After Valentine’s Day, two monks, a master, and his disciple were talking. The disciple wanted to know what the meaning of a lover is.
Disciple: Master, what kind of person is a lover?
Monk: Someone you love — an enemy or a stranger.
Disciple: Why do you say that?
Monk: When two people fall in love, they are lovers. When they fall out of love, they are enemies. When they go their separate ways and turn indifferent, they are then strangers.
Disciple: How do they evolve into that?
Monk: Love is generated from craving, and then this craving turns into an attachment. This leads to possession, which then results into wanting to control the other party. When one cannot fulfill the other’s wish, they will become suspicious and jealous. Then fighting, disrespect, and violence will follow. Some want to destroy the other party; some want to perish together.
Disciple: Why can’t they just cherish each other or part amicably?
Monk: Because there are far more unreasonable people than reasonable ones, more selfish people than selfless ones, more rude people than considerate ones, there are more subjective people than objective ones. Look! How many people really put others first? Only really sensible people who can tolerate others, and are willing to let others benefit.
Disciple: Oh, now I see why you became a monk.
Monk: When one is falling in love, it is like springtime and everything is perfect. When summer comes they fight continuously. Then comes autumn, and their feelings cool off. After that it turns into winter — the end of the romance. However, the feelings linger onto the replacement. Because spring comes after winter, it is an unchangeable cycle, and that is the main reason for reincarnation.
Disciple: So you don’t encourage people to fall in love.
Monk: It is not a simple “yes” or “no.” What is the best is up to everyone to decide.
Disciple: If people do not fall in love, there will be no marriage, no children, no human race, and the world will fall apart.
Monk: Do not worry about it. When you encounter a loved one, you will naturally get married. I was once asked: “If everyone turns into a monk, what will happen to the country’s economy, and what will happen to society?” I answered: “Your hypothesis cannot be established because you do not want to become a monk yourself. Thus, don’t worry too much, and just take good care of yourself.”
Disciple: What is a lover then?
Monk: She/he is someone who tests you, trains you, lets you walk out adversity and awaken in prosperity so you can face all circumstances, let go of everything, and eventually reach the realm of freedom. A lover is someone who cares about you, and also brings you suffering.
Researched by Monica Song