In my journey through life and spirituality, I’ve often pondered a deep conundrum present in the wisdom literatures like the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. It’s a question that echoes in the chambers of the human heart: where does the idea of ‘happily ever after’ come from?
I remember, as a child, lying in bed listening to my parents read fairy tales that invariably ended with “and they lived happily ever after.” Even then, something in my young mind questioned this concept. How could anyone live ‘forever’ in happiness? This childhood curiosity was a seed that later sprouted into a lifelong quest for understanding love’s eternal nature.
Years later, a simple yet poignant incident brought these childhood reflections back to me. Walking through my neighborhood, I noticed a heart drawn on the sidewalk, inscribed with “M+M forever.” This ephemeral token of love, vulnerable to the elements and the passage of time, stirred in me a sense of melancholy. It reminded me that in our material world, even the deepest love seems destined to fade.
The Bhagavad Gita addresses this inevitable transience. In Chapter 2, Verse 27, Krishna states, “For one who has taken birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain.” This cycle of birth and death encapsulates the impermanent nature of our material existence, including our relationships.
Yet, this realization is not a cause for despair. Rather, it invites us to explore the nature of true, eternal love. The Srimad-Bhagavatam, another gem of Vedic wisdom, suggests that real love transcends the physical and temporal realms. It speaks of a love that is not just an emotion or a fleeting connection between two souls but an eternal bond with the divine.
Reflecting on this, I realize that our yearning for ‘happily ever after’ is a reflection of our soul’s desire for an eternal connection with the divine. This divine love, unlike human affection, is not subject to time’s erosion. It is an unbreakable bond that transcends the physical barriers of this material world.
In my spiritual practices, I’ve found that connecting with this divine love brings a sense of completeness and eternal joy that worldly love struggles to match. It’s a love that grows and deepens, unaffected by the changing tides of life.
As practitioners of spiritual life, we should strive to cultivate this divine connection. It’s a journey of turning inward, of quieting the mind through meditation and prayer, and of understanding our true, eternal nature as souls connected to the divine.
This does not mean that we abandon earthly love. Instead, we should see our relationships as opportunities to express and grow in this divine love, to see the divine in each other, and to support one another on our spiritual journeys.
As we navigate through the highs and lows of life, let us remember that the ultimate goal is not to seek an unattainable, fairy-tale ending in this temporary world. Instead, let’s aim to connect with the eternal, divine love that our hearts truly yearn for.
In our daily lives, this can translate to simple, yet profound practices. Let us start each day with a moment of gratitude and reflection, acknowledging the divine presence in and around us. Let’s treat each person we meet as a spiritual being, deserving of love and respect. And in moments of challenge, let us remind ourselves of our eternal nature, finding strength and solace in our spiritual connection.
In conclusion, the quest for ‘happily ever after’ is not in vain. It is a journey back to our true home, to a state of eternal love and bliss in the divine. This is the heart’s real yearning, the soul’s ultimate destination. And in this quest, we find the true meaning of forever.
Please drop me a note with your realizations or if you have any questions/comments using Ask Vaish form. I would really like to hear from you.2