While the Pandavas were in their exile along with their queen Draupadi, once Draupadi asked Yudhishthir, how it was that he, the most virtuous of men and a disciple of Lord Krishna should suffer in so much misery? To this Yudhishthir answered, ‘The Himalayas, how grand and beautiful they are; I love them. They do not give me anything, but my nature is to love the grand, the beautiful, therefore I love them. Similarly, I love the Lord. He is the source of all beauty, of all sublimity. He is the only object to be loved; my nature is to love Him and therefore I love. I do not pray for anything, I do not ask for anything. Let Him place me wherever He likes. I must love Him for love’s sake. I cannot trade in love.’
Recently read the above excerpt in one of Swami Vivekananda’s works. This made me think, what Yudhshithir talks about here is pure, unadulterated love for the Himalayas and for the Lord. If one is able to learn this art of loving for at least one, then in all probability this becomes one’s second nature and one would not know any other way to love anybody or anything.
Perhaps this approach is what makes the whole difference. Usually the biggest obstacle in our path to happiness and peace is that we malign the pure feeling of love with continuously appraising the object of our love. We want to keep making sure that the one who is the target of our love is worthy of our feelings or is doing enough to deserve it. We constantly put our loved ones to test to check their validity for our feelings towards them. The feelings and emotions that are supposed to be pristine and immaculate are always burdened with various conditions and caveats.
How can that be called love then when it is not just for the sake of love, rather, it is fit to be called trade. Unconditional love doesn’t test, doesn’t judge, doesn’t bargain and doesn’t budget. It flows unhindered, immaterial of what comes back.
More often than not, we tend to apply the same evaluating mind when it is us and that supreme power. Seemingly favourable situations in our life make our faith firmer while it runs the risk of disappearing as soon as we encounter any upheaval. Let us learn to love Him for love’s sake.