Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why we love the ones we do?

Brihadaranyaka Upnishad of Yajur Ved is the oldest Primany Upnishad available. The setting of the texts is in the forest hence the name which means Brihadaranyaka (great-wilderness) Upnishad in Sanskrit

It was written by Rishi Yagnyavalkya of Mithila in the times of Gupta Dynasity around 320-500 CE (appx.). He had two wives. Katyayini and Maitreyi. Katyayini was adept at managing the household whereas Maitreyi was a scholar of Brahmhavidya.

Yagnyavalkya decided to renounce the world. He called both his wives and told them of his decision.

Maitreyi questioned him about why he wished to burden them with what he himself wished to renounce (worldly possessions). She was more interested in knowing why he wished to go and what would bring them the liberation that he was in quest of as well.

End of the conversation between Yagnyavalkya and Maitreyi in the 5th statement of the 4th chapter of the 2nd part of the Upnishad (Br. 2.4.5) brings to light a universal truth-

आत्मनस्तु कामाय सर्वं प्रियं भवति 
 - Not for the sake of the beings are the beings loved, but they are loved for the sake of self.

It means that attachments are born of the conviction that this particular object or this particular person can bring me happiness. Conclusions born of this erroneous belief give rise to various likes and dislikes.

If 'I love you' or 'I love this' were indeed for the happiness of the other person or object then when the person or the object went away, we would be happy for them because there alone lies their happiness. But we are not. We are sad for our grief. Our loss.

Personal fullness (internal peace which has no gradation) is the motive for all things we love. It is not for the other person whom we profess eternal love to but for our very own self that we impose our love onto others.


  1. When we become aware of this we can train ourselves to be happy for the ones who leave us rather than grieving at our own loss, and thus regain peace of mind.

  2. so true...we all grieve for our loss more than for the person who has departed...more affected your life is, more you grieve


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