The term "love" has many depictions in the scriptures, from rapturous sensuality as a form of expression to divine intoxication. The celestial being in our scriptures have either risen to the pinnacle of devotion or they have plummeted into the abyss of sexual satiation. Either way this emotion in its many forms makes or breaks a sadhak's spiritual endeavor.
Love stems out of chemistry in gross terms and that's possibly the most mundane animal tendency we can see in ourselves. So blinding is the emotion that we as humans, have practically failed to look beyond it. But if and when we do get the chance to transcend this state and move to the next level, the definition of love changes drastically for good.
Some call it Neela Madhava Bhava, others call it Madhura bhava, I some how relate to Neela Madhava Bhava a lot more. This is a state when love becomes unconditional, where bhakti takes over and rules the emotions. This is when love is not equated with gross sensuality but its a different high, that works more in the mind of course fed by emotion. It has nothing to do with physical attraction but the effect is far more intense in the mind, and lasts longer... possibly for good.
Neela madhava bhava can be expressed to a celestial being in abstraction, to an idol representing that abstraction within a temple or quite simple to another human being who expresses similar state of mind. This bhava is beyond relationship, beyond rules and so free is its nature that it culminates in unconditional love towards others. Ramprasad Sen, a great poet and tantrik practitioner of his time went through this emotion in great depth, so much so that he practically prayed to Ma Kali to help him seek others who related to her divinity the same way.
Many misunderstand Kaula tantra as an art form of love. To the uninitiated it may look like a potential orgy, but to the seeker the experience is way beyond words. When one sadhak goes through divine intoxication and relates to another sadhak with a similar mindset, the interaction is potentially that of Shiva and Shakthi, Krishna and Radha, but with one difference - There is complete detachment and yet there is extreme love and there is no sensuality in the picture. Love is a strong emotion that takes both the aspirants through, the gross bodies don't unite but the minds are in union. What results from the interaction is a higher state of bliss, in the mind and in consciousness.
Spiritualism is potent and as much as it offers such fantastic experiences to the mind, and soul it asks the physical body to have self restraint. The earthly definitions of love fall flat in the spiritual space. Attachment, ownership, pride and low grade orgasms have no place in this world. This world is beyond known imagination of love that has been peddled as a great experience, of the gross kind. In the spiritual space, this emotion starts with surrender, deep and pure surrender with no doubts. And when the Gods act on it, they speak to us, through events, through thoughts and through Neela Madhava Bhava.
निपीतपञ्चसायकं नमन्निलिम्पनायकम् |
महाकपालिसम्पदेशिरोजटालमस्तु नः ||६||
- Ravana Tandava Shlokam (Wikipedia)
May we get the wealth of Siddhis from Śiva's locks of hair,
which devoured the God of Love with the sparks of the fire flaming in His forehead,
who is bowed by all the celestial leaders,
who is beautiful with a crescent moon
Its time we unleashed that lesser known emotion to get the best of its potential. We are truly capable of a lot more, we need to believe we are ready for this new wave of emotion, for once it engulfs us, its a flood gate to heaven... in a spiritual space. Remember, even Kama had to be burned in the fire of enlightenment, he didn't survive the intensity of the great Lord Shiva himself.