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Love And Hatred Are Directed By The Senses To The Objects Of Senses Avoid Both – Hindu Religion Teachings

In Hindu philosophy, the concept of love (prema) and hatred (dvesha) being directed by the senses to the objects of the senses is a profound teaching that underscores the transient and often misleading nature of sensory experiences. This teaching encourages individuals to rise above these dualities to attain spiritual wisdom and inner peace. Here's an expanded explanation:

The Role of the Senses

The senses (indriyas) in Hindu thought are the gateways through which we experience the external world. They include sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. These senses are powerful and often dictate our emotional responses, inclining us towards objects of desire or aversion.

Love and Hatred as Reactions

  • Love (Prema): This is often a response to sensory pleasure. When the senses encounter something pleasing, whether it’s a beautiful sight, a pleasant sound, a delicious taste, a comforting touch, or a delightful fragrance, the mind tends to develop attachment and affection towards that object. This attachment is what we commonly refer to as love.
  • Hatred (Dvesha): Conversely, when the senses encounter something unpleasant or undesirable, the mind develops aversion. This aversion manifests as hatred or dislike.

The Transience of Sensory Experiences

Sensory experiences are inherently transient. What pleases the senses today might not do so tomorrow. The objects of senses are impermanent and subject to change. This impermanence makes love and hatred, which are based on sensory experiences, equally unstable and unreliable.

Avoiding Both Love and Hatred

The teachings suggest avoiding both love and hatred because they both lead to attachment and aversion, which bind the soul to the cycle of birth and rebirth (samsara). Here’s how avoiding these emotions can lead to spiritual growth:

  • Detachment (Vairagya): By cultivating detachment, one learns to view sensory experiences without being swayed by them. This doesn’t mean indifference but rather a balanced state where one is not overwhelmed by either attraction or aversion.
  • Equanimity (Samabhava): Practicing equanimity helps in maintaining a steady mind. This is a state where one remains calm and composed regardless of external circumstances. It is about treating pleasure and pain, gain and loss, success and failure with equal regard.
  • Inner Peace and Clarity: Rising above love and hatred clears the mind of emotional turmoil, leading to inner peace. A calm mind is better suited for meditation (dhyana) and self-realization (atma-jnana).

Spiritual Progress

In Hinduism, the ultimate goal is to realize the self (atman) and understand its unity with Brahman, the supreme reality. To achieve this, one must transcend the dualities of love and hatred, which are products of maya (illusion). Here are some practices that help in this journey:

  • Yoga and Meditation: These practices help in controlling the mind and senses, promoting detachment and inner focus.
  • Selfless Action (Karma Yoga): Performing actions without attachment to the results helps in reducing the ego and overcoming the likes and dislikes dictated by the senses.
  • Wisdom (Jnana Yoga): Studying sacred texts and reflecting on their meanings help in understanding the transient nature of sensory experiences and the importance of inner wisdom over external attractions.
  • Devotion (Bhakti Yoga): Devoting oneself to a higher power or the divine helps in channeling emotions in a way that transcends personal desires and aversions.

The teaching to avoid both love and hatred, as they are directed by the senses to the objects of the senses, is a call to transcend the superficial layers of existence. By doing so, one can attain a state of purity and clarity that leads to true knowledge and liberation (moksha). This journey involves cultivating detachment, equanimity, and inner focus, which are essential for spiritual growth and ultimate freedom from the cycle of samsara.