08.15 – Beyond the love that hides to the love that guides
Parents sometimes hide their financial or familial problems from their children out of love.
But there are times that make such a love harmful, not helpful. As when a child is suffering from a serious disease and needs to cooperate in a demanding treatment plan.
Krishna manifests this kind of love in the Bhagavad-gita (08.15) when he shares the unsweetened truth about this world: it is a place of intrinsic misery and inevitable mortality (duhkhalyam ashashvatam).
The people around us, even those who love us dismiss such thinking as pessimistic– especially those who are not spiritually astute. This love that hides lulls us into a deadly denial that sentences us to unnecessary suffering.
We are souls who are meant for eternal happiness in spiritual love for Krishna. Due to the disease of material attachments, we suffer the misery and mortality that are inherent to material existence. The process of devotional service heals us by redirecting our love from matter to Krishna, thereby reinstating us in life eternal.
The love that guides is actually optimistic, not pessimistic; it focuses not on the problem but the solution. The same Gita verse that gives the gloomy-seeming assessment of the material world actually highlights the treatment plan of devotional service that helps us reclaim eternity.
However, the love that hides perpetuates the illusion that everything is ok with life at the material level. Such an illusion leaves little if any incentive for exploring the spiritual level, just as the illusion that one is healthy leaves little if any incentive for exploring treatment plans.
Love influences our choices more than anything else. That’s why we need to carefully choose which love becomes our defining influence: the love that hides or the love that guides.
The choice is ours – as will be the consequence.
After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection