[Advaita-l] Re: Love molecule

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 3 16:01:16 CST 2005

>I don't have much details, just read it in the papers. But the question 
>that haunts me is whether terms such as "Universal Love", "Unconditional 
>Love" etc which are now-a-days used quite frequently by the spiritual 
>leaders and new-age gurus - are they not just emotions again and hence at 
>the mental/material level? Is it not totally different from the nature of 
>the Brahman which loves or hates nothing in particular and hence is 


I would caution against attaching too much importance to reports of 
scientific discoveries in the papers. I presume you mean the mass media and 
not scientific papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. 
Newspaper and TV reporters would find something like the "love molecule" 
just the right ticket for a sensational headline and would end up largely 
misrepresenting the science behind it,  both because they have to "dumb it 
down" for the general reader and because most of them are incapable of 
grasping the complexity of the science themselves.

Now to the questions you raised above and in your earlier post. You are 
thinking along the right lines regarding the jnAnI and Ananda. And to get 
serious about vedAnta, I would suggest to keep away from most of the new-age 
gurus. I won't name names, but the less said about most of these people, the 

That said, universal love, unconditional love etc. are not bad qualities to 
cultivate, even if they have a material basis and even if they are not a 
natural consequence of being a jnAnI. Unconditional love is easier said than 
done. So is desireless action. Achieving these goals requires a lot of 
discipline and self-questioning, not just in philosophical fashion with 
respect to grand universals, but in everyday events, with respect to small 
particulars. The world is full of people who talk of unconditional love, yet 
feel and act on their envy and hatred towards a long time rival. Similarly 
with people who talk of desireless action, but in their own personal lives, 
every action is done with calculation and motivation in mind. I can speak 
from personal experience - talk is cheap!

The gItA is a wonderful starting point for this. maitrI, karuNA, saumanasya, 
saumyatva - these are highly desirable guNa-s. See chapter 13 of the gItA. I 
would suggest reading it along with Sankaracharya's commentary, in 
translation if necessary. It would perhaps be worthwhile to point out here 
what Sankaracharya repeats many times in his gItA commentary. The natural 
qualities exhibited by the knower are the qualities that should be 
cultivated by the student. Initially there is effort required for acquiring 
these qualities, but they will aid one along the process of truly knowing 


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