The notion that love can exist outside of sacrifice is a dangerous lie

In today’s world, many people equate love with feel-good. When they experience an overwhelming hormonal rush that makes feel them attracted and captivated by someone, they think they are in love. When that hormonal rush drops, they drop their “beloved” as if they were dropping a hot potato. 

Such unstable relationships arise from a misconception: the notion that love can exist outside of sacrifice. This notion is a dangerous lie. It’s a lie because in truth love requires sacrifice, including especially sacrifice of our feeling good so that we start doing what is good for our relationship. And it’s dangerous because it distances us from the very love that we think we are driving toward when we explore various commitment-free relationships.  

Just as uncommitted relationships with others in the world are unstable and unfulfilling, so is an uncommitted relationship with God. Just as deep relationships call upon us to come out of ourselves, so does deep devotion. The Bhagavad-gita (09.14) states that those devoted to Krishna endeavor with great determination to internally and externally glorify him. Why is endeavor needed? Because expressing devotion requires an effortful striving against our mind’s impurities and the world’s hostilities. 

Such striving centers on dedication and purification. Dedication means a giving of our entire being to God even when our mind’s moods make us feel like not giving even one part of our being to him. Purification means a purging of the many impure desires within us so that our pure spiritual core can manifest. When we thus become connected with and absorbed in Krishna, we relish a sublime spiritual richness that fills and floods the heart. That is the ultimate good feeling — a feeling that doesn’t just make us feel good, but also makes us good. 

Think it over:

  • Why is the notion that love can exist outside of sacrifice a dangerous lie? 
  • Why is endeavor needed in our relationship with God?
  • What is the ultimate good feeling?

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