As human beings, we all need love. I don’t mean sex. I mean ‘love’. Our hope for this eternal love that we feel will satisfy us and fill the emptiness within our heart prepares us to accept troubles we would otherwise never even dream of. Who would otherwise accept a lifetime of austerity that includes working in jobs that we don’t like, living in conditions much below our standard, struggling financially paying for a mortgage all our lives just for a place to live…. we all know the rest.
Although one may say that all these things form part of a relationship, they actually don’t. For love and an intimate relationship to exist, we don’t need any of these. They are just by-products. Yet still, we become so involved in looking after these by-products that we actually forget the real relationship we made this sacrifice for in the first place.
A relationship needs to maintain its value and depth for it to fulfill its purpose. And there is just one rule that makes a relationship stick like no other. Not just that, it also increase one’s love for each other every day.
For the past 21 days, myself and my fellow monks have been going out on the streets of various towns in England distributing the “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”, a 5151 year old book (to be exact) that talks about relationships. It is the Christmas Marathon, and this is a very important time for everyone in the Hare Krishna movement all over the world. But we will leave this for later. It is in this book, that Krishna – described often as the most beautiful and all-attractive Supreme Person gives Arjuna wisdom that has attracted philosophers for centuries to study it. This is where Krishna also talks about relationships.
The most essential aspect of any relationship is service. Service means to do something for the one you love. If you love someone, you want to do something for them. Imagine a conversation between a husband and his wife:
“Darling, I love you”
“Oh, I love you too! Can you please go and buy me some bread from the bakery?”
“I’m actually busy right now love, so can’t go. But I still love you!”
It doesn’t make sense does it? A man may say that he is working hard day and night to feed his wife and children. Is this not an expression of love?
I would say it’s not. That’s just duty. Love only starts when one starts doing more that what they are obliged to.
But wait. That’s not it. There’s more!
If one does something for his beloved, the person doing the service actually develops more love than the one he is doing it for. Did you know that?
When one does something for his beloved, he naturally becomes attracted to that person and this very act of service deepens his or her love for the beloved.
The Bhagavad Gita talks about Krishna – the all attractive God, and mentions this method for developing love for Him and for everyone else.
So do this now. Understand that your duties and your obligations are not your expression of love. They’re just duties. The extras are where love starts.
And don’t just do something for the one you love, ask for a favour. Allow them to do something for you too. This will help them rekindle loving feelings for you also. go that extra mile beyond your duty, and ask for that little extra too!
How’s that for a monk giving relationship advice? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.