Love and Lust
Love is not the name of sensual desires, in which there is a preponderance of lust. True love cannot be found in everybody. Generally, people love with selfish motives. Love and sensual desires are two different things. There is a world of difference between them. One is a unique life-giving current, while the other is a filthy evil that drains life out of the body.
Lust is always for selfish gains. A lustful person tries to make the other person the object of the satisfaction of his desires. But true love aims at giving happiness and comfort to the beloved. Such a lover has the quality of enduring pain in order to give pleasure and happiness to the beloved, and is happy in the will of the beloved.
Love sacrifices body, mind, beauty, youth, intellect, wealth and even life at the altar of the Lord’s temple. A lustful person is always restless and desires to keep the object of love with him. Lust is full of darkness. Love is full of light, like the sun. Lust is selfish, but love wishes to give even itself. Lust aims at self-gratification, but love is satisfied only when it sees others happy. Lust is like a dark whirlpool of agitation, but love is like a clear stream. Lust is like coal, but love has the value of a diamond.
Love gives away everything for the Beloved and is restless if the Beloved is not constantly in his mind. Lust causes the loss of all strength of mind and cannot concentrate on any one thing. Lust is limited and causes increasing debility and selfishness. It is the cause of trouble, hatred, dejection, peevishness, and restlessness of mind. A lustful person falls low in his own eyes (estimation), but a lover is free from all these evils and is able to detach his soul from the world. He actually makes love a spring-board for meeting the Lord.
The innate quality of a man is love. But this very power or current of love, if directed towards sensual desires, removes a person from the path leading to God-Realization. This misdirected energy is termed lust. But when this very current of love forsakes the pleasures of the senses and is directed towards God, it becomes the True or Divine Love.
The difference between lust and devotion to God is only in the direction in which the current of love flows.
It is not difficult to realize God. One simply directs the current from one end to the other.
For devotion to the Lord or His Love, it is not sufficient merely to renounce the desires for sensual pleasures superficially. It is necessary to give them up sincerely and with a strong will; otherwise the current of love will not move towards God. It is essential to eliminate all desires of the senses from the mind. By not loving or dwelling on the outer pleasures the inner attraction of the soul will automatically awaken.
Love is the natural inclination of the soul. It is impossible to separate it from the soul. A lover seeks a True Master, and love is the means of placing a man at the feet of the Lord in much the same manner as a worldly lover sacrifices himself for his beloved by forsaking his name, fame, etc.