LOVE, the most adorable and cherished human emotion. Have you ever thought about what love feels like deep down? You can say, YES! We have watched a lot of love stories and movies where we have learned about the concept of love. You think it is love, but you are wrong, my friend. Love is something different and far away from these stories and movies. Now, you will be wondering if this is not loving, then what love means. Let me elaborate for you. What is the difference between Love and Attraction?
Love is a set of emotions portrayed with affection, passion, intimacy, and commitment. It involves care, closeness, protectiveness, happiness, excitement, satisfaction, and trust. Usually, people do get confused between LOVE and ATTRACTION. Attraction is the feeling of liking somebody, especially sexually or the way they look or behave. Let us understand the true meaning of love and attraction by digging deeper into the sacred story of Tukaram and his wife and a few short holy stories.
TUKARAM AND HIS WIFE: A SACRED STORY
A long time ago, there was a man called Tukaram who lived with his wife. Tukaram was a divine follower of god and used to teach Bhagavatam to his wife and other devotees daily. But his wife, on the other hand, was very fond of household chores. She used to ignore his husband’s words. Therefore, she was not eligible for salvation as her mind was filled with other stuff. Tukaram tried to bring his wife to the right path but failed every time. One day, the divine aircraft came and took Tukaram because of his devotion and work. Although Tukaram offered his wife a seat on the aircraft, she didn’t reach on time because she prioritized her chores. He knew his wife didn’t deserve the seat and he still offered it because of the ‘MOHA/ATTRACTION’ he had towards his wife.
Instead of waiting for his wife, Tukaram decided to board his flight. If he had waited for his wife, he would have also lost his chance to go to heaven due to the excessive charisma (moha) he had for his wife. By god’s grace, he took the right decision and flew away. Tukaram preached the Bhagavatam to all the devotees including his wife. If only he preached to his wife, it would be ‘moha’ again. However, he shared his knowledge with everyone and in the end, choosing the right path of god.
A COUPLE OF STORIES
Now let’s read about few other short sacred stories. ADI SHANKARA, an Indian philosopher, and theologian wandered around the world and taught everyone about Advaita Vedanta. Attraction is responsible to bring down anyone from the highest state to the lowest form of state. HANUMAN and SHANKARACHARYA– both are the incarnations of Lord Shiva. The moha of his mother trapped lord Hanuman as he fought with lord Ram for the sake of his mother. Therefore, he fell from the state of Shiva to Jeeva. Hence, he was still in the form of the state, Jeeva (soul), and always said to the lord, Daso’ham which means I am a servant to you. On the contrary, Shankaracharya left his mother for the sake of god and didn’t have a moha. So, he was in his initial Shiva state and said Shivo’ham which means ‘I am Shiva’.
MORAL OF THE STORY
The Essence of Sadhana is to only dismantle the moha into worldly bonds and to have the charisma only for the lord. It should be proven in practice and need not be expressed by words or feelings. If you have attained the knowledge then only expect the achievement of useful things, if not today but surely after a while. Therefore, comprehensive knowledge and its awareness is the lord’s most important agenda. The individual who takes part in this program will feel very connected and beloved to the lord.
The only responsibility of a Sanyasi is to spread divine knowledge. Consequently, the sanyasi is the person who is closest and dearest to god, said in the Gita (Jnani Sacha mampriyah, Jnani tvatmaiva!!!). But, sannyasa doesn’t mean shaving your head and wearing saffron apparel. It means the spread of god’s understanding to raise all people in the world and connect them to god.
COMPREHENSION OF THE CONCEPT OF LOVE AND ATTRACTION
When you see a beautiful girl or a handsome guy, what do you feel? You instantly get the feeling of liking them. At that moment, you’re experiencing attraction, wrongly assuming it to be love. You’re just Attracted to him/her because he/she’s handsome or beautiful. The attraction is just glamorous and temporary. It happens because of one’s physical attributes and gets lost over time. It has a hidden desire which once fulfilled, makes a person feel unattractive. When you are attracted to a person, you want that person to be a part of your life and once you get that person in your life, you slowly begin to lose interest in them.
But Love, on the other hand, endures forever. It is selfless, permanent and it not only pulls physically but also makes a deeper connection between two souls. Love never wears off in time but grows slowly with time. When you find yourself in love, you have eternal feelings and emotions for that one person, you don’t just fall for their looks but also for the way they behave and outlook everything. When you are in love with the person, you overlook their flaws; you don’t find anyone more beautiful than that one person. You get happier in their happiness and wish for their success more than you do it for yourself. When someone becomes special, you support them in every aspect of their life, you give them immense respect and privacy. When you’re in love, you just completely accept the person as they are.
DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN LOVE AND ATTRACTION
- Attraction means being together all the time. You crave to meet your partner, talk to them till late hours, and share everything. But, on the other hand, love is about being together by not being together. You may be wondering it? Let me explain it to you. There are times when you aren’t able to be present in one’s happiness but you’re standing like a rock-solid in their hard times. Sometimes, due to our busy schedule, we are not able to meet or speak to that person but that person stays in our mind all the time.
- Attraction is just a pain. Yes, it is. You must be wondering how it is suffering. We suffer because we find it difficult to understand our partner. You only care for yourself as she/he is just your obsession. It never comes down to happiness. Love, on other hand, means understanding. Indeed, without comprehension, there is no love. Love teaches us to understand the person and their situation.
- Moha/Attraction is transitory. In today’s generation, we hardly know the person for who they really are, or in other words, we only know the person in a way the person wants us to know them. Now, people try to stand up to the expectations of high standards of the society of being beautiful or handsome, more, instead of being the person who they are. As I discussed in the beginning, attraction is the feeling of liking somebody because of the way they look. People get attracted to the person and confuse their mere attraction with love.
HOW LOVE IS DIFFERENT FROM ATTRACTION?
- Love is eternal which will never fade away due to any difficult period or separation. We accept people for who they are. We know their good and bad side and still wants to be with them.
- Attraction follows self-esteem and ego. We often label it as a victory when he/she accepts your proposal, if not, your self-esteem and ego are hurt. You start to have a feeling of hate and rage for that person, whereas, love comes with self-respect. If the person leaves you, you still want the best for them and want them to be happy. You still understand them and leave them amiable without any hatred.
- The Attraction is just another word for obsession. You get obsessed with being with that person every time and keep nagging about their little things which hurt you. Love is about freedom, privacy, and understanding. Being with a person you love makes you feel at home.
- Attraction is the act of lying to the person and our self too. You don’t let them see the real you, simply because you fear losing them. Love is about never lying to one another, never keeping things from them, or transparency.
PEOPLE’S PERSPECTIVE ON LOVE AND ATTRACTION
“Love is passionate, attraction is apathetic”
They say that the feeling closest to love is hatred, hence why after breaking up with someone, all this beautiful and interesting love turns into violent, passionate, and inexplicable hatred. When you’re just attracted to someone, though, you never really get that rage, you get paranoia, anxiety, and moments of irritation. Nevertheless, you don’t let these anxious feelings confuse you for anything as significant as real hatred.
“Love is selfless, whereas, attraction is self-centered”
When you fall in love, everything revolves around that one special person. For the first time in your life, you want to prioritize other people’s needs instead of your own. When it’s just the attraction, you merely care about their needs. You’re not worried about him or her, just looking out for yourself.
“Love is liberating, attraction is possession”
When you’re in love, you don’t have to see the person to feel secure; you don’t need to be with this person to understand what they’re feeling. You never question the affection of your love or become jealous. When it’s all about attraction, you never really get a grip on your partner’s feelings because the only time you feel safe is when you’re with him or her. When you’re apart, you can’t help but wonder what are they doing or with whom he or she is at the moment.
“Love is empowerment, attraction is authority”
There is no such thing as love that can make you feel that you can do anything. It gives you a new sense of freedom and rejuvenation. You’re alive and ready to rise to any occasion. When it’s only an attraction, it’s like a power struggle. You want to be sure that you’re the one in the relationship who’s not going to be left behind. You’re the one calling the shots and the one with the key to the handcuffs.
“Love isn’t bounded to time; attraction is all about a specific duration”
When you’re in love, you don’t think whether this relationship will work or not, that person will still be the love of your life. Attraction works oppositely. It is not real and is just like limbo for love. One day, one of you will find true love and all the attraction that you had for each other will fall as quickly as it mounted above.
AUTHOR’S POINT OF VIEW ON LOVE AND ATTRACTION
There are several ways to find out whether this is love or attraction. Simply, love is free from fear, envy, ego, rage, and especially indifference without losing one’s own identity. However, love always comes with kindness and understanding. It keeps you happy. They’re on your side forever. They love you even if you’re not together. You never get the feeling of rage. If they hurt you, you’ll forgive them without giving it a second thought. They are your best friend in your life and you know deep down that they are always with you. Love brings you peace.
If someone is attracted to you. He/she will be with you when he/she needs you and he/she can’t do anything selflessly, just for you, but love can do even if you fight with them, hurt them, leave them or hate them. If it is an attraction, they will leave you, but true love will stay forever. Attraction is only for a moment, love is eternal. The attraction will care for oneself first; love will care for you first. When a person is attracted to you, he/she will give you time according to their convenience. Quite the opposite, when a person loves you, he/she will take time for you no matter how busy they are.
When you’re in love with someone, the best way to express love is not to hold on to them. You can’t hold on to someone, because the tighter you hold on to them, the more they want to slip away. All you can do is love them and make sure they know that you’re never going to slip away.
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Composed By: Aarushi Jain & Abhay Ghanghas
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