The Disservice of Divine love


A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada: Everything is created by God, but that does not mean that everything is divine. Do you follow? You have to learn what is divine love. If you do not know how to love, then your love may produce bad result.

Just like I’ll give you a practical example. This is my personal experience.


One boy was suffering from some typhoid disease, and he asked his younger brother, “Please give me some biscuit.” He is forbidden to take biscuit because he was suffering from typhoid fever. He thought, “Oh, my brother is suffering for want of biscuit.” So he supplied some biscuit to eat. The mother when she learned that this young boy has supplied this diseased boy a biscuit to eat, she began to beat him like anything.

So he thought that “I’m doing very divine service to my suffering brother.” But the result was beating by the mother.

Therefore one should know what is service. Otherwise he will suffer. Without knowing what is divine service, one cannot be divinely compassionate. First of all one should make his own life divine; then he can make divine compassion.

Guest: Isn’t it a simple idea to love life?

Srila Prabhupada: If you do not know how to love, then your love may produce a bad result. Just like the example I gave. The younger boy thought that “I am loving my elder brother,” and he supplied some biscuit, which was forbidden by the physician. And as soon as the mother heard that he has supplied him biscuit, she began to beat him like anything. Punishment.

He thought, “It is very good service. He’s in want of, in need of a biscuit. So I am supplying him it, mother will not know. So I am doing very good service.” But the result was beating.

Similarly, we may think something that it is divine, but who is judging that this is divine or not divine? Therefore you have to learn how to serve divinely, then you can serve. Without knowing, you cannot. That will be disastrous. Everything requires expert knowledge; otherwise it will be disastrous.

So divine love is very good, but one should understand what is divine love. One should not misunderstand what is divine love.

– A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture 5.5.3 — Boston, May 4, 1968

Giriraja is a regular contributor to “16ROUNDS to Samadhi” and a co-conspirator of the "Krishna Lounge". He is working artist at his company Star Family, aspires for success on the path of bhakti-yoga, and would like to contribute to making the world a (somewhat) better place.

1 Comment

  • Reply January 23, 2011


    Too great number of people make the materialistic concept of the self the starting point for the “love expansion.” One first needs to understand the spiritual nature of the self, which is categorically different to the physical body and physical pleasures, which includes mental masturbations in the form of gratifying people’s false egos and it’s manifestations such as artificial self-esteem for example.

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