Thursday, April 20, 2006

LOVE

Love knows how to go into unseen and unknown, to conquer the unfamilar and uncharted, knows how to surrender and how to rise. Love is the greatest courage.Trust Love. Dont just fall in it, rise in it. (S.S.)

WHAT IS LOVE?

The eternal question that arises time and again. The closest I have heard to the truth that reverberates in my heart is that Love is a verb, an action. To love someone means not just that you feel tenderness and joy with them but that you show them by your actions, by the way you treat them, what is in your heart.
In Buddhist philosophy, which I follow, it is said that there are many kinds of love, perhaps expression is a better word. The love of a mother for her child, the love of a child for its parents, examples of this can be found in nature, the animal kingdom. If love is instinctive, as in the protection of one's own offspring then all beings have access to it. Even a spider will protect its young, some keep them close to their own bodies until the eggs hatch. Scorpions, snakes and crocodiles too.
That pure feeling arises in many different forms. The love of friends, spouses, devotion to beliefs or ideals, lovers, nations, pets. Sometimes people can even emote towards objects which are for our purposes without responses, like cars, boats and the like. Some pets have better lives than most people in the world, being lavished with love, affection, tenderness and every wish fulfilled.
When I punched in Love to the image section of Google I was astounded by the 3.9million response of images. Actually just taking a tour of this menagerie of visuals on love was in itself a teaching on the subject.

Here is a story I read about an amazing feat of love. This was actually witnessed by scientists in the field who were studying these animals.
One day there was a mother rhino with her baby who stopped at the watering hole to get some precious water during the dry season. Because it was drying up though, the baby rhino only a couple of weeks old became marooned in the very deep mud beside the watering hole. The mother raced frantically back and forth, watching helplessless as her baby sank deeper in with its struggles. The baby was crying and the mother was snorting and pacing not knowing what to do. All this commotion served to attract a herd of elephants who were moving through the area. Now elephants and rhinos are known enemies. So the herd respectfully kept its distance. Except for one female at the back. She paused and reviewed the situation. The mother rhino began making ominous charges at this intruder but not wanting to leave her baby she would race back and call to it from the banks. The elephant made her decision. She pushed into the deep mud and with her trunk she tenderly removed the baby rhino and placed her within safe distance of her mother on drier land. The elephant then turned and rejoined the herd.
The scientists observing this were astounded. They had not expected such behaviour from an animal who was not only from another species but one that is usually in direct conflict with the rhinos. One simply cannot explain this except by love which reaches beyond our boundaries, beyond our beliefs about the world, beyond our conceptions.


Again, another example is the story of the lioness and the oryx. She almost starved to death protecting the baby that was of the species she would usually eat. (please see link) There are many examples of this behaviour within the animal kingdom and our own culture.
Will this bring us closer to Truth? I believe so for if love surpasses all our notions and we strive to understand it then that shall bring us closer to the Noble heart of Truth.

2 comments:

wyldeotse said...

insight on love as action, moving not only hearts but mountains.

wonderful stories.

news-wire out of southern africa, about a year ago or less: a young woman had been abducted by several men to a remote area, where they were beginning to harm her. her terrified screams attracted three lions , who chased off the terrified-in-turn abductors. the lions guarded her for a while and then left without harming her.

Upasaka said...

Beautiful