Finding love is our greatest need; it brings true fulfillment in life. Without love, we are lonely and emotionally starving. But what is real love? We often mistake temporary pleasures exchanged between husband and wife to be love. But these flickering sensations are like a mirage. A person lost in the desert searches desperately for an oasis of water, and in that desperation, due to longing and hopefulness, sometimes a mirage appears before him or her. That person thinks that the mirage can quench the thirst, but all that is got is a mouthful of hot sand. This is the story of many married couples today – they hope for true love from the mirage of mere bodily relationships.
To understand what real love is, we have to understand who we really are. The basic teaching of the Bhagavad-Gita is that we are not the body nor the mind, but that we are the living force. Our potential is to love and our need is to be loved. Exchange of spiritual love is what we long for. Our mind and senses (e.g. eyes, ears, etc.) are merely the instruments through which we experience life; they cannot quench our thirst for spiritual love.
The Bhagavad Gita explains that every living being is a part of God just like every ray emanating from the sun is a part of the sun. When we discover the love of God that is within our own hearts, we see an inseparable part of God in the heart of every living being—and also see it in our own husband or wife. When we actually understand our spiritual relationship with God, we also understand our spouse’s spiritual relationship with God, and start seeing him or her in that light.
Our natural position is that we are eternal servants of God. This is a universal principle. In the Bible, Jesus says, “What is the use if you gain the whole world but lose your eternal soul?” The first great commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, mind, and soul. The natural consequence of such love of God is that we start loving our neighbor as dearly as we love ourselves. And our closest neighbor is in our own house – our own spouse.