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How do I directly know real love? || Acharya Prashant, on Saint Kabir (2016)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
4 min
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Questioner (Q): Whatever we can say about love with words seems fake and inaccurate. How can one describe what love is using these limited instruments?

Acharya Prashant (AP): It is very sad that we all are attracted towards a peaceful sunset. It simply tells us that love pulls all of us; we all know what love is. To love is to be drawn towards something. Essentially, we are all drawn towards relaxation, fulfillment, peace. That is love—to be drawn towards the essential. To be drawn towards the essential is love, and we all are drawn towards that. And we are drawn so much towards the essential that we are prepared to drop the inessential in our movement towards the essential.

Q: What do you mean by the word ‘essential’ here?

AP: Essential, the real. Essential, central. Essence—essential. You know what the saints say about this movement towards the real, the central? They say that the more you move towards the Truth in love, the narrower your path becomes. It is like converging towards a center: the path keeps on getting narrower and narrower, and ultimately the path becomes so narrow that you, even you, cannot pass through it. It keeps on becoming narrower, so you keep dropping whatever you are carrying, you just lessen your belongings, your relationships, this and that, and ultimately it is just a point; even the smallest of the substances cannot pass through it. At the destination nobody reaches. The destination is there now, but nobody to reach.

Kabir says, “ Jab mai tha tab Hari nahi, jab Hari hai tab mai nahi; prem gali ati sakari, tame do na samai (When I was there, there was no Hari; when Hari is there, there is no ‘I’. The road of love is very narrow: it cannot accommodate two).”

The road of love is a very narrow road; it cannot accommodate two. I am saying it cannot accommodate even one. Forget about two—the road becomes so narrow that it cannot accommodate even one. That is love—to be drawn towards your own dissolution. In some sense it is a suicidal call.

Q: Love is a suicidal call?

AP: In some sense, yes. You are pulled towards your own end, and willingly so. Willingly so.

Q: Like a moth to a flame.

AP: Like a moth to a flame.

Q: Like sweet ivy poison!

AP: Like sweet ivy poison? I don’t know much about that…

Q: This sense of being drawn towards something contains a feeling of something not being there, like something is missing.

AP: Something is not right, something is missing; you know that something is missing, yet you don’t have the guts to really acknowledge and hence allow right action to happen.

The reward of a right life, spiritual life is that you can never be mentally sick. You can suffer a lot, your body may crumble down, but your mind will be very, very busy. That is one mark of a yogi , one mark of a jñānī (knower), of a bhakta (devotee)—let’s simply say, one mark of the healthy mind. It will be untouched by neurosis, by phobias, by depression, by all the other kinds of disorders that there are.

Q: Is it possible that some mental disorder may persist?

AP: Not really, not to a spiritual mind. Many other things might be there: physically he might not be alright; in terms of worldly standing he might not be very high; knowledge-wise he might not be very rich; skill-wise he might not be very quick. In all other ways he may be a very average or below average fellow, but he would always be living in health of the mind; that is certain. Even in the worst of situations, his mind would be a very vital mind.

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