By – Shilpa shah, director in-charge, HKBBA College
“International Valentine’s Day” is a day to show affection and love which is celebrated every year on 14th February in the memory of Saint Valentine, a symbol of affection and love which has been determined by the western church. On this day, the lover petals display their love through various gifts such as cards, flowers, other lovely things. In India, love has a very high and sacred place. And people worship RADHAKRISHNA the symbol of holy love. It is altogether a different story that the society that worships RADHAKRISHNA often has strong objections against the love birds. In fact, I firmly believe that we have not understood love in its true sense. Sometimes it seems like we are only fooling ourselves by pretending to love without understanding by celebrating a day like Valentine’s Day.
There are many instances in front of your eyes where the society or family worshiping RADHA-Krishna sometimes cannot understand or accept the love of the youth, then it seems that the society worshiping RADHA-Krishna does not know why they worship RADHA-Krishna? What RADHA-Krishna symbolized and what is the meaning of their life? Like me, all of you must have the experience that the children of the same society in which the devotion and worship of RADHA-Krishna takes place, when they fall in love with someone, the parents cannot accept the love of the children. Sometimes they become very violent, trying to break their love, successful or unsuccessful. If they succeed in such endeavors they nurture their ego and enjoy doing something excellent and if they fail they break off the relationship with their own children only as a punishment for love. In both cases the victory is not of love because love is nothing but deep lovely understanding and concern that most of us do not have.
The society that worships RADHA-Krishna has to understand that there is no special reason for worshiping RADHA-Krishna except the mutual love of both towards each other with infinite, pure, selfless and deep understanding. Moreover, don’t ever think that love is just attachment or infatuation because love has eternal bliss while attachment has endless pain. In attachment there is a constant desire and expectation to get something while in love there is a constant feeling of being happy by giving. When love becomes so deep, selfless and supernatural it becomes a symbol of worship or devotion. So on this special day, if our love can be made selfless supernatural and made a symbol of devotion, then the celebration becomes meaningful.
But identifying love is not easy for everyone. To understand divine love or to see it properly, divine eyes are required. In the selfish and deceitful age we live in, the word love seems like a curse because in the name of love we only exploit each other. As long as our desire-expectation is satisfied by the lover, we remain interested in it. But if a lover wants to indulge in his own paradise, the burden of forced confinement is imposed on him. Where love not only destroys but trust on love is lost.
Society cannot understand or accept the love between two people as each society has pre-determined standards of love by which they determine happiness. If a person loves according to those standards, it becomes valid or acceptable, otherwise it is rejected with a passion. If it is loved on the basis of factors like wealth, beauty, prestige, high caste, so-called rites, religion, etc., then it is happily accepted. It is also true that today’s youth do not have the sense of true love. It is natural to create problems due to lack of knowledge or identity of what true love is. Only external affection or attraction is understood as love and regrets for a lifetime. Blame each other and criticize love at the last. I think the elders and the society are also responsible for this because they have not taught the children to recognize the true love.
My personal opinion is that we do not consider love or affection necessary for marriage. If the condition of love or marriage is wealth, decency, prestige, beauty, status, caste etc., then it literally means that love is not a necessary condition for marriage or relationship in society. There is only a desire for the means of happiness and the attainment of prestige in the society and perhaps that is why in today’s society a person seems very restless, miserable with all the material pleasures. Because a loving life is the key to true happiness, which, as we all know, in the cycle of appearance, tradition and prestige, we first make love out of life and then find only love in the midst of complete material happiness for the rest of our lives. We long for love and regret not having love. But how can we regret for love because we ourselves have so sensibly abandoned it for the sake of material happiness?
The society that worships RADHA-Krishna does not have any resemblance in terms of age, caste, wealth, beauty. RADHA-Krishna’s relationship is not appropriate according to any factors or norms determined by society. Because RADHA-Krishna is neither a suitable pair in terms of age nor is there any matching in His beauty. There is no resemblance even in terms of wealth, one is king and the other is average. Even in age, inequality is seen like female elder and male younger. In terms of beauty also one brunette and other is fair. Even though it is not acceptable according to the pre-determined factors or norms of the society, the worship of RADHA-Krishna has been going on for ages. If such a deep understanding and noble spirit is maintained towards our youth or love birds, then perhaps suffering can be eliminated from life. But the greatest problem of the society is that we can never have such a noble spirit towards the youth or love birds.
I think at-least the society and families who worship the RADHA-Krishna should nurture their children with due respect and acceptance of love rather than many worldly factors and norms like wealth, status, religion, clan, beauty because the worship of anything cannot be without understanding. Otherwise it will only be monotonous action. Those people are really special and blessed who worship RADHA-Krishna for their pure love. But that worship can never be result-oriented if it is just a mechanical action without a noble spirit. In fact, it is not that we do not prefer love at all, but if that love is subject to the standards we have determined (race, religion, status, wealth, beauty, nobility, etc.). But if that love is not subject to or suited to such worldly standards, then that love is not valid for us. This means that there are more such pre-determined norms and factors important than love in our lives. From the very beginning of life, when we know that we have taught all the wrong standards to our children unknowingly, it is natural that the children will be attracted only by such factors which we have determine and taught them and they obviously consider it as love. When he is not happy after being attracted by such factors, he will blame love and run away from love.
Man is a social animal and his basic energy is affection, love and warmth. But we have never made our children aware of that energy so that they live in search of such love energy for the rest of their lives based on the factors we have taught them but love has nothing to do with such pre-determined norms or factors. So that our children can never find true love energy and search for something like lifelong love. When it fails, it reinforces the belief that there is no such thing as love in society and that it continues to spread hatred and negativity. Through which he himself can never breathe a sigh of relief but also spreads the wrong message to the people connected with him and others around him. Under the influence of it many others come and the life energy is deprived of getting the same love. Pure and divine energy like love must be identified and understood in its true form. Giving the same understanding to the children is also essential. If such true loving sacraments are not inculcated in the offspring from childhood, they will ruin life by understanding vain attraction as love and will be deprived of making life meaningful by gaining divine energy through the attainment of true love.
Modern man is advancing so high in the sky of egoistic ambition that the facility of approaching love is diminishing. There is a love temple in VRINDAVANA where RADHA’s feet are in Krishna’s lap. Can we imitate like this, because the male ego can never accept it. But ego has no place in love. The ego always thinks that what will be gained by doing this? Ego always has purpose while love has no purpose. The JIVAN-SADHANA is the only true DHARMA SADHANA or PREM-SADHANA it can only be full of love. The basis of life is love that we may have forgotten. We have to understand that we are trying to make life happy by removing the basic pillar of life that is love and affection, we are trying to sustain life on the pillar of false parameters such as wealth, caste, religion which is impossible. So let’s understand and accept the depth of love on this special day of “Valentine’s Day” and let’s celebrate this festival of love. This festival of love “Valentine’s Day” brings new energy and vitality in life through which the whole life becomes healthy, calm, safe and prosperous. It doesn’t matter if we can’t learn anything else in life, but we must learn true love. Let us make love unlimited without limiting it, expand it as much as possible and include the creatures of the entire universe in it as there is no other power in the world like the power of love. Happy Valentine’s Day to all.