Love (religious views)

Whether religious love can be expressed in similar terms to interpersonal love is a matter for philosophical debate. Religious 'love' might be considered a euphemistic term, more closely describing feelings of deference or acquiescence. Most religions use the term love to express the devotion the follower has to their deity, who may be a living guru or religious teacher. This love can be expressed by prayer, service, good deeds, and personal sacrifice. Reciprocally, the followers may believe that the deity loves the followers and all of creation. Some traditions encourage the development of passionate love in the believer for the deity. Refer to Religious Views below. The tension between religious love of the other and self-affirmation is resolved in part by contrasting both love and self-affirmation with their impostors. Further analysis and references about such contrasts are summarized by Roderick Hindery in comparative religious contexts and in the framework of love as confirming the other.

Specific Religious views

In alphabetical order:


The Bahá'í Faith says,

...Love is the mystery of divine revelations! Love is the effulgent manifestation!
Love is the spiritual fulfilment! Love is the light of the Kingdom!
Love is the breath of the Holy Spirit inspired into the human spirit!
Love is the cause of the manifestation of the Truth (God) in the phenomenal world!
Love is the necessary tie proceeding from the realities of things through divine creation!
Love is the means of the most great happiness in both the material and spiritual worlds!
Love is a light of guidance in the dark night!
Love is a bond between the Creator and the creature in the inner world!
Love is the cause of development to every enlightened man!
Love is the greatest law in this vast universe of God!
Love is the one law which causeth and controlleth order among the existing atoms!
Love is the universal magnetic power between the planets and stars shining in the lofty firmament!
Love is the cause of unfoldment to a searching mind, of the secrets deposited in the universe by the Infinite!
Love is the spirit of life in the bountiful body of the world!
Love is the cause of the civilization of nations in this mortal world!
Love is the highest honor to every righteous nation! ...
(Abdu'l-Baha, ''Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha'' v3, p. 525)


In Buddhism, K?ma is sensuous, sexual love. Some believe it to be an obstacle on the path to enlightenment, perceiving it as selfish, but some sects of Buddhism, such as Tantra, believe that sex can be used as a tool to achieve enlightenment.

Karun? is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others. It is complementary to wisdom, and is necessary for enlightenment.

Advesa and maitr? are benevolent love. This love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. This is quite different from the ordinary love, which is usually about attachment and sex, which rarely occur without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in others' welfare.

The Bodhisattva ideal in Tibetan Buddhism involves the complete renunciation of oneself in order to take on the burden of a suffering world. The strongest motivation one has in order to take the path of the Bodhisattva is the idea of salvation within unselfish love for others.


In Works of Love (1847), Soren Kierkegaard, a philosopher, claimed that Christianity is unique because love is a requirement.

The New Testament, which was written in Greek, only used two Greek words for love: agape and philia. However, there are several Greek words for love.

Saint Paul glorifies agape in the quote above from 1 Corinthians 13, and as the most important virtue of all: "Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." (13:8 NIV).

Christians believe that because of God's agape for humanity he sacrificed his son for them. John the Apostle wrote, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16-17 KJV)

Most Christians believe that the greatest commandment is "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment"; in addition to the second, "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself", these are what Jesus Christ called the two greatest commandments (see Mark 12:28-34, Luke 10:25-28, Matthew 22:37-39, Matthew 7:12; cf. Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 11:13, Deuteronomy 11:22, Leviticus 19:18, Leviticus 19:34). See also Ministry of Jesus#General Ethics.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus said: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (NIV, John 13:34-35; cf. John 15:17). Jesus also taught "Love your enemies." (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27).

Most Christians also believe that God is the source and essence of love, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:8 NIV)


In Hinduism k?ma is pleasurable, sexual love, personified by the god Kama. For many Hindu schools it is the third end in life.

In contrast to k?ma, prema or prem refers to elevated love. Karuna is compassion and mercy, which reduces the suffering of others.

Bhakti is a Sanskrit term from Hinduism meaning "loving devotion to the supreme God". A person who practices bhakti is called bhakta. Hindu writers, theologians, and philosophers have distinguished nine forms of devotion that they call bhakti, for example in the Bhagavatha-Purana and according to Tulsidas. The booklet Narada bhakti sutra written by an unknown author distinguishes eleven forms of love.

Prema has the ability to melt karma which is also known as the moving force of our past actions, intentions and reactions to our experience in life. When we love everything, the force of karma that is in relation to those things, events or circumstances slowly starts going towards peacefulness, relaxation and freedom and we find ourselves in a state of love.


In Hebrew ahava is the most commonly used term for both interpersonal love and love of God. Other related but dissimilar terms are chen (grace) and chesed, which basically combines the meaning of "affection" and "compassion" and is sometimes rendered in English as "loving-kindness".

Judaism employs a wide definition of love, both between people and between man and the Deity. As for the former, the Torah states: "Love your neighbour like yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). As for the latter, one is commanded to love God "with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might" (Deuteronomy 6:5), taken by the Mishnah (a central text of the Jewish oral law) to refer to good deeds, willingness to sacrifice one's life rather than commit certain serious transgressions, willingness to sacrifice all one's possessions and being grateful to the Lord despite adversity (tractate Berachoth 9:5, tractate Sanhedrin 74a). Rabbinic literature differs how this love can be developed, e.g. by contemplating Divine deeds or witnessing the marvels of nature (Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Yesoday HaTorah, Chapter 2).

As for love between marital partners, this is deemed an essential ingredient to life: "See life with the wife you love" (Ecclesiastes 9:9). The Biblical book Song of Songs is a considered a romantically-phrased metaphor of love between God and his people, but in its plain reading reads like a love song.

The 20th-century rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point-of-view as "giving without expecting to take" (from his Michtav me-Eliyahu, vol. I). Romantic love per se has few echoes in Jewish literature, although the medieval rabbi Judah Halevi wrote romantic poetry in Arabic in his younger years (he appears to have regretted this later).


Different cultures have deified love, typically in both male and female form. Even though in monotheistic religions, the God is considered to represent love, there are often angels or similar beings that represent love as well. Here is a list of the gods and goddesses of love in different mythologies.

Vikki n chetna g.m.4.l that goes under section 14 of the love and friendship to good and best mates act.

This philosophy/religion originated in New Zealand from David John de Cleene, the founder of The Positive Energy Company, a not for profit organisation whose purpose is to unite mankind as one using positive energy and Love.

See also

External links

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