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Love: Stories in Pictures
Divine Couples in Vajrayana Buddhism
There are two schools in Buddhism: Mahayana and Theravada. The essence of Buddhism in Theravada school is the perfection of meditation through monastic life and the knowledge of the Pali canon. In Mahayana Buddhism, the perfection of meditation is achieved through self-discipline. There are many disciplines in Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana is one of them. The essence of Buddhism in Vajrayana discipline is tantric rituals.
There are numerous deities in Vajrayana Buddhism, worshiped in single form or couples like Vajradhar-Shakti and Chakrasamvara-Vajravarahi. In Vajrayana School, Vajradhar-Shakti and Chakrasamvara-Vajravarahi symbolize erotic sentiments.
Love in the Farm in NepalClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Legend of Shiva Parvati
Shiva, one of the Gods in Hindu Triad, is the God of death and destruction. But ironically, he is also remembered for his eternal love. According to the Shiva Puran, Hindu Scriptures dedicated to Shiva, Shiva was married to Sati Devi. One day when Sati Devi's father belittled Shiva, the Goddess was so much upset that she threw herself into the fire. She was dead but her body did not burn. Shiva, overcome with eternal sadness, carried his wife's body and traveled in the sky. Vishnu - another God in Hindu Trinity responsible for maintaining the world order - hurled his weapon that began to chop Sati Devi's parts. The organs fell on earth. The places where Sati Devi’s parts fell are revered by the Hindus in Nepal and India. By fragmenting Sati Devi’s body, Vishnu was able to mitigate Shiva’s sorrow.
When the body was gone, Shiva was pacified. He sat on penance. And then Sati Devi was born as Parvati. Since Sati Devi had incited sorrow in Shiva, he began to play games with Parvati. The legends of Shiva and Parvati are very popular in Nepal. It was in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, where Parvati sat on penance to have Shiva as her spouse and Shiva played games with her.
Another popular legend about divine love in Hinduism is the legend of Radha-Krishna. Lord Krishna did not marry his love interest Radha, however, Hindus always associate Radha with Krishna. In Hinduism, Radha is as much revered as Lord Krishna.
Love and marriage
Hindu calendar marks the auspicious days for wedding beginning from third week of November that ends in July. The rituals of Hindu marriage are said to be thousands of years old, as old as Veda. There is no general agreement about when the Vedas, the most sacred scriptures in Hinduism, were composed, but many believe that it was during the period of 1500–1200 BCE. Hindu Priests sing the verses from the Vedas while conducting marriage.
Hindu marriage is all about connecting two souls with God through body. Hindu mythologies brim with love, raising questions such as: Has anyone loved his wife more than Shiva, who carried Sati Devi's corpse for eons? Can you be more playful with your love-interest than Shiva with Parvati? Who loves his/her girlfriend/ boyfriend more than Radha and Krishna?
In the Mood for LoveClick thumbnail to view full-size
Love does not need language
Animals, of course, have language. Obviously not developed like ours, but it is enough to convey basic emotions such as love, hate, anger, jealousy, hunger. Their speech consists of different pattern of sounds. Like us, they love, betray, forget or hate their lovers. Like humans, animals do things to lure their love interests, and they fight for the sake of their lovers.
Based on my observations of animals’ behavioral patterns, I can say that love we receive from our animals is not less than that we receive from human beings. To be more precise, human love many times stems from their brain. They ruminate and weigh their heart, listen to their palpitation before they say: I love you. But animals don't have developed brain. They have heart and tender feelings seep through it.