All of us are seeking a satisfying loving relationship. By keeping Krishna in the center of our relationships, we can attain complete fulfillment.
What is the Origin of Love?
The word Krishna means “all-attractive.” You can attract by your love, not by anything else. The word Christ has come from the word Christo, a Greek word, and the meaning of Christo is “lover, anointed.” -Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.10, Delhi, November 16, 1973
Purest Form of Love
The revealed scriptures describe pure love as follows:
sarvatha dhvamsa-rahitam saty api dhvamsa-karane
yad bhava-bandhanam yunoh sa prema parikirtitah
“If there is ample reason for the dissolution of a conjugal relationship and yet such a dissolution does not take place, such a relationship of intimate love is called pure.”
In the transcendental stage one feels himself to be only an eternal servitor of Krishna, the absolute Personality of Godhead. All acts performed in this sense of servitude are called pure love of God because they are performed for the absolute sense gratification of Sri Krishna. However, any act performed for the purpose of enjoying its fruits or results is an act of sense gratification. Such actions are visible sometimes in gross and sometimes in subtle forms.- Cc. adi 4.165, purport
The Topmost Lover
God is great,” then “God is master,” then “God is friend,” and then “God is my son,” and then “God is my lover.” In the lover stage, there are all other elements. When you love somebody, then there is loving element, and there is paternal element, there is friendship element, there is master and servant element, and there is greatness element. Therefore, in the sense of loving God, all other elements are full. Therefore the full attachment for Krishna is to love Him as your lover.- Bhagavad-gita 7.1, San Francisco, September 10, 1968
The Supreme Object of Love
If love of God is taught by a religion, that religion should be considered first class-be it Christian, Hindu, Muslim, or whatever. God is the center of love, and since everything is God’s expansion, the lover of God is a lover of everyone. A lover of God does not discriminate by thinking only man should be loved and given service. No. He is interested in all living entities, regardless of the forms in which they happen to exist. When you water the root of a tree, you are nourishing all the parts of the tree-the trunk, branches, twigs, and leaves. When you give food to the stomach, you are satisfying the entire body. And when you love God, you love everyone and everything.- Beyond Illusion and doubt
In Remembrance of Lover
One who has developed attachment to Krishna is Krishna conscious. If you have attachment for your lover you always think of her. That is lover consciousness. It is stated that a woman who has another lover besides her husband shows her very attentive to her household duties, but is always thinking, “When shall my lover and I meet in the night?” This is an example. It is possible, in spite of our false engagement, if we love somebody, to think of him always. If materially it is possible, why not spiritually? – Krishna consciousness, the Top Most Yoga System
Perverted Love
In conditional life the living entity is attracted by the face, eyebrows or eyes, a voice or anything. In short, everything becomes attractive. When a man or a woman is attracted by the opposite sex, it does not matter whether the opposite sex is beautiful or not. The lover sees everything beautiful in the face of the beloved and thus becomes attracted. This attraction causes the living entity to fall down in this material world. -Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.25.31, purport
Krishna’s Unlimited Love
If you make your friendship with Krishna that will never break. If you make your master Krishna, you’ll never be cheated. If you love Krishna as your son, He’ll never die. Similarly, if you love Krishna as your lover or husband, He will be the best husband, the best lover. There will be no divorce. That is Krishna consciousness. Because Krishna is the Supreme Lord, He is unlimited, and He has unlimited number of devotees. -Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.13-14, New York, August 1, 1966
The Six Exchanges of Love
To love Krishna, you don’t require any material acquisition. So if somebody says, “Oh, I have to bring fruit and flower at least, and incense to the temple, otherwise…” Yes. That is the sign of love. There are six signs of love. What are they? You give something to your lover, and you accept something from your lover. dadati pratigrhnati guhyam akhyati pṛcchati bhunkte bhojayate caiva ṣad-vidham prīti-laksanam. One should give the lover eatables and accept eatables from him or her. You should not keep anything secret within your mind, and the lover should not keep anything secret within the mind. If these six kinds of exchanges are there, then there is love. And that love should be without any reason and without being stopped by any material cause. -Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.6, London, August 26, 1971
