Love needs no reference

Love exists on its own... independent of time and reason

woman in natureSomething of profound importance: hate exists with the past and the future—love needs no past, no future. Love exists in the present. Hate has a reference in the past: somebody abused you yesterday and you are carrying it like a wound, a hangover. Or you are afraid that somebody is going to abuse you tomorrow—a fear, a shadow of the fear. And you are already getting ready; you are getting prepared to encounter it.

Hate exists in the past and the future. You cannot hate in the present—try, and you will be utterly impotent.

No hate present

Try it today: sit silently and hate somebody in the present, with no reference to the past or the future… you cannot do it. It cannot be done; in the very nature of things it is impossible. Hate can exist only if you remember the past: this man did something to you yesterday—then hate is possible. Or this man is going to do something tomorrow—then too hate is possible. But if you don’t have any reference to the past or the future—this man has not done anything to you and he is not going to do anything to you, this man is just sitting there—how can you hate? But you can love.

Hate creates hell

Love needs no reference—that’s the beauty of love and the freedom of love. Hate is a bondage. Hate is imprisonment—imposed by you upon yourself. And hate creates hate, hate provokes hate. If you hate somebody you are creating hate in that person’s heart for yourself. And the whole world exists in hate, in destructiveness, in violence, in jealousy, in competitiveness.

People are at each other’s throats either in reality, actuality, in action, or at least in their minds, in their thoughts, everybody is murdering, killing. That’s why we have created a hell out of this beautiful earth—which could have become a paradise.

Opposite of hate

Love, and the earth becomes a paradise again. And the immense beauty of love is that it has no reference. Love comes from you for no reason at all. It is your outpouring bliss; it is your sharing of your heart. It is the sharing of the song of your being. And sharing is so joyful—hence one shares! Sharing for sharing’s sake, for no other motive.

But what love you have known in the past is not the love Buddha is talking about or I am talking about. Your love is nothing but the other side of hate.

Hence your love has reference: somebody has been beautiful to you yesterday, so nice he was that you feel great love for him. This is not love; this is the other side of hate—the reference proves it. Or somebody is going to be nice to you tomorrow: the way he smiled at you, the way he talked to you, the way he invited you to his house tomorrow—he is going to be loving to you. And great love arises.

This is not the love Buddhas talk about. This is hate disguised as love—that’s why your love can turn into hate any moment. Scratch a person just a little bit, and the love disappears and hate arises. It is not even skin-deep. Even so-called great lovers are continuously fighting, continuously at each other’s throats—nagging, destructive.

And people think this is love. Buddha says:In this worldHate never yet dispelled hate.Only love dispels hate.This is the law,Ancient and inexhaustible.Aes dhammo sanantano—this the law, eternal, ancient and inexhaustible.

Love dispels hate

What is the law? That hate never dispels hate—darkness cannot dispel darkness—that only love dispels hate. Only light can dispel darkness: love is light, the light of your being, and hate is the darkness of your being. If you are dark inside, you go on throwing hate all around you. If you are light within, luminous, then you go on radiating light around you.

Buddha repeats this again and again—this is the eternal law. What is the eternal law? Only love dispels hate, only light dispels darkness. Why? Because darkness in itself is only a negative state; it has no positive existence of its own. It does not exist really—how can you dispel it? You cannot do anything directly to darkness. If you want to do anything to darkness you will have to do something with light. Bring light in and darkness is gone, take light out and darkness comes in. But you cannot bring darkness in or out directly—you cannot do anything with darkness. Remember, you cannot do anything with hate either.

Love is light

And that’s the difference between moral teachers and religious mystics: moral teachers go on propounding the false law. They go on propounding, “Fight with darkness—fight with hate, fight with anger, fight with sex, fight with this, fight with that!” Their whole approach is, “Fight the negative,” while the real, true master teaches you the positive law: aes dhammo sanantano—the eternal law, “Do not fight with darkness.” And hate is darkness, and sex is darkness, and jealousy is darkness, and greed is darkness and anger is darkness.

Bring the light in

How is the light brought in? Become silent, thoughtless, conscious, alert, aware, awake—this is how light is brought in. And the moment you are alert, aware, hate will not be found. Try to hate somebody with awareness.

These are experiments to be done, not just words to be understood—experiments to be done. That’s why I say don’t try to understand only intellectually: become existential experimenters.Try to hate somebody consciously and you will find it impossible. Either consciousness disappears, then you can hate; or if you are conscious, hate disappears. They can’t exist together. There is no co-existence possible: light and darkness cannot exist together—because darkness is nothing but the absence of light.

Excerpted from The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1/ Courtesy


Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931 and 19 January 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement.


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