Chapter 3: Finding Quality in Life
Fill your life with love. But you will say, “We always love.” And I tell you, you rarely love. You might be longing for love.and there is a vast difference between the two. To love and to need love are two very different things. Most of us remain like children all our lives because everyone is looking for love. To love is a very mysterious thing; to long for love is a very childish thing. Small children want love; when the mother gives them love they grow. They want love from others also and the family loves them. Then when they grow older, if they are husbands they want love from their wives, if they are wives they want love from their husbands. And whoever wants love suffers because love cannot be asked for, love can only be given. In wanting there is no certainty that you will get it. And if the person from whom you expect love also expects love from you, it is a problem. It will be like two beggars meeting and begging together. All over the world there are marital problems between husbands and wives, and the only reason for this is that both expect love from each other but are unable to give love.
Think about this a little - your constant need for love. You want someone to love you, and if someone loves you you feel good. But what you don’t know is that the other loves you only because he wants you to love him. It is just like someone throwing bait to fish: he does not throw it for the fish to eat, he throws it to catch the fish. He does not want to give it to the fish, he only does it because he wants the fish. All the people that you see in love around you are only throwing bait to get love. They will throw the bait for a while, until the other person starts feeling that there is a possibility of getting love from this person. Then he too will start showing some love until eventually they realize that both of them are beggars. They have made a mistake: each had thought the other was an emperor. And in time each one realizes that he is not getting any love from the other, and that’s when the friction starts.
That’s why married life is thought to be hell, because you all want love but you don’t know how to give it. This is the basic cause of all fights. As long as what I am saying does not happen, the relationship between a husband and a wife will never be harmonious, no matter what adjustments you make, no matter what kind of marriage you have, no matter what rules society makes. The only way to make it better is if you realize that love can only be given and not asked for. It can only be given. Whatever you receive is a blessing, it is not a reward for loving. Love is to be given and whatever you receive is just a blessing, it is not a reward. And even if you don’t receive anything you are always happy that you were able to give.
If the husband and wife were to start giving love instead of asking for it, life could become heaven for them. And this world is so mysterious that if they love more and stop asking for it, they will receive more love and experience this mystery. And the more they love the less they will be involved in sex.
Gandhi was visiting Sri Lanka with his wife, Kasturba. When Gandhi told the person who was to introduce him at the first function that Ba, his wife, was also with him, this person thought that Gandhi meant his mother. From the word ba, mother, he had taken it to mean that Gandhi’s mother had also come with him. So introducing Gandhi he said, “It is a great privilege to have Gandhi here, and his mother is also here.”
Ba was a bit surprised. Gandhi’s secretary was also present, and he was afraid that he had made a mistake because he should have told the man who it was that was with Gandhi. He was afraid that Gandhi would be angry with him and feel insulted.
But what Gandhi said was quite amazing. He said, “The person who introduced me has by mistake said something true about me, because for a few years Ba has stopped being my wife and she has now become my mother.”