Various Loving Exchanges with Krishna
A devotee is in a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in one of five different ways:
1. One may be a devotee in a passive state;
2. One may be a devotee in an active state;
3. One may be a devotee as a friend;
4. One may be a devotee as a parent;
5. One may be a devotee as a conjugal lover. – Bhagavad-gita, Introduction
There are twelve different kinds of rasas, or ecstatic relationships which are shared with Krishna. Five of these rasas are direct, and they are listed as neutrality, servitude, fraternal love, parental love and conjugal love. Seven of the rasas are indirect, and they are listed as humor, astonishment, chivalry, compassion, anger, dread and ghastliness. The five direct rasas are eternally manifested in the Vaikuntha world, the spiritual kingdom, whereas the seven indirect rasas are eternally manifesting and unmanifesting in Gokula Vrindavana, where Krishna displays His transcendental pastimes in the material world. -Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 49
The two divisions of ecstasies experienced in the relationship of conjugal love are sambhoga (meeting) and vipralambha (separation). On the sambhoga platform the ecstasies are unlimited, and on the vipralambha platform they are four in number. The ecstasy exhibited before the lover and beloved meet, the ecstasy experienced between them after meeting, the state of mind experienced by not meeting, and the state of mind experienced after meeting but fearing separation are called vipralambha. That vipralambha serves as a nourishing element for future meetings. When the lover and beloved meet all of a sudden and embrace one another, they feel an ecstasy of happiness, and the state of mind they experience in that ecstasy is called sambhoga. -Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 14
God Becomes Visible by Love
To see God, there must be some condition. That condition is that unless you become a lover of God, God is not exposed to you. Otherwise God is there, always. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu [Bs. 5.38]. Sadaiva means always. That is Krishna consciousness. -Lecture on Narsimha-caturdashi, Boston, May 1, 1969
Separation Intensifies Love
The spontaneous attraction of Sri Krishna for His dearest parts and parcels generates an enthusiasm that obliges Sri Krishna and the gopis to meet together. To celebrate this transcendental enthusiasm, there is need of a sentiment of separation between the lover and beloved. In the condition of material tribulation, no one wants the pangs of separation. But in the transcendental form, the very same separation, being absolute in its nature, strengthens the ties of love and enhances the desire of the lover and beloved to meet. The period of separation, evaluated transcendentally, is more relishable than the actual meeting, which lacks the feelings of increasing anticipation because the lover and beloved are both present. – Cc. adi 4.31, purport
The mental state experienced before meeting is called purva-raga. The obstacles that impede the meeting between the lover and beloved are called mana, or anger. When the lover and beloved are separated, the mental state experienced is called pravasa. Feelings of separation which are present under certain conditions even when the lovers meet are called love anxieties (prema-vaicittya). Such love anxieties are exhibited in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.90.15) by Krishna’s queens, who kept awake nights and watched Him sleep. Afraid of being separated from Krishna, they talked among themselves about how they had been affected by His beautiful eyes and smile. – Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 14
Lover and the Beloved-who is Greater?
Krishna as Lord Caitanya was playing the part of Radharani. Krishna wanted to understand what is there in Radharani. So that feature of Krishna is Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya is not different from Krishna, but the feature in which Krishna is trying to understand Radharani, that is Lord Caitanya. So Radharani’s position is greater than Krishna’s. -Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 7.1, San Francisco, September 10, 1968
Lover and the Beloved Never Become One
Impersonalists do not know what love is. Their philosophy is oneness. So how there can be love, one? Is it possible? No. There must be two, the lover and the beloved. Krishna is already lover. He’s such a lover of you that He’s trying to get you back. That is Krishna’s attempt. “Please, My dear boy, or My dear friend, My dear servant…” Any way, as we are related, He’s after us. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.3, Paris, June 12, 1974