Why do we say that we ‘fall’ in love? What is ‘eternity’ of love?

Listener: Now the first question I have is that a lot of people talk very positively about love, yet they use a phrase ‘falling in love’. Why should they use a negative phrase for such a beautiful thing? Secondly, this is my personal belief that nothing is truly permanent, nothing in life remains forever, that is what I truly believe in, and so why is it that people want to be with each other for ‘eternity’, as they say, ‘saat janam’(seven births). As I see that if love has to die, it dies and if it has to remain, it remains, then how is love ‘eternal’?

Acharya Prashant: Two, three questions have been asked, bundled together by Rishi. First is why do we call it ‘falling in love’?

L1: Why not, ‘rising in love’?

AP: Why not rising in love? Second is why must love be ‘eternal’?

At any point in time, if you are really present, where are you? Right now, if you are really attentive, then you are here, in this moment! Right now, you are, just present in this moment. Tomorrow at some point, if you are really present, where would you be? In this moment! Because, at that moment, you would call it, “this moment”. So what is eternal?

L1: This moment.

AP: This moment, isn’t it obvious? This moment is the eternity. At any point in time, ‘this moment’ is always there. ‘This moment’ is eternal, nothing else is. Past and future and time are not eternal; the present is eternal, it sounds contradictory. Doesn’t it? That how can ‘this moment’ be eternal? But think of it, aren’t you always in ‘this moment’? At any point in time, if you are attentive, you are in ‘this moment’, this is what is meant by the ‘eternity of love’, that love immerses you in this moment.

An eternity of love does not mean eight years, and ten years and twenty years and saat janam, all that is foolishness. All that is, insecurity of the mind because you are not sure that your wife will stay with you, you think she is going to run away with the neighbour, so you make her swear, “You will be with me for seven more births.”- That is not love. That is just like…

L2: Pledge, oath.

AP: Yes. You take a cow and you tether her using a very strong rope of contract, and religion, and oath; that is not love. Eternity is this moment. Do you get this clearly? Eternity is right now. Love does not bother for tomorrow and if you are bothering for tomorrow, rest assured it is not love, it is something else.

When you are hugging somebody and at that moment if you are still thinking – what will happen tomorrow, then god save you and that person. If you are still calculating, what to do tomorrow, what day after, and planning out – now that we have come this much close, the next hour is going to be very fanciful. This is not love, for sure. Love does not bother for the next moment – but that is Real Love. The kind of love that we know is ‘falling in love’.

Yesterday, I was listening to somebody, who speaks really well. He said that it is not a coincidence that all cultures have established heaven upstairs and hell downstairs – paataal (below one’s feet). Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam – hell is always here (downwards), falling, downwards and heaven is always there (upwards). This direction of going down has a particular significance; I can bring it to you in two ways. First is – why do things come down? Why does it come down when I throw this up? Why?

L2: Gravity!

AP: Gravity! What is gravity? It is the attraction of material to material, attraction of mass to mass. When mass attracts mass, then things are said to be, “Falling down”. So, when a female mass attracts a male mass, then that is ‘falling in love’. Because it is just mass – 45 kilogrammes attracting 60 kilogrammes and you know men often deliberately looks for mass. So do women.

That is why so many people go to the gym, to get some mass. That’s attractive too. Mass attracting mass is gravity, that’s what is ‘falling down’. When body attracts body – that is ‘falling in love’, and mass is a body, right? When body attracts body – that is ‘falling in love’, like gravity, mass attracting mass.

Our love is that – Hormonal attraction; mass attracting mass. That is why when a particular age comes, you just start slipping and falling and bathing and wallowing in love, all kinds of things start happening.

Why don’t you fall in love at the age of six? Why does it have to happen at sixteen? And it happens with everybody at sixteen – First crush. Don’t you know why it happens? Hormones, nothing else, it is not love at all; it is just mass attracting mass. The boy is gathering some mass, the girl is gathering some mass, and the mass is attracting mass, gravity. Not really gravity, it does not follow that law, but it is still material attracting material. So, upwards and downwards.

Several traditions have looked at this upwards and downwards in another way. Classically in India, you call it urdhvgaman (ascendance) and adhogaman (descendance). ‘Urdhvgaman’ means going upwards and ‘adhogaman’ means falling down.

They say that in the body, what is the highest? (Pointing towards the head), the mind, the intelligence. If your love arises from the mind, the intelligence, the highest point in the body, then it is ‘rising in love’. If your love is intelligence, then it is rising in love, but if it arises from a point that is a little lower down, then it is ‘falling in love’. Urdhvgaman – this is rising in love, adhogaman– this is falling in love. You have to find out where does your love arise from?

For most of us, love has nothing to do with this (the mind). We say it’s arising from here (the heart). It is not arising from the heart, it is actually arising from a place a little more southwards.

When you remove all the arrangement in that place, your love will disappear. Remove your hormones, remove all your reproductive system, and your love will disappear, that is why it is called, ‘falling in love’ because it is arising from the lowermost; it is not coming from your highest potentiality. It is coming from your basement, so it is called ‘falling in love’.

One can rise in love, yes, and in true Love, one does rise.

One does rise.

If you do not rise in love, it is not love; it is something else. Call it attraction, call it attachment, call it lust, and call it insecurity.

If it is really Love, you will rise in it.

That is one of the quickest ways to check whether, it is really love or something else and because all of you are at that age, let me disclose it. If being with a fellow, makes you fearless, makes you less and less conditioned, makes you think less and less about the future, frees you of attachment then probably, it is love.

But if your love is about being more attached, more possessive, jealous, insecure, lustful, then it is ‘falling in love’ and it is nothing else. You have to find out, “What is the quality of your love?” If there are conditions attached, it cannot be ‘rising in love’. So ‘rising in love’ is possible. Would you rise in love?

L3: I think yes!

AP: I didn’t get a quick yes! It’s scary, right? Rising in love, or falling in love? Animals fall in love, not human beings. Animals fall greatly in love. We often see that in the mating season on the roads, how they fall in love. That is ‘falling in love’.

Love is not your Facebook status.

Love is not a thing of a display.

Love is not about having something to claim, that, “I am also engaged with somebody”, “I am not totally worthless”, “What do you think? Only you can have a boyfriend. See I have two!”

Love is not that. Whom are you fooling?

Love is not that we have stayed together for six years, so there is this habituation to each other and we have started calling it “love”, this is not love.

Love is not about this that I must love XYZ because I have been told, that “You must love so, I am loving”.

Love is not a duty.

Love is not a responsibility; not a burden.

If it doesn’t free you, it is not Love.

L3: So in that case, it will not be restricted to one person at all. It can transfer to as many people as would come near you or speak to you.

AP: See, at this moment, can you listen to me and a parallel speaker? So at one particular moment and that moment is an eternity, you cannot be with two people but at the same time, a loving mind is a cause of wellness to everybody. A loving mind is non- violent. A loving mind does not choose objects, “This is my object of love and these are not my objects of love.” A loving mind will not say, “Towards this preferred object of love, this preferred man or woman, I am going to be nice and kind and loving, and careful, and towards everybody else, I am going to be violent and hateful. My own kid, so I am going to take good care of. I will do everything for this kid; the best possible clothing, the best kind of food, and just outside the gate, there are these three kids, all two years old, starving to death, freezing to death, and I won’t do anything for them.”

Love is a light that reaches out to everybody; of course, those who are close to you will get it the most. Those who are far away, they won’t really receive it, but then you are not being selective. If I am saying something to you, I do not want to exclude others from it; it is just that some of you are within my physical range, so you are getting what I am trying to say. Those who are not within my physical range, they will not get what I am saying, but I am not choosing my objects. Those who are living in the same house as I do will get the most out of my love. Those who are not living in the same house as I do, they will probably receive less, but I will not try to choose, it is just a question of physical limitation.

You are here, you are close, so you are getting something; those who are not present at all, they cannot get anything, but I am not really trying to be object specific, I am not really trying to be person specific. It is for everybody, just like this light.

Is this light choosing where to fall? The lights are illuminating the entire auditorium, but what can the poor lights do, if someone doesn’t enter the auditorium? The lights cannot illuminate or the lights have to be like Sun, but even the sun has its limitation. You go and hide in a cave; even the poor Sun cannot do anything. Can the Sun illuminate you, if you go and hide in a cave? The Sun is trying to give its best to everybody. Remember everybody, not just one particular person or object.

Same is the nature of love – for everybody, but someone receives it and some does not receive it. You want to give it to everybody, but you have physical limitations. You have physical limitations.


~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: Why do we say that we ‘fall’ in love? What is ‘eternity’ of love?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: Unconditional love is a fierce commitment to reject all but the One

Article 2: Love is not just an external action. When Truth shines within, Love is its radiation.

Article 3: Love is possible only in detachment

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