“Rose by any name would smell as sweet”
The well-known quote by the well-known lover – Romeo, is a good preface to talk about love. Whether this true love really exists!
Romeo quoted it about his romance to his pure Juliet. Still, the concept of “Love” cannot be narrowed down to romance only.
Love is among the first emotions a living being develops after birth. The first spark of love a newborn strike is for the mother who is his first guardian. It is the earliest experience of love for any living being. Then followed by the love for father, siblings, relatives, and friends in turns, as the neurological developments take place. So much for the biological side of love.
Fulfilling the need for love, however, is not simple and straightforward. It is thoroughly person dependent and individualistic. It is closer to expressions like safety. A condition one satisfies as safe may. It depends on many factors’ individual to the person. Whatever nature, love is a sophisticated scenario. Be it, mother, to child or maiden to master or husband to wife or friend to friend…. or whatever you may say…it is a riddle for life to solve!
Let us move a bit deeper down this complex emotion. It is capable of invoking a bunch of other emotions (both complex and simple). These other emotions invoked by love are also individualistic and personality dependent. If listed, some of them are lust, anger, craving, jealousy, kindness, selfishness and self-less both and so many.
The explanation in eastern philosophies about love does not closely follow the biological explanations. It takes a totally different approach in fact. According to the eastern philosophies, the mind influences the origination of thoughts, using knowledge gathered in one’s mind. Furthermore, this knowledge gathered mind is a continuous process that takes place life long and over the cycle of rebirth. Thus, our experience in the past and our conduct in general attributes this conditioning process.
The Buddhist philosophy, in particular, explains clearly ecstasy and the pain suffered in love is purely due to this conditioning. Hence, the subject of our love cannot give us happiness when love wins. Nor can it give us the sadness when love fails. But the bundle of feelings we hold on towards it plays the trick.
Consequently, we hold on to an intangible, superficial, impermanent bulk of feelings. We call it love. In a way, it is a kind of irony. These feelings on the other hand are nothing but a stream of thoughts. They appear like sparks when there are causes for their existence. Disappear without traces when the causes are no more. The vicious conditioning in the mind makes us feel this permanent. Thus, we hold on to bygone.
In retrospect, the rose would always smell sweet in the superficial conditioned mind of the lover. But not in reality.