Buddhism teach to love , but when we love someone it's lead to craving , we wanted they must love us too but when things get worse it lead to sorrow. Another thing is we can love ourselves but does it selfishness ? Dose love , kindness , affection lead to sorrow ?

  • I think that "What does love mean?" is probably a duplicate of e.g. Relationships : What is Love? or What is “love” to a lay person?
    – ChrisW
    Jul 8, 2016 at 18:41
  • Possible duplicate of Do buddhists fall in love? Jul 8, 2016 at 18:46
  • 1
    Thank you @-}-- I got it. Love is dukkha so we have to protect ourself to being unhappy with unsatisfying or craving. But if we would self love which is egoistic it's way to heal. It's enough to have kindness and affection (Karuna) for someone. And we must kind for animals. This is not religion , this is way to live life happily. I'm on the way to survive. I saw the shore. Sorry I'm being emotional. Thank you all of you @-}--
    – Swapnil
    Jul 8, 2016 at 19:29

2 Answers 2


The love that Buddhism teaches is Maitriya. It means that one would not do any harm to another from one’s mind, body, and words. The Supreme Buddha once told that, if you have kindness, love, and compassion toward the human beings, you should make their minds be pleased about the Supreme Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. Spreading loving-kindness towards others means to be compassionate, loving, and kind toward others’ well-being.

Love of the sensual kind in its extreme form turns to lust. It is said that there is no fire like lust. It is towards the eradication of passion, lust, and desire that we practice Dhamma. In Dhamma we look at things that used to set off our lust, and we do it in a way so that they don’t set us off. One way is to see the unattractive side of the human body. We do it with the understanding that lusting after the human body is what will keep us from this Noble Eightfold Path.

But being affectionate is another thing. This is the positive side of love, as in an affectionate Teacher, an affectionate parent. But being affectionate too lead to sorrow. Think about the story of Kisā Gōtami. She lost her one and only son. This affectionate mother cried in pain when she lost her beloved child. Kisā Gōtami took her child on to her hands and walked in each street looking for a cure for her child. The Supreme Buddha made her see the truth of life. She too became a Bhikkhuni and became an Arahant by practicing the Dhamma well.


Buddhism explains there are at least three kinds of love:

  1. raga: lust
  2. pema: affection
  3. metta-karuna: unconditional love and compassion.

The first and second kinds of love lead to sorrow, but not the third kind of love.

Some readings are:

  • Piyajatika Sutta: From One Who Is Dear (MN 87), which starts with:

    I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time a certain householder's dear & beloved little son, his only child, had died. Because of his death, the father had no desire to work or to eat. He kept going to the cemetery and crying out, "Where have you gone, my only little child? Where have you gone, my only little child?"

  • Piyavagga: Affection (from the Dhammapada), which starts with,

    1. Giving himself to things to be shunned and not exerting where exertion is needed, a seeker after pleasures, having given up his true welfare, envies those intent upon theirs.

    2. Seek no intimacy with the beloved and also not with the unloved, for not to see the beloved and to see the unloved, both are painful.

  • Karaniya Metta Sutta: The Buddha's Words on Loving-Kindness (SN 1.8)

  • Brahmavihara Sutta: The Sublime Attitudes (AN 10.208)

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