In honor of Valentine’s Day, a meditation on love:
So, this is the idea people have, that surrender means to lose. Surrender is
something that is very, very undesirable, by force. But in Sanskrit,
the word sharanagati [surrender] is something very different. Sharanagati
the most positive expression of our gratitude and our love. It is ultimately the most joyful experience of the heart. There cannot be
love without surrender.
Love is not selfish. Love is selfless. Love is
for the beloved. The Srimad Bhagavatam (1.2.6) explains:
supreme occupation for all humanity is loving service to the Supreme.
Such love must be unconditional and unmotivated to complying satisfy
Is that not what every living being is looking for, longing
for, and searching for in every aspect of their life?
We are looking
for pleasure. There is pleasure to the senses, and there is pleasure to
the mind. But beyond these, there is only one thing that can give pleasure to the
heart, and the heart is the sitting place of the self, the soul. What is that thing? It is love– to love and to be loved.
But what is the meaning of love? It is not that affection in
which we try to enjoy for ourselves; in Sanskrit that is called käma, or lust. That is a
material principle, and it can never be satisfied because as long as we
are trying to enjoy ourselves, that burning desire for enjoyment simply grows. It is
like fire: the more you feed it, the hungrier it grows. And what is
true love, or prema? It is the complete giving of the heart for the pleasure
of the object of our love.
Even in this world, the most satisfying, loving relationships
are not the romantic affairs that we see in the movies; those do
not last. The real pleasure of the soul — the real pleasure of the
heart, let us say — comes through sacrifice and dedication. In this world,
real love is not selfish, real love is selfless. It is the willingness to make
sacrifices for the beloved, and that love actually satisfies the heart
because there is some reality to it. Why? Because that is the nature, in
its perfect state, of the soul’s love for the absolute truth, the
supreme soul or Krishna, the origin of love. Krishna is all-attractive, the
source of all beauty, all knowledge, all strength, all wealth; therefore, he is the ultimate object of all the people’s love.
So, to surrender to the Supreme is the expression of true love and is
actually the source of the greatest shelter and the greatest happiness.