Loving unconditionally doesn’t mean being unconditionally liberal; it means being unconditionally available
Some people ask, “If God loves us, why is his love conditional? Why does he forbid us from doing many enjoyable things?”
Krishna’s love is unconditional, but loving unconditionally doesn’t mean being unconditionally liberal. Let’s understand by considering a mother-child relationship. Will a loving mother allow her little girl to do whatever she wishes, say play with fire? Certainly not. She will prohibit her from doing dangerous things, and those prohibitions stem from her love. Similarly, Krishna’s love expresses itself as proscription of enjoyable-seeming things that actually entangle us in miserable material existence and deprive us of eternal spiritual happiness. As the child grows up, she understands how her mother’s prohibitions are for her good. Similarly as we grow up spiritually by gaining philosophical wisdom and devotional realization, we understand how Krishna’s proscriptions are for our good.
As we grow up spiritually by gaining philosophical wisdom and devotional realization, we understand how Krishna’s proscriptions are for our good.
If unconditional liberty is not the evidence of unconditional love, then what is?
Let’s understand by considering the father-son relationship. If a son rebelliously leaves his father’s home, a loving father will be always available for his prodigal son, ready to welcome him back. Similarly, when we turn away from Krishna, he awaits us in our heart as the Supersoul. No matter how sinful or offensive we become, he never abandons us.
Moreover, Krishna’s unconditional availability is not passive, but active. He doesn’t just wait for us to return; he descends to the material world for inviting us back and for sharing Gita wisdom as the map for our return journey. And as the Gita (18.64) indicates, it is his love that inspires him to share his most confidential secret – his selfless, tireless, endless love for everyone – and to earnestly urge us to reciprocate, thereby paving the way for our eventually entering his immortal world of love.