Love and Knowledge

The difference between knowledge and love is that knowledge continually tries to banish duality but love retains it as a precious treasure and itself remains without duality. Love is a condition like that of one life and two bodies. A devotee is so absorbed in the love of the Lord that he is not aware of any distinction between himself and the Lord, he does not see the Lord as a separate entity, but realizes that he and the Lord are One. Intellect cannot understand this, because it is one of the mysteries of spirituality and cannot be comprehended by intellect alone.

Shamas-i-Tabrez says:

I am a strange Shamas-i-Tabriz, for I have become the lover of my own life; by looking within and worshiping within myself, I find God and nothing else.

Dadu says:

The love for my Beloved has been so ingrained in my body that every cell cries out, ‘Oh my Love, oh my Love! Except for You there is no other’.

The truth is that it is necessary to write love letters to the Beloved only if the Beloved is really at some distance, but when He is in the body; He is in the mind and He is in the very life, how can one send messages to Him by means of letters?


People generally do not consider that knowledge and love are necessary for Spiritual Life, and they select either the path of love or that of knowledge, according to their inclination. There are others who consider the path of action to be the true path and therefore spend their life in doing good deeds for others. Actually, both knowledge and love should completely combine and manifest themselves in the form of good actions.

Love and knowledge awaken discernment in us, as a result of which virtuous actions are performed spontaneously. Love and knowledge are really not two different paths, but the combination of these two is the very core of life. They are also the beauty of life and in their combination lies true life. They are the two sides of one Truth, the two wings of the same bird. If True Knowledge is awakened or developed, the river of real love immediately begins to flow.

The heart is the haven of Love. For the One; whom our intellect wishes to know by means of knowledge, our heart tries to feel true love. We can meet that One by means of knowledge, but real union can be attained only through love. Knowledge takes us up to that One, but love makes us merge into Him. Those who consider it sufficient to meet Him cannot experience the ecstasy of merging into Him. There is no difference between Love and True Knowledge.

What is love? It is another name for dedicating one’s affection. 

The Ish Upanishads says:

Whatever is in existence in this world is filled with God. You should therefore cover this world with the Name of God. (Always remember that God is in everything and everywhere.)

One has to surrender oneself to God. Then there is nothing but God. This is love. This is knowledge. You may think about this and you may even carefully discuss it, but you will not find any difference between true knowledge and love.

The heart is given away and it makes its centre in the Beloved and remains fixed there. This is true knowledge. Knowledge does not mean merely to understand or to know. It actually means to become that which we really are, i.e., to know ourselves. 

The Upanishad then continues:

Whatever has been given by Him you should enjoy by renunciation. Do not be attached to it. And do not covet the wealth of another.

The highest type of love for the lover is to live in the Will of the Beloved. If we imbibe this quality, we attain true knowledge. Those who are entangled in desires and in greed cannot achieve true knowledge.

To know God in other words, is to love Him and to merge into Him, to be filled with His unique beauty and to become One with Him.