Love for the Self or Love for God?


Can i have self realisation by praticing "self — love" Considering myself not body or mind.

—Vivek sharma, India


Dear Vivek,

Love is usually in relation to something or someone. In your question, the term Self-love would presumably mean to love the Self. And in your words “considering myself not the body or mind” implies loving the Self. But “who” is loving the “Self?” Who, indeed, IS the “Self?”

In these cases, and as Krishna advised Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, it is safer to love God in the I-Thou relationship (even if God is the “Self”) rather than in the philosophically pure but very difficult sense of the Absolute or Self or Brahma. The ego is very clever and will usually sneak into the “relationship” in order to claim the love being offered.

Love is also very tricky because as humans our experience of love is tainted with self-interest, desire, hurts, and expectations. Paramhansa Yogananda further suggested that it is safer to seek BLISS (Ananda) as God or as the Self.

But if your inclination is to think in terms of love, then consider the benefit of loving God in some form you find natural. Krishna, Shiva, Divine Mother (Kali, Durga, etc.) or one’s satguru — these are easier for most people to love purely while at the same time keeping the ego in the “back seat.”

“Divine Mother, may Thy love shine forever on the sanctuary of my devotion, and may I be able to awaken Thy love in all hearts.”

Nayaswami Hriman