same meaning as phileo.
Agape (ἀγάπη agápē) means love in modern-day Greek. The term s’agapo means ‘I love you’ in Greek. The word agapo is the verb ‘I love’. It generally refers to a “pure,” ideal type, rather than the physical attraction suggested by eros. However, there are some examples of agape used to mean the same as eros. It has also been translated as “love of the soul.”
Ancient Roman (Latin) Cultural views [चीन रोमन (लैटिन) सांस्कृतिक विचार]
The Latin language has several different verbs corresponding to the English word “love.” amō is the basic verb meaning ‘I love’, with the infinitive amare as it still is in Italian today. The Romans used it both in an affectionate sense as well as in a romantic or sexual sense.
From this verb come amans—a lover, amator, ‘professional lover,’ often with the accessory notion of lechery—and Amica, ‘girlfriend’ in the English sense, often being applied euphemistically to a prostitute. The corresponding noun is amor, which is also used in the plural form to indicate love affairs or sexual adventures.
Japanese Cultural views (जापानी सांस्कृतिक विचार)
The Japanese language uses three words to convey the English equivalent of “love”. Because it covers a wide range of emotions and behavioral phenomena, there are nuances distinguishing the three terms. The term ai (愛), which is often associated with maternal or selfless love, originally referred to beauty and was often used in a religious context.
Following the Meiji Restoration 1868, the term became associated in order to translate Western literature. Prior to Western influence, the term koi (恋) generally represented romantic love and was often the subject of the popular Man’yōshū Japanese poetry collection.
Indian Cultural views (भारतीय सांस्कृतिक विचार)
In contemporary literature, Kama refers usually to sexual desire. However, the term also refers to any sensory enjoyment, emotional attraction and aesthetic pleasure such as from arts, dance, music, painting, sculpture, and nature.
The concept of Kama is found in some of the earliest known verses in Vedas. For example, Book 10 of Rig Veda describes the creation of the universe from nothing by the great heat. There in hymn 129, it states:
कामस्तदग्रे समवर्तताधि मनसो रेतः परथमं यदासीत |
सतो बन्धुमसति निरविन्दन हर्दि परतीष्याकवयो मनीषा ||
Thereafter rose Desire in the beginning, Desire the primal seed and germ of Spirit,
Sages who searched with their heart’s thought discovered the kinship of existent in the non-existent.
Persian Cultural views (फारसी सांस्कृतिक विचार)
Rumi, Hafiz, and Sa’di are icons of the passion and love that the Persian culture and language present. The Persian word for love is Ishq, which is derived from the Arabic language, however, it is considered by most to be too stalwart a term for interpersonal love and is more commonly substituted for “doost dashtan” (“liking”).
In the Persian culture, everything is encompassed by love and all is for love, starting from loving friends and family, husbands and wives, and eventually reaching the divine love that is the ultimate goal in life.
Religious views (धार्मिक दृष्टिकोण)
Abrahamic religions (अब्राहमिक धर्म)
Judaism Religious views (यहूदी धार्मिक विचार)
In Hebrew, אהבה (Ahava) is the most commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love between God and God’s creations. Chesed, often translated as loving-kindness, is used to describe many forms between human beings.
As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: “See life with the wife you love” (Ecclesiastes 9:9). Rabbi David Wolpe writes that “…love is not only about the feelings of the lover…It is when one person believes in another person and shows it.”
Christianity Religious views (ईसाई धार्मिक विचार)
The Christian understanding is that love comes from God. The love of man and woman—eros in Greek—and the unselfish love of others (agape), are often contrasted as “descending” and “ascending” love, respectively, but are ultimately the same thing.
Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life. Saint Augustine summarized this when he wrote “Love God, and do as thou wilt.”
Islam Religious views (इस्लाम धार्मिक विचार)
Love encompasses the Islamic view of life as a universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold faith. Amongst the 99 names of God (Allah), there is the name Al-Wadud, or “the Loving One,” which is found in Surah as well as Surah. God is also referenced at the beginning of every chapter in the Qur’an as Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, or the “Most Compassionate” and the “Most Merciful”, indicating that nobody is more loving, compassionate and benevolent than God. The Qur’an refers to God as being “full of loving-kindness.”
Bahá’í Faith (बहाई आस्था)
In his Paris Talks, `Abdu’l-Bahá described four types of love:
- That flows from God to human beings
- Which flows from human beings to God
- Towards the Self or Identity of God
- Human beings for human beings
Indian religions (भारतीय धर्म)
Buddhism (बुद्ध धर्म)
In Buddhism, Kāma is sensuous, sexual love. It is an obstacle on the path to enlightenment since it is selfish. Karuṇā is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom and is necessary for enlightenment.
Adveṣa and mettā are benevolent love. This is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex and which rarely occurs without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism, it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others’ welfare.
Hinduism (हिन्दू धर्म)
In Hinduism, kāma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kamadeva. For many Hindu schools, it is the third end in life. Kamadeva is often pictured holding a bow of sugar cane and an arrow of flowers; he may ride upon a great parrot. He is usually accompanied by his consort Rati and his companion Vasanta, lord of the spring season. Stone images of Kamadeva and Rati can be seen on the door of the Chennakeshava temple at Belur, in Karnataka, India. Maara is another name for kāma.
In contrast to kāma, Prema – or prem – refers to elevated love. Karuna is compassion and mercy, which impels one to help reduce the suffering of others. Bhakti is a Sanskrit term, meaning “loving devotion to the supreme God.” A person who practices bhakti is called a bhakta.
Attaining unadulterated, unconditional and incessant Prema for Godhead is considered the foremost goal of life in certain Vaishnava sects. Gaudiya Vaishnavas who worship Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the cause of all causes consider Prema for Godhead to act in two ways: Sambhoga and Vipralambha -two opposites.
In the Bhakti tradition within Hinduism, it is believed that execution of devotional service to God leads to the development of Prema for God, and as Prema for God increases in the heart, the more one becomes free from material contamination.
Being perfectly in Prema with God or Krishna makes one perfectly free from material contamination. This is the ultimate way of salvation or liberation. Salvation or liberation is considered inferior to Prema in this tradition. Being absorbed in Prema for God is considered to be the perfection of life.
Philosophical views (दार्शनिक विचार)
The philosophy of love (Prema) is a field of social philosophy and ethics that attempts to explain the nature of Prema. The philosophical investigation of Prema includes the tasks of distinguishing between the various kinds of personal Prema, asking if and how Prema is or can be justified, asking what the value of Prema is, and what impact Prema has on the autonomy of both the lover and the beloved.
Many different theories attempt to explain the nature and function of Prema. Explaining Prema to a hypothetical person who had not himself or herself experienced it. Being loved would be very difficult because such a person’s Prema would appear to be quite strange if not outright irrational behavior.
Among the prevailing types of theories that attempt to account for the existence of Prema are:
- Psychological theories
- The vast majority of which consider it to be a very healthy behavior
- Evolutionary theories which hold it a part of the process of natural selection
- Spiritual theories which may, for instance, consider it to be a gift from a God
- Theories that consider it to be an unexplainable mystery, very much like a mystical experience.
In the end, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System considers Love being the ultimate goal of every human, it helps in achieving and maintaining health, peace, and progress forever. So, share it selflessly with everyone.