The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, April 15, 2001

Call it love if you like

APROPOS of Kuldip Dhiman’s write-up "Call it love if you like" (March 25) love assumes different connotations for different people. Consequently, it is practically impossible to define it in one simple sentence.

When love has blended and molded two beings in a sacred union, they have found the secret of life. How true it is that the beloved becomes God!

Love has been described as a portion of the soul itself, and is of the same nature as it. Like it, it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible and imperishable. It is a point of fire within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can limit, and nothing extinguish; we feel it burning even in the marrow of our bones, and see its flashing in the depths of the heavens.

Love begets love and the way to be loved is to love others. Love is love’s reward and it always stands unrivaled. True love knows neither sex nor personality, but seeks virtue and wisdom. In its real form, it is devoid of lewdness and debauchery. Love is life and it grows in every sphere, guides us in our different walks of life and guards us against vice and evil. Love cannot exist where jealousy, contempt, enmity and selfishness take their seat.


It craves for no glory, but what it does is sublime and surpassing. Never moved by flattery or rich presents, hardly misled by formality, it always bows before sincerity and truthfulness. Love which is reared by noble exchanges and tendered by delicious presents is false. True love connects heart to heart, binds man to man, unites nation with nation and is a golden chain to fasten us with God.

In short, love is the greatest and the noblest thing that God has given us and it is the only thing we can offer to God. If there be love, be it universal! Let us maintain brotherhood with all the living creatures, for we are but born of one common father, the Almighty.



Greater writers, philosophers, religious leaders, intellectuals, statesmen and eminent persons have given different definitions of love. It is for us to decide which one is appropriate and to our liking:

It is love alone that can accomplish this miracle (of conversion) for love opens all doors, pierces through all walls, crosses beyond all obstacles. And a little of true love does more than the finest speeches.

Love only knows sacrifice.

Trust love even if it brings sorrow. Don’t close your heart.

Love is being in balance, that is, in harmony with the self, God and our fellow men. Love is selflessness. Love is not an emotional state confined to whims and fancies, but a transcendent state of consciousness which goes beyond bodily forms. Love has nothing to do with bodies; love dwells in our souls.



What is commonly called love, namely the desire to satisfy a voracious appetite, is one form of love. Love has many other faces, for example parental and filial affection, friendship and general philanthropy. In all, love stirs our emotions. No one can deny it. Intellect has nothing, or very little to do with it. In fact, what science is to the intellect, love is to the emotions.

The writer poses a pertinent question: Is love a basic emotion or is it a culturally specific emotion? To me, it is a basic emotion, because human nature is the same everywhere. Indeed, culture may influence the emotion of love to a certain extent, but it cannot change its basic structure. What purpose does love serve? One of its forms is a kind benevolent disposition which is gratified by contributing to the happiness of others. There is a great and exquisite delight in it. If we will not call such disposition love, then we have no name for it.

As love is a highly subjective experience, it is almost impossible to arrive at a unanimous conclusion about its nature. That is why it is difficult to answer the question posed by the writer: Is it possible to fall in love with more than one person? However, one thing is certain, life without love is empty.


Outrage at Bamiyan

This refers to T.V. Rajeswar’s "Outrage at Bamiyan" (March 18). A blind negation of others’ views and their rights is the least cultured approach to any situation. And this is what the chief of ruling Taliban, Mulla Mohammad Omar, has done by destroying the Buddha statues in Bamiyan; and calling the Muslim world to support his act of destruction and "unite behind his vision of Islam."

This act has turned the crowded dry-fruit bazaars of Afganistan into deserted and desolate places treaded cautiously by people with fear writ large on their faces. The fundamentalism prevailing in Afghanistan has not only isolated it from the international community but many Muslim countries may also turn away from the Taliban.

Barbarianism may be difficult to contain once it takes religious fanatics into its fold. With a large number of Afghan Taliban joining the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen, such a barbarianism may take deep roots. India, thus, has special reasons to feel concerned.

For India, it is not just the destruction of age-old statues, but the gradually emerging dangerous scenario, with the backing of the likes of Osama-bin-Laden and Parvez Musharraf, that is a matter of concern and needs to be tackled, lest it pose a serious threat to the whole civilised world.


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