Peoples of a Different World

Peoples of a Different World

By Anand Krishna

Not too long ago, I faced a situation, when for the first time, I realised that to some people love and loins are inseparable. To them, lovemaking is the only possible expression of love. They cannot think of love as anything else other than the meeting of human genitals.

I have this habit of signing my books “with love” – always. Having done that for more than a decade, I faced a situation when even that line was being questioned. Thus, I was being projected as the perfect blend of Caligula and Casanova.

Why do I Sign my books “with love”?

Or why do I close my letters, my emails, with love? Or why do I say, “I love you” to an elderly person, to a kid, a teenage, or anyone? It may be inconceivable to you that a sane mind can ever ask such questions. You may find it difficult to believe that such thing can happen. I did find it difficult too, until I began to realise, very slowly and rather painfully, that though geographically we inhibit the same planet Earth, we are actually living in different worlds, where a same word can mean differently to different peoples.

It took me some time to realise that those who were questioning me had no “love” in their vocabulary. Yes, the word “love” was missing in their dictionary. You may find it amusing; well, it is not. It is a hard fact.

The Javanese word for “love” is “trisna.” Later, the Balinese adopted the same word, too. Now, “trisna” is derived from the Sanskrit “trishna,” which has the meaning of “craving” – desiring, wanting. It can have any meaning but love. Trishna is not love. It is more of passion than love.

Trishna is an outburst of emotion. It is not love.

Our emotions are centred in our brain. A minor dysfunction of the brain can affect our emotions. We cannot express our emotions without using the brain-tool.

Love is something beyond brain and its functions. Love arises from our innermost being, the so-called antah-karana in the language of the ancients – our inner causal body.

It took me some time to realise that those who misunderstood love were actually missing the very word in their mother tongue.

Yes, love is missing