|

V- DAY: An Arrow From Saint Valentine Released Long Ago Will Finally Reach The Lovers It Was Intended For

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.

They’re in each other all along” – Rumi

By Zile Singh

 

Love begets love is the call of the V-Day. Love and hate are two very important human instincts.  Love is universally accepted and the hatred is despised world-wide.  In the eyes of the lover, pock-marks are dimples and hatred blasts the crop on the land; envy the fish in the sea.

 

February 14, is the day of the year when lovers show their love to each other.  The Day is celebrated to honour the martyred Christian saint named Valentine. He was a Bishop that married forbidden couples.  The first Valentine’s Day was in the year 496 A.D.  The Roman Emperor Claudius II

had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers.  St. Valentine felt that this was unfair.  He broke the rules and arranged

marriages in secret.  When the Emperor found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.  There, he fell in love with the Jailer’s blind daughter. When he was taken to be hanged till death on February 14, he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”.

 

“Will you be my Valentine?” Nowadays, people often ask this to their loved ones in greeting cards.  The handmade greeting cards started in the 16th century.  By 1800 A.D.  companies began mass production of cards and by the 20th century fancy ribbon strewn cards were created by machines.  The romance we associate with Valentine Day may spring from the medieval belief that birds select their mates on February 14.  “Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?’ wrote William Shakespeare.  Poet Barrett Browning expressed love this way: “How do I love thee; let me count the ways.  I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach…”

 

Valentine Day also gives people a chance to reflect on the meaning of love.  Forget the hearts, flowers, chocolates and gifts.    It is the unglamorous gestures that count. All the religions lay emphasis on love.  They all preach to defeat the egotism and to develop altruism.  Jesus commands to love our enemies.  The Buddha emphasizes that defeating self-serving impulses, through meditation is essential to achieving inner peace. In Hinduism, the most commonly pursued path to liberation of the soul is through love, in the form of total devotion to God. Similarly, in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the love of God is central to faith.  In Sikhism also, “Jin Prem Kiyo Tin hee Prabh Payo” resonates.   Regardless of the diversity of spiritual beliefs, love has been a powerful constructive force throughout human history. In every household also, mutual love and respect carry the wagon of life smoothly.  Children have a duty to find the wonderful things around them and show adults so the adults can for some time feel like a child again.  It cements the bond of love between the children and the adults. At the same time, the adults also should realize that they don’t always have all the answers for every problem.  There is an innate knowledge that children have and they often suggest great solutions to any problem.  The cardinal principle of love is ‘reciprocity’, i.e. ‘give and take’.

 

Some fundamentalists in the East are, however, against love.  To them, love is a physical lust or a western concept.   The love of the wicked is more dangerous than their hatred.  It is said, “Love of lads and fire of chats is soon in and soon out.”  A word of caution, “Love lives in cottages as well as in courts.”  Devils do not like the holy water of love and peace.   Sadly, on the eve of the Lovers’ Day, on February 14, last year, 44 Indian soldiers were blown out in a terrorist attack in Kashmir.

 

“Love is our true destiny.  We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another”. – Thomas Merton.  Today’s tragedy is that cultural conditioning and hindsight bias is the main enemy of love and brotherhood.

Mr. Zile Singh is much respected Link Columnist, writer, a Vipassana Meditator and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Rights.  He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca

 

Comments are closed