Love as a “Religion”: Vedanta Philosophy

Ramakrishna Paramhansa Dev

“Vedanta teaches us that consciousness is singular, and happenings are played out in an universal consciousness and there is no multiplicity of selves.”- Erwin Schrodinger

There is much of a discussion about the fact if Vedanta should be considered a religion or just a philosophy. The most profound thing about Vedanta is that it is vast, it takes into consideration about spirituality as well as science. One time you’re talking about a particular religion and at the end you end up talking about the entire cosmos!

If we look closely, the vedanta is not just about an ideology but it is a way, a way to live life at the fullest. I personally found many instances which clearly indicates a close connection of Vedanta philosophy with Bhagwat Geeta. Let’s take three instances to have a better understanding of the concept of “Love”. Firstly, there are “things” which we love, the inanimate things such as our favourite coffee mug or our favourite city or a movie. There is no reciprocation in these kinds of love. You can say these things give you pleasure, bliss and peace but these things don’t love you back. Do they? In Bhagwat Geeta, these kinds of material attachment is called avinivesha. But it’s important to assess that in these kinds of love “I-ness” or you can say, individual ego is mandatory because the “things” are not to be loved universally but it is “I” who gives out the privilege to it being love worthy.

Secondly, you can take the example of a “trophy wife”, in which the sole importance is given to ego boost and nothing else. The love is just to support your partner through a constant upliftment of individual ego. Thirdly comes the selfless love which most of the ancient cultures and ideologies give utter importance and considers it to be the purest of all. Platonic love is one of the examples of this which is described in the theory of “The other half”. But, it is important to know that the most selfless love contains the dimension of attachment which is mentioned in Bhagwat Geeta as “raga”. These concepts of “Bhishma- individual ego”, “avinivesha- material attachments”, “raga- attachments”, “kripa- ignorance and delusion” are considered to be “kleshas- troubles” which refrain human beings to attain the eternal “love” or divine love.

According to Shree Ramkrishna Paramhansa Dev, every religion is same and each one of them provides us with the path to divine love. He studied Sufism, Christianity, Hindu scriptures and so on, and finally with introspection, he came to the self realisation that each religion teaches us to attain the ultimate truth and indulge in divine love. So, in a nutshell, he suggested that the means to attain divine love might be different but the end is always the same. For example, Greek mythology provides us with the concept of Eros and Aphrodite, the Romans referred them as Cupids and Venus and just like that Hindu scriptures explains Eros and Cupids as “Kamdeva”. It is evident from the example that the depictions might have been different but their functions are all the same.

Ramkrishna Paramhansa Dev always stated the idea of “Divinity in humanity”. The only way to attain the divine love is through the acts of humanity. So, he says that “god is there in each one of us” and if we want to attain the divine love, we need to love each and every human being selflessly. Not only human beings, he suggests that “god is even in other animate as well as inanimate objects” which clearly gives us a hint of Buddhism. In a way, he asserts that we have to fall in love with the cosmos in order to attain the eternal love. The vedanta philosophy gives preference to the fact that we all are connected with each other and ultimately to the divine one, over the concept of individualism. We all are a part of a single entity and hence there is nothing as “I”. We are bound by a single consciousness and hence we must devout ourselves from different “kleshas” in order to attain the spirituality needed to uplift our souls and find the love we seek.

Published by Arpan Roy

Just a Bibliophile!

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