In the Western world, there are many myths and misbeliefs about love in Hinduism. Lots of those myths exist not without the reason because Indian culture is so different from many others. India has different standards of living, traditions, beliefs, and, of course, they differently approach marriage and love. Mostly their romantic relationships are regulated by Hinduism laws. Love in Hindu is something sacred, something that unites people and makes them happy. People in India don’t need any wife finders because Hinduism god of love has already found a partner for everyone who deserves it.
Hinduism is not only the most popular religion in India but also one of the most popular religions in the world. Hinduism originally appears in India. It hasn’t spread as Christianity, so more than 90% of 500 million people who practice this religion live in the Republic of India. India is a very large country with a population of 1 billion 300 million people. Also, lots of people who practice Hinduism live in Kenya, Bangladesh, Guyana, South Africa, Tobago, Trinidad, and Guyana.
Hinduism is the most tolerant of other religions because it embraces the biggest number of different rituals and beliefs. This fact makes Hinduism very unique. Also, Hinduism is a very decentralized religion because there is no church hierarchy, and they don’t have supreme authority. Unlike Christianity and Islam, Hinduism doesn’t have a founder. Yes, almost all fundamental principles of this religion were created during the time of Christ, although the roots of this religion are very ancient. For example, some of their Goods were worshiped thousands of years ago by their ancestors. Like any other religion, in the world, Hinduism is changing, interpreting, and absorbing other beliefs and rituals that belong to different people and nations who have contacts with Hinduism.
Love Legends in Hinduism
In the early stages of the history of the world, the Asian continent was a center of very advanced civilizations. Those civilizations highly influenced Egypt, Greece, Arabia, China, and, of course, India. Unfortunately, Egypt and Arabia had a very terrible geographical position and were captured by other nations. While Greece and India were protected by their geographical position and not only managed to survive, but they gave birth to other cultures and civilizations. Thus, India, like no other country in the world, can demonstrate to us the continuity of cultural eras.
1. The Lord of Love
In our article, about Hinduism love, we can’t forget about the story behind Kamadeva. This is the Hindu love god. According to legends, he was born from the heart of Lord Brahma, the Creator. Kamadeva is usually painted as a young creature, decorated with flowers and various ornaments and holding a bow. Also, he is accompanied by a relatively small band of performers and dancers.
2. The Kamadeva Legend
Here is another legend about Kamadeva. According to which, he was killed by Lord Shiva, who burned him by the flames from his third eye when Kamadeva accidentally wounded him with his special arrow of love. Because of that, Shiva fell in love with his consort named Parvati. Since those times, Kamadeva has become bodyless, but he also has several physical reincarnations. The son of Lord Krishna Pradyumna is one of those reincarnations.
3. Legend of Savitri and Satyavan
Savitri was a very beautiful and noble daughter of a very powerful and influential king. Her beauty attracted many different men to her, but she refused to marry them. According to legend, she planned to go and find a suitable husband for herself. We are not going to provide you with spoilers, but you need to know that the God of death came to her wedding, but she managed to keep her beloved man alive with her wit and devotion.
4. Shakuntala-Dushyant tale
This legend is about mighty king Dushyant and a very beautiful woman Shakuntala. The king met her during his hunting trip and fell in love with her. While her father was absent, they got married. After the ceremony, Dushyant gave her a signet ring and returned to his palace, promising that he would send guards to escort her to his palace. She was waiting for his men for a very long time until a hermit came to her place and cursed her. After all, she went to his palace herself, and after interesting adventures, she managed to break the curse and reunite with her beloved one.
5. Radha-Krishna amour
This legend tells us about the most memorable Krisha’s love affair. Also, this legend is a great example of Sanscrit love, symbolizing the love between the god and human. It tells us about Hindu religious devotion picturing a woman (Radha) who was waiting for her love for many years. After all, she was rewarded and finally met her love again, and they got married in front of all the Gods and five hundred and sixty million people.
Sex in Hinduism
During history, India was conquered and controlled by many European colonial countries, and this time cause a very big influence on Indian culture, including Hinduism. For example, the British called Indian Hinduism love rules and liberal sexual behavior barbaric and tried to protect the people of India from this immorality.
As you may have guessed, originally Hindu deity of love allowed polygamy, but it seems that Indian rulers were the only ones who were practicing it. The aforementioned is very common for many other cultures, religions, and beliefs. Also, nudity in art was considered pretty normal, especially in the southern part of this country.
Nowadays, only adult marriages are allowed in India. Also, Indian women expect that their husbands will provide for them while they will be responsible for the housekeeping. Most of the marriages are still organized and planned by parents who search for benefits for their families. Although devotional Hinduism is very tolerant of other religions, they only accept heterosexual relationships.
Stages of Love in Hinduism
Hinduism has a very beautiful myth about the nature of love. According to this myth, at first, there was a super-creature named Purusha. It was fearless, didn’t know greed, desire, or passion, it didn’t have to work, because the Universe was already perfect. Unfortunately, Purusa was cut in half by Brahma. Since then, those halves have had a desire to reunite, the same way as humans want to love and unite with each other.
1. Kama, desire and physical cravings
In Hinduism, sexual desire is shown by the Kama or, in other words, physical attraction. Technically, Kama means “The desire to feel objects,” but more often it represents a sexual interest in desire. In ancient times in India, sex wasn’t something shameful. They believed that it is just an aspect of human existence that must be studied. For example, a very famous Kama Sutra is not a simple collection of erotic techniques and poses, but it is a book of love that teaches how to maintain and cultivate passion.
2. Shringara, delightful intimacy
In Hindu god of love says that sex without intimacy is harmful to both partners. This explains why all Indian philosophers mostly concentrate on the emotional side of relationships. With time, they have created a very rich vocabulary of various terms that mean to express different emotions and moods. Indians believe that lovers, apart from erotic pleasure, should share dreams, secrets, and other intimate things.
3. “Maitri” or generous sympathy
According to Indian philosophers, it is very easy to find love if you are searching for it. They believed that it is very easy to manifest love, and no one should fear or be ashamed of it. According to them, the smallest kindness is way more powerful than a thousand prayers.
4. Bhakti, impersonal dedication
Yes, compassion is very important, but Indians don’t stop there. They traditionally imagine an impersonal form of love. This form of love focuses on Justice, kindness, truth, and other aspects of human relations.
5. “Atma-Prema,” unconditional self-love
Don’t confuse it with pride because Atma-Prema is about understanding that beyond personal weaknesses and mistakes, all humans are children of the supreme being. They believe that, only by understanding yourself and your influence on others, you can make your love unconditional.
Love-Laws of Hinduism
As you already know, Kama is a Hindu symbol of love. This God has formulated three laws of love. Here we are going to explain each of them.
This law is about doing good to others, or by being a positive example, you improve your karma. Thus, you improve your own life.
Indian philosophers believe that every person attracts not only other people but also some positive or negative events. Thus, the better you behave, the more positive things in your life you will have.
The Kama says that everything is unified in the universe, even our souls, but there is no place for selfishness in this unification. Thus, when you interact with someone with positive intentions, you both exchange your energy and feel better.
As you can see, Indian culture is very distinct from what we are used here, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t understand it. Hinduism is, first of all, the belief about love for other people. Remember, in every culture, country, or community, there is always a place for such a bright and positive feeling.