Love is a feeling of strong and positive emotional and mental states. Love is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral, apathy). Love-hate is for creation, maintenance and destruction of this world. Love also has a profound effect on our mental and physical state. A ‘broken heart' or a failed relationship can have disastrous effects; bereavement disrupts human physiology and might even precipitate death. Love can be impersonal (for object, principle, goal etc.) and interpersonal (between human beings).
Among living organisms, the natural love and attraction is the root of reproduction, growth and multiplication. In unicellular organisms, reproduction is asexual wherein the two strands of DNA repel and duplicates; wherein Hate-Love relationship is involved. In multicellular organisms, mostly sexual reproduction takes place due strong attraction between male and female. So, love creates and is responsible for organic growth and multiplications. Dopamine, oxytocin and Serotonin are neurochemicals which help in making love.
Love-Hate also exists in non-living and inorganic matter. The matter is made of minute particles – molecules, atoms, electron, proton, neutron and so on at micro level and Galaxies, stars, planets, moon etc. at macro level. Scientifically, the very basis of their existence and continuously held together are electro-magnetic attraction among these microscopic particles and gravitational force or attraction among galaxies and planetary systems.
Learn to love. Love one. Love all. Love your enemy as much as you could love your friend. Love the mute animals as if they are human. No barriers of family tie, no caste or communal considerations, no territorial boundary should obstruct the even flow of your universal love. No despising of the sinner, no consciousness of superiority towards those who are less advanced, no hatred of the vicious. Love all and lovingly lead them on.
Forms of Love:
Love has different forms, gradations of intensity and facets. Love may be for food, for relationships, for wealth, for particular profession, for wine & narcotics, for opposite sex, for plants & animals, for humanity, for almighty and so on. Magnetic attraction or love may manifest mildly to very intensely. Sometimes, one becomes very possessive for a particular person or thing. Love may germinate due selfish motive or selflessness, though very-very rarely. When selfish love turns into universal love then one sees divinity in all.
In Greek language, nine forms of love have classified - Eros (passionate love), Pragma (enduring love), Ludus (playful love), Agape (universal love), Philia (deep friendship), Philautia (self-love), Storge (familial love) and Mania (obsessive love).
In Hinduism, divine love or Bhakti is deeply probed and is one of the four means of salvation or liberation from the cycle of re-births. Various forms of love are explained based on selfish motives and selfless pure love.
1. Sattvika Love - It is done to attain the almighty. It originates from intellect or Buddhi. When the person doing sattvika love desires Moksha, it is Sagun bhakti. When he loses all the desires of fruit, it becomes Nirgun or Nishkam love. It is pure love for the almighty.
2. Rajasika Love – It is done to attain worldly comforts.
3. Tamsika Love – It is done for attaining special powers (siddhis).
4. Sakamya Love or Gauna Love – It is devotion with desire for material gains.
Gradations of Love:
Sri Vallabhacharya has explained the different stages of love. Love has ten evolutionary stages of growth –
Love in Hinduism:
In the Chaitanya school, about twenty characteristics are enumerated as expressions of the unique Divine sentiment of Maha-Bhava in both its phases as love in union and love in separation such as intense longing, inability to bear separation, readiness to bear even intense pain in the interest of the beloved, loss of the sense of time, power to influence one’s environment with the intensity of one’s feeling, loss of sense of self even in normal consciousness, loss of all fear of death and welcoming it as the means for elemental union with Sri Krishna, supra-normal behaviour that looks like ‘Divine Madness’ and so on. The Maha-Bhava is said to have manifested only in Gopikaa and in some divine incarnations like Sri Chaitanya and Sri Ramakrishna.