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Love is a very pure and pious concept in Buddhism. Buddhism is divided into different categories, and one believes that they can achieve happiness only by practicing true love. True happiness is available in the form of happiness. If one follows the concept of your heart, they can become one with true happiness. 

Love, according to Buddhism, has the power to heal any problems. Buddha suggests that four different forms of love eventually contribute to true love development. One who practices the four pillars become closer not only to himself but also to the universe.

What is love?

Love, according to Buddhism, is one actual reality that has the power to build ourselves. If we love our true hearts, we will become close to reality and the universe. Love is one of those powers that can heal any suffering. If you want to feel close to God, you need to believe in the power of love. 

However, Buddhism doesn’t follow the concept of one eternal being or the Supreme power. Even Buddha isn’t the God in Buddhism; He is just worshipped as the divine teacher. Buddha’s teachings are the principles or driving forces in Buddhism.

Love in Buddhism

Do Buddhists believe in relationships?

Buddhists strongly believe in relationships. Love, according to Buddhism, is a very different concept from love according to the western world. Moreover, it is a lot concerned with relationships, real friendships, and benevolence. 

As far as Marriage is concerned, there is no obligation for Marriage in Buddhism. According to Buddhists, Marriage is a choice that people make by themselves. As long as two people are happy to bond, they can live with the other. Nonetheless, there are not many teachings related to marriage ceremonies.

Buddhists believe that marriage is a close celebration or blessing that should be held with immediate members. But, there are no hard rules attached to it, and there are no religious elements either.

According to the Venerable Dhammananda Maha Nyaka Thera, “If a man can find a suitable and understanding wife and a woman can find a suitable and understanding husband, both are fortunate indeed.”

Marriage, according to Buddhism, is a civil concept that legally unites two people. Buddhist monks are invited only to bless the wedding, but they can’t conduct the ceremony. Hence, marriage will be hugely influenced depending on the country the couple lives in. It is more of a civil content than religion in Buddhism.

According to many Buddhists, the primary purpose of marriage is

          • Bear children
          • Unite with the partners and have respect for each other
          • Create a sound and peaceful environment for the family

Although Marriage is a choice, many Buddhist monks avoid the option of marrying and remain celibate throughout their life. They live in the monastic community so that they can focus on enlightenment. At the same time, the monks don’t need to spend their entire life in the monastery. They can choose to re-enter mainstream society if they wish to.

4 Elements of Love according to Buddha

Buddha preached four essential elements of love, which, when engraved properly, can help in overall upliftment. Mentioned below are the four elements of love, according to Buddha.

1. Maitri

Maitri refers to kindness or benevolence. It does not mean to make only one happy but also the effort to complete so. Even when you intend to make someone happy, you might end up making them unhappy by your way of loving. 

According to Buddhism, one can develop Maitri by having a deeper understanding of their partner. If you know the person you love, you will love them better and harness the relationship. Through Maitri, one should put in the efforts to understand your loved one’s desire and ambitions.

“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.”- Buddha.

It is advisable to take some time and invest it in yourself and observing your partner. You should pay close attention to what they say, what their ambitions and dreams are. If you understand your partner well, you will be able to harness a healthy and meaningful relationship.

2. Karuna

Karuna or compassion is the second essential element of love, according to Buddhism. Karuna refers to the desire and ability to erase the pain. Anyone who loves their partner should understand their true pain. Buddhism believes that one will ease others’ pain only if they understand their true sufferings.

One should meditate and observe their partners understand what grieves them. If you know the main reasons behind your partner’s sufferings, you will be able to support and help them grow.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.“- Buddha.

To understand what pains your partner the most, you should communicate with them openly. If they speak to you directly, you will be able to help them. Open communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and it will also help strengthen the relationship with your partner over time.

3. Mudita

Mudita translates to joy or happiness. It is one of the most significant elements out of the four elements of love. Mudita is one of those elements that act as a connection between the other elements. If one does not experience happiness and joy in the relationship, they aren’t experiencing true life. If one does not mean happiness in love, it means that love is lost. According to Buddhism, love should be fulfilling and brings joy in the life of those who experience it.

People in love tend to experience joy. Moreover, when we are happy, our love grows strong, and happiness is the sign of true love. If one does not experience happiness, love will no longer exist.

There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.“- Buddha.

You should practice things that bring joy to your life, whether as individuals or together. When you start experiencing happiness in your life, you will share the same with your loved one. As long as we find joy in ourselves, we will experience love in its true form.

4. Upeksha

Upeksha translates to freedom. If love is true, one should feel the freedom and relationship within themselves. Every relationship provides individuals with the opportunity to grow, and it also helps them develop.

Moreover, when you seek freedom, you will have some time on your own and be knowledgeable about safety. Furthermore, freedom in relationships should also allow one to be comfortable while sharing ideas without the fear of being dejected or judged. If you want your relationship to last, you need to maintain freedom within the relationship.

The price to freedom is simply choosing to be.“- Buddha.

You can practice freedom by staying or spending some time away from your partner. You don’t always need to check up on each other. You should be able to do things individually that make you happy.

Moreover, when you come back together, you will have many things to discuss with each other. This will also help you know your partner closely once you know what makes them happy. Maintaining freedom within your relationships provides you with the opportunity to grow.

Love in zen buddhism

Personal fulfilment in relationships

Buddha always talked about the importance of maintaining individuality in relationships. Buddha always spoke of love and life as the major focus of his teachings. He always taught that one could achieve personal fulfillment by growing.

One should practice these four elements thoroughly to eventually grow in life to find better focus in their lives. Maintaining individuality means spending time with oneself. It is not necessary to spend time with your partner always. When you work on personal fulfillment, you will be able to grow along with your partner.

Love is a gift of one’s innermost soul to another so both can be whole.“- Buddha.

It is only when one works on personal fulfillment that they can grow with their partners.

How to achieve happiness in relationships?

Buddhism is one of those religions that have various liberal views about romantic relationships. Buddhism teaches the idea of unconditional love. It suggests that to be happy, a person should be detached from others. Being attached to someone can only bring suffering and hardships in one’s life.

To achieve happiness in a relationship, one should not be completely dependent on the partner. It is only by practicing self-awareness and love for the partner that one can achieve true happiness. No one in this world is perfect, and hence, a person should accept it.

To achieve happiness in a relationship, it is necessary to understand that nobody’s perfect and stop putting the partners on the pedestal of being perfect. The person should love their partners unconditionally. According to Buddhism, one should be ready to accept the flaws and imperfections in the partner.

According to Buddhism, love should be of its true form and accepting the partner as they are. One should be ready to accept changes in the partner. Personal fulfillment in relationships can be brought about only if one understands the situations and provides their partner with the space they need.

Does Marriage important for Buddhists?

According to the Buddhist worldview, marriage isn’t an essential concept but a civil ceremony. It is a choice that the couples make. There are no religious ceremonies held for Marriage in Buddhism, like other religions. The monks are called upon to bless the couple, but they do not provide the religious content.

In Buddhism, Marriage is more of a social contract that has no religious importance. Marriage is a choice that many Buddhists make, while many of them reject it. It is a choice that Buddhists take up to show commitment towards each other. Nonetheless, several Buddhists believe that Marriage is not a necessary condition for maintaining a loving relationship.

Hence, there are no marriage ceremonies in Buddhism. Marriage celebrations in Buddhism vary depending on the culture and community the couple belongs to. While many Buddhist marriages are held at home only in Buddhist monks, many of them are also performed at the local temple belonging to the other faith.

what does buddha say about love

How to maintain relationships according to Buddhism?

The key to a happy relationship, according to Buddhism, is to maintain the space. You can always find a deserving partner. If you want to maintain a happy relationship, you need to accept that you are enough, and you must admit or accept the things you cannot change. 

Buddha once said, “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe deserves your love and affection.”

One who doesn’t honour himself will not be honored by the partner either. Before seeking a partner, you need to seek yourself. For a relationship to be fulfilling and complete, one must be complete and recognise the importance. Incomplete people can only create chaos, while complete people make up a happy relationship.

Trust is the key to a happy relationship, according to Buddhism. When you are in a relationship, you need to trust your partner. Rather than letting jealousy and self-insecurity flow around, one should be ready to let go of negative feelings and accept the trust. If you trust your partner, love will exist.

However, if anyone is unwilling to be with you, it is better to accept the fact and let them go. You are enough for yourself as a complete person.

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.“- Buddha.

Love, according to Buddhism, follows the idea of doing. In Buddhism, it is believed that love conquers all. However, loving someone isn’t enough because one needs to dive in and take actions. It would help if you worked towards creating a strong base or foundation with your partner. If you help your partner grow, you will be able to build trust, respect and familiarity.

If you want a successful relationship with your partner, you need to put their needs before yours.

Is Divorce allowed in Buddhism?

Divorce is a very new concept in Buddhism. However, unlike other religions, Buddhism is a liberal religion that holds acceptance about the relationship. Divorce isn’t a stigma in Buddhism. 

According to Buddhists, if the couple isn’t happy with each other and only causes suffering, they are better separate. Buddhism is against the concept of suffering, and hence, Divorce is acceptable only if it is causing suffering to both parties. According to Buddhism, Divorce can be a compassionate choice.

Divorce, however, is not unethical as it is not a religious problem. Buddhists experiencing problems within the Marriage should go to temples and monasteries and seek refuge and advice from monks and nuns.

Love for other people according to Buddhism

Buddhism always advises following compassion and love for other people. Love, according to Buddhism, is the ability to feel compassion for others. The compassion, however, amounts to respect for other people.

According to Buddhism, love should come from the same place as that of faith. It should be focused on upliftment and wishing for the betterment of others. According to Buddhism, love is unending, and one can find true love within themselves only when they are true to themselves. If one loves himself, he will be able to love others too.

Love, according to Buddhism, should have no jealousy for others. One should always be happy with the other person’s well-being. Hence, love should be balanced and equal so that it doesn’t disrupt personal harmony. If one follows personal harmony and equality, they will not be dependent. Being dependent on your partner is the key to suffering.

The teachings on love given by the Buddha are clear, scientific, and applicable… Love, compassion, joy, and equanimity are the very nature of an enlightened person. They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Buddhism practices and love

Buddhism practices love by practicing compassion for others. Buddhists believe that practicing love is the key to spiritual liberation. The four kinds of love include having compassion, promoting love and kindness, practicing joy, and maintaining freedom.

As Buddhism believes, it is necessary to harvest love in your life and cultivate it accordingly. Whenever we talk to each other, we must practice love and be careful of our speech while living with others. It is not a tough task, and the only way to start over is to practice it. 

The manifestation of love will only grow when we begin to encounter real feelings. Practicing loving-kindness can bring about significant changes in our life. Buddhists follow the sayings of Buddha suggesting that every small practice is essential towards self-love- “with dripping drops of water, the water jug is filled.”

What is the Buddhist word for love?

The Buddhist word for love is Maitri. In Pali, Maitri translates to Metta. Maitri further translates to loving-kindness, amity, good will, benevolence, and active interest in our activities. Maitri is an essential pillar of the four Brahma Viharas or the four principles of love as per Buddhism. However, in the Theravada school of Buddhism, it stands among the ten important Paramis.

What do Buddhists say about soulmates?

According to Buddhism, you have met your soulmate when you meet somebody, and you feel calm. Love according to Buddhism is something that makes you feel unique and calm and no anxious. If you suffer from any kind of agitation while coming in contact with your partner, then he/she isn’t the one. 

Furthermore, Buddhism also believes that we are born with different lives. And throughout these lifetimes, our relationships just move from one to another. So, when you meet your soulmate, you will know it because they will bring a sense of welcoming feeling or calmness with them which you may or may not have experienced earlier.

Can a Buddhist monk fall in love?

Buddhist monks are humans like any of us, and hence, it is possible for them to fall in love. Nonetheless, Buddhist monks choose to not marry and remain celibate while living a monastic life in the community. They avoid getting into relationships and practice detachment to get enlightenment.

However, they don’t need to spend their entire life in a monastery. If a monk chooses to re-enter the mainstream world, they can live a normal life too, after spending some time as a monk in the monastery.

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