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The True Meaning of Love

Fo Guang Shan International Translation Center
©All rights reserved.
Written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun
Recorded by Leann Moore

  • The True Meaning of Love    3:17

The True Meaning of Love

The True Meaning of Love

      Love has many faces—selfish or unconditional, defiled or pure, finite or infinite, and vulgar or transcendent. Love is an instinct. It can give us strength and hope, but it must comply with morality and law for it to be invaluable.

      Everything would be impossible if there were no love. We need love in order to have broad affinities with others and a heart of gold. There must be love between husband and wife, parents and children, and between friends. We must strive to be like a bodhisattva, who has loving kindness and compassion for all beings. There would be no order or morality if there were no love, because love maintains our personal relationships and establishes the differences between friends and families.

      Love is not a one-way street. True love is not a possession; it is a sacrifice. If we truly love someone, we must help him or her to accomplish everything in life and wish him or her the best of luck. However, we must have some discretion with love. There must be differentiation among the objects of our love. Truth, justice, and goodness should be on the top of our list, whereas lies, injustice, and evil should always be excluded. We should also strive to broaden the scope of our love. The objects of our love should not only include our loved ones, our country, our world, and the peace of our race.

      Looking at today's society, we see few examples of true love. What we see are distortions and abuses of love. Instead of true love, there is lust and greed. Without good causes and conditions, love can instigate crime; it can bring harm to us, as well as to others. For example, misplaced love between men and women can result in adultery or illicit affairs.

      In order to have long-lasting love, we must first cultivate good causes and conditions. We must learn to have the right kind of love, love that can lead to the fulfillment of truth, beauty and goodness. In true love, we must use compassion to purify the objects of our love. In true love, we must use wisdom to lead our loved ones in the right direction. In true love, we must use kindness and goodness to help others accomplish their goals. In true love,

      we must use morality to protect every living being. Since the meaning of life comes from love, we must use true and purified love to dignify this wonderful world of ours.

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Humble Table, Wise Fare


Recorded by Leann Moore         0:13

A gentle voice is more touching
     than a splendid song;
a cynical tone is a sharp arrow
     that hurts others as well as self.

Dharma Instruments

Venerable Master Hsing Yun grants voices to the objects of daily monastic life to tell their stories in this collection of first-person narratives.

Sutras Chanting

The Medicine Buddha SutraMedicine Buddha, the Buddha of healing in Chinese Buddhism, is believed to cure all suffering (both physical and mental) of sentient beings. The Medicine Buddha Sutra is commonly chanted and recited in Buddhist monasteries, and the Medicine Buddha’s twelve great vows are widely praised.


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