Falling in Love - What Does it Mean?

In the world of spirituality stemming from Eastern cultures and philosophy the higher sentiments are related to divine a...

Falling in Love - What Does it Mean?

West Verses East

Wedded (87K)
Wedded Bride and Groom. Photo © [Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa]
What is Love?

A saying in Sikhism goes, "In the West you marry the one you love, in the East you love the one you marry."

Western Outlook On Worldly Love

February 04, 2016: To the Western way of thinking love is the highest ideal of selfless devotion and readiness to give. However half of all love match marriages in the Western world fail.

To the Eastern way of thinking love seems to be dirty word used to denote dark passions and self indulgence in desire.

Yet in arranged marriage the ideals of selfless love and devotion prevail.

In the material world love is scrutinized based on Western views of psychology and science.

Western world psychologists have created the Triangular Theory of Love (not to be confused with a love triangle, or the trinity), basing successful relationships on a mix and balance of the components intimacy, passion, and commitment, to define degrees of love.

Western world science has isolated neuro chemical and hormonal responses occurring in the brain to certain stimuli, to explain love.

Eastern Insights On Spiritual Love

In the world of spirituality stemming from Eastern cultures and philosophy the higher sentiments are related to divine attributes.

Over 2000 years ago the apostle Paul wrote that love is patient, and caring, love has no envy. Love does not boast, nor is it proud. Corinthians 14:4

In Sikhism, regardless of the gender assignment of the human form, every soul is a bride of the divine.

More than 500 years ago, Guru Nanak the first spiritual master of Sikhism wrote of the sacred nature of love between the soul and divine groom:

  • "Naanak dhan suhaaganee jin seh naal piaar
    O Nanak, blessed is that fortunate bride, who is in love with her Husband Lord." ||5||13|| SGGS||18
Third Guru Amar Das wrote of the soul bride and the intimacies of her marriage bed when merged in sacred union with her divine groom:

  • "Saej suhaavee har rang ravai bhagat bharae bhanddaar ||
    Upon her beautiful bed, her Lord she enjoys lovingly filled to overflowing with the treasure of devotion." SGGS||38

  • "Sabad ratee sohaaganee satigur kai bhaa-e piaar ||
    Attuned to the sacred word the happy soul-bride is in love with the True Enlightener.
    Sadaa raavae pir aapanaa sachai praem piaar ||
    Ever She enjoys the ravishes of her Beloved, with true affection and love.
    At suaalio sundaree sobhaavantee naar ||
    She is extremely lovely and lovable, a beautiful noble praiseworthy wife.
    Naanak naam sohaaganee maelee maelanehaar ||2||
    O Nanak, with the holy name the soul-bride is united with the Lord by his union. ||2|| SGGS||90

The four hymns of lavan composed by Fourth Guru Raam Das for his own marriage are sung during the matrimonial rounds of a Sikh wedding. The hymn tell of the progressive stages of love, and the joining of souls culminating in the spiritual union of the soul bride with her husband God.
  • Har prabh thaakur kaaj rachaa-i-aa dhan hir-dhai naam vi-gaa-see|| The Lord God Master blends with the bride whose heart blossoms in the illumination of his name forthwith. SGGS||773
Fifth Guru Arjan Dev wrote of the attributes and ecstatic union of the happy and blissful soul-bride who is the beloved of her divine bride groom:
  • Jit ghar pir sohaag banaaiaa ||
    That house, where the soul-bride has wed her Lord Husband is celebrated
    Tit ghar sakheeeae mangal gaaiaa ||
    In that house, my spiritual companions sing songs of rejoicing.
    Anad binod titai ghar soheh jo dhan kant sigaaree jeeo ||1||
    Joy, delight, and bliss decorate that house, in which the Lord Husband has adorned His soul-bride. ||1||

    Saa gunavantee saa vaddabhaagan ||
    She is virtuous, and she is utmostly fortunate.
    Putravantee seelavant sohaagan ||
    Blessed with sons, the tender hearted soul-bride is dear to her Husband.
    Roopavant saa sugharr bichakhan jo dhan kant piaaree jeeo ||2||
    Beautiful is She, the wise and clever soul-bride is beloved of her bridegroom. ||2||

    Achaaravant saaee paradhaanae ||
    She is noble mannered utmost distinguished.
    Sabh singaar banae tis giaanae ||
    All adornments decorate her wisdom.
    Saa kulavantee saa sabharaaee jo pir kai rang savaaree jeeo ||3||
    She is from a family of utmost respect, she is a queen adorned with the love of her Beloved. ||3|

    Mehimaa tis kee kehan na jaaae ||
    Her glory is indescribable.
    Jo pir mael lee ang laa-ae ||
    She melts merged in the Embrace of her Husband Lord.
    Thir suhaag var agam agochar jan naanak praem saadhaaree jeeo ||4||4||11||
    Eternal is her wedded life, her Groom Inaccessible and Incomprehensible, O Servant Nanak, His love is her support. ||4||4||11|| SGGS||97

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