True Love transcends our human limitations and connects us to the divine.

When I first came across “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran, I was in the midst of a profound spiritual journey. Having already immersed myself in the complete works of Swami Vivekananda, I had developed a deep spiritual inclination. It was during this time that I became increasingly passionate about my beliefs, often engaging in spirited debates with family and relatives. I fervently argued about the superficiality of creature comforts and the facades that women, as wives and mothers, sometimes put on, all in an attempt to maintain an illusion of self-sacrifice while nurturing their own egos.

Then, I stumbled upon Khalil Gibran’s profound insights on love. His words resonated with me in a way that few others had. He wrote, “Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love.” Gibran’s definition of love struck a chord deep within my soul, and it forced me to reevaluate my perspective.

Kalil Gibran On LOVE:

Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
     And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
     When love beckons to you, follow him,
     Though his ways are hard and steep.
     And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
     Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
     And when he speaks to you believe in him,
     Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

     For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
     Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
     So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
     Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself
     He threshes you to make your naked.
     He sifts you to free you from your husks.
     He grinds you to whiteness.
     He kneads you until you are pliant;

     And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

     All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

     But if in your heart you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
     Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
     Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
     Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
     Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
     For love is sufficient unto love.

     When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
     And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

     Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
     But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
     To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
     To know the pain of too much tenderness.
     To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
     And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

     To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
     To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
     To return home at eventide with gratitude;
     And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

From The Prophet (Knopf, 1923).

In that moment, I realized a profound truth: Finding true love is akin to finding God — both are challenging endeavors that require deep introspection and a spiritual connection. Swami Vivekananda had emphasized in his complete works that embarking on a spiritual journey necessitates a willingness to confront hardships. He said, “The world is the great gymnasium where we come to make ourselves strong.”

Gibran’s definition of love echoed Vivekananda’s wisdom. Love, like the spiritual path, is not always easy. It demands patience, selflessness, and a deep understanding of oneself and others. Both Vivekananda and Gibran taught me that love is not merely an emotion; it is a profound force that unites us with the divine.

In essence, what I concluded from the teachings of these two great spiritual luminaries is this: Love is God. It is a force that transcends our human limitations and connects us to the divine. It is an unwavering light that guides us on our spiritual journey, helping us navigate the hardships and challenges along the way. Love, in its purest form, is our connection to the divine, and in embracing it, we find our path to God.

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