[Advaita-l] What do we Love?

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 6 10:24:04 CDT 2013

What do we Love?
People talk about love and we should love others, etc. Bri. Up. in Maitreyii brahmana, Yagnavalkya discusses this aspect exhaustively as he teaches his own wife Maitreyii.
In essence – what we love is an object of happiness. We love a person or an object only because with that person or object I am happy and without that person or object I am not happy. Hence, the Upanishad says if you examine critically, what you love is a happy state of mind that is gained in the presence of that person or object. If the same person or object later causes unhappiness, then either one tolerates that object or tries to get rid of that object. As our likes and dislikes change with time, location, etc, the objects of love-hate also change. That is why we have many love-marriages and many more divorces too. It may start with I love you to I allow you.  In addition the person I love also changes with time, while my likes and dislikes change with time. 
Hence what I love is not object or person per sec, but the happy state of mind that the person or object brings. Factually, the object is just an object. Happiness is not a property of any object or person – if so the same object should bring happiness for anybody. Hence, the happiness that I get when I am with the person I love or I like is the happiness from my own self – since in those moments I am with the person I love or object I like I am contended – and there is no longing mind or desiring mind at that time. I am at peace with myself, even though I falsely attribute that happiness to the association with the object or person. When the mind is no more longing and desiring, I am full in those moments, since there no feeling of inadequacy in those moments – in those moments I am happy. Stronger the desire for an object or a person, greater and intense will be my state of happiness since my state of happiness or fullness is now as though
 reflected by being association of the object or person I love. 
I will be happy with myself if I am full all the time – that is there is no more longing mind or desiring mind or mind what feels inadequate. Fullness or limitless is called Brahman, which etymologically means infinite. When I recognize that I am Brahman, then there is no more longing mind or desiring mind since limitless alone is happiness. The recognition that I am Brahman is what is called self-realization. 
Brahman being infinite, it cannot exclude anything, since by exclusion of anything or anybody it is no-more Brahman. Hence realization that I am full or happiness or Brahman, involves recognizing that the self in me is the self in all. Since I love myself – the love myself automatically flows the whole creation, since creation cannot be different from the self that I am. Hence love is not separate from abidance in the self that pervades every perceptible object or person. Hence happiness or limitless is the same as Love absolute. That recognition that I am is self-realization too. Love for myself is supreme and unconditional while all other love is as long as they bring happiness I love. However when I recognize this, I become one with the whole universe; then the love for the self pervades the whole universe since it is not different myself. There are no divisions or any divisions are only apparent and not real. 
Hari Om!

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