How to truly love others?

Acharya Prashant
8 min readOct 3, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

ज्ञेय: स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न काङ् क्षति ।

निर्द्वन्द्वो हि महाबाहो सुखं बन्धात्प्रमुच्यते ।। 3 ।।

jñeyaḥ sa nitya-sannyāsī yo na dveṣhṭi na kāṅkṣhati

nirdvandvo hi mahā-bāho sukhaṁ bandhāt pramuchyate

He who neither hates nor desires and is beyond the pair of opposites (duality) is to be understood as an ever-renouncer. Hence, he is easily set free from bondage, O Arjuna.

~ Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, Verse 3

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Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! After seeing the fakeness in people and in my own actions, it gets very difficult to love someone. There comes a feeling of hatred; the feeling of compassion does not remain constant. The mind gets affected. How can one go beyond these pairs of opposites and truly love the other and the self, while on this journey?

Acharya Prashant (AP): You see, ‘love’ has to be understood.

We want something, right? We want the Ultimate. There’s nobody who wants to stop at something small. We want something as big as possible. That’s the nature of desire. It doesn’t want to stop anywhere. Probably it can stop only when it gets something immeasurable, infinite. That’s what we want. And that thing that we all want is sometimes referred to as Truth or the Ultimate; colloquially it has also been called as ‘God’. That’s what we want. That’s our shared and deepest and real desire.

So, there are these two.

That which you want, which is very difficult to describe, because it is immeasurable. If it is immeasurable, then it becomes difficult to name it or talk of it or tell its story. It’s infinite — how do we really talk of the infinite? So, there is That; That which we all want.

And then there is us; the ‘I’ that wants. There are these two. You want, and there is That, which is…

Acharya Prashant