Acharya Prashant: What is love? What is the definition of love?
A lot has been said on this subject and I can add to it. Even, I have spoken hundreds of times on this, but I want to ask you something—when you are really dallying with your lover, and we are adults, I am not prepared to believe that we have never known the immersion of love, when you are really dallying with your lover, do you suddenly pause and ask, what is the definition of love?” “Can you please define what we are doing right now?”
Is it not a disgrace to ask for a definition of love?
Definition of love can be asked only when you are not in love.
So what matters more to you – being in love or defining it?
Ever seen a lover who is not sure of what love is? Ever met one? The very confidence in their action – they are prepared to die – the very confidence in their action tells us that they know love. They know love, without feeling the need to verbalize it; define it; to conceptualize it.
Who conceptualizes it? I have no intention of impressing something strongly upon you, as a friend I am suggesting, who conceptualizes love?
Listener 1: Poets
AP: Do poets conceptualize love, seriously?
L2: People seeking it.
AP: The seeker of love. And the seeker by definition is loveless.
So, what then is the real issue? One’s lovelessness or the definition of love? What would you rather want to attend to – lovelessness or definition of love?
Now, love might be raining and you are busy in your small, secure shelter trying to figure out a definition of love and it’s raining love outside. But you can’t get wet in love because you are carrying these great books, they will get wet!
Love is simply peace—that which you really like.
Your greatest liking is love.
There are things that we like, in their little ways- you like this, you like this, you like this, you like this (Pointing to things around); likes and dislikes.
And there is a great liking to find something that will end the whole process of liking. Find something so utterly final that after that you don’t really have to want anything.
Love is the pull that the mind experiences towards peace, towards a final attainment – that is love.
But this, the last part, the last two minutes, I said more to satisfy your intellectual curiosity. My advice would be, instead of finding a definition of love, open your heart to love.
When love knocks, don’t remain busy with your encyclopedias.
Move out into the rain – that’s love.
You can have some scholar on love and his face would look like dry dung. If we take a mirror and circulate it, many of us would see what it means to have a face like dry dung. It’s not for nothing, that in India we worship cow dung, it resembles our face.
L3: How to step out in the rain?
AP: When you will be fed up of watching from the sidelines; when you will watch that the whole existence is dancing and having a good time, then you will be compelled to move out into the rain. There is someone within you who really likes the rains. He will force you. On your own, you will never go. You will be thrashed into moving out. Either move out on your own or be kicked out.
Anybody who wants a definition of freedom?
We once had a gentleman who wanted a definition of a smile. His wife was complaining that since decades he has been trying to define kiss. And since he has not been able to come to a perfect definition.
Do you kiss with your brains or what?
Only the brain is interested in definitions. What all would you do with the brain? The brain is unable to keep up even with the tasks appointed to it. Why do you want to trouble it with other things as well?
You know everything. There is nothing that you do not know. Stop pretending; stop unnecessarily making fool of yourself. Stop showing up in this Satsang and that. What is it that you do not know? Let’s be exact. You don’t know that you are alive? You don’t know right from left? What is it that you do not know?
L3: So you talk about getting out in the rain and eventually you’ll be forced out. What if you are really stubborn, you want to be forced out but you just can’t let that be.
AP: You will ensure that somebody comes to force you out. So, you will keep going to Satsangs and one day find me.
That’s what. Either do it on your own or you will get somebody who kicks you hard. The thing is, obviously, you can do it on your own, obviously, very obviously.
There is no spiritual knowledge bigger than your direct observation.
No master can give you more exoteric knowledge than the innocent honesty of your sight.
When you are just simply looking, even the Truth cannot hide from you; even the Truth would be helpless in front of you.
Do you know the power of your sight?
You can look so sharply, that you can start seeing your own eye.
The eye can look so sharply that it can start seeing its own roots – that’s your power.
Now, why do you want imported visions?
Some good old wise man said that God lives in a fancy country up over there and since then all the residents of this planet are parroting the same story. Did you meet Hafiz’s God? The God of Hafiz is an infant sucking at the mother’s breast; not an omnipotent God. Find your own God.
It could be a dog rolling on the sands down there. And nobody has the right to say that what you see with your own eyes has to be verified, sanctioned by any other authority.
Honesty is the only authority.
I keep coming to that word again and again – Honesty – in that honesty is Truth. And that Truth is the sole authority; that knows. So don’t be afraid to stand tall, stand boldly in front of all the knowledgeable ones; in front of all the great Mahatmas, the great masters, the Gurus. Let them say whatever they want to say. You know that God is a cat. And it’s proven. Full stop.
Let him recite all his bejeweled stories. Let him quote all the scriptures of the world and then your one line reply is – God is a cat. Let him speak for two hours, from his great throne, up there on the podium, let him talk about all the methods and techniques, this yoga, that yoga, Koham, Soham, Naham, Who am I?; That am I. Then you silently get up and say, “God is a?”
AP: And that’s it. God is a cat. Full stop.
When you say that with the innocence of a child, that brutal innocence of a child, even God will not come to deny that He is not a cat. In fact, He will come and validate what you just said. He will say, “Yes, yes, of course, I am a cat.”
Refuse everything that makes you feel small.
That is the only test of the false—whatever makes you feel small is false.
Whatever makes you feel low, doubtful, confused, guilty, shameful is false.
Get rid of it.
Whatever makes you feel like a sinner is false.
That is the only definition of a sin – that which never happens.
This is too much to believe, right? Had I been holding forth on the various kinds of evils that we are susceptible to, the thousand kinds of vices that rule us, the various shortcomings of mankind, then you would have said, “Yes, right. Correct.”
But it’s so difficult to convince the man that he is alright; that he does not need to reach anywhere or change himself. So difficult! Look at the incredulous look on the faces.
“You said I am alright? You mean ‘me’? ‘Me’ as me?”
“You said God is a cat, even my cat does not believe in that.”
“In that I am alright?”
Let’s say we have a gathering of dogs; would they be sitting like this?
Pigeons, parrots, flamingoes? Fish, insect?
All are alright. Nobody is bothering; nobody is frowning.
Do you see anything in existence with a freckled forehead?
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: God is a cat
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: On Hafiz: Let God be the baby in your arms
Article 3: Spirituality is the art of supreme nonsense
Books by Acharya Prashant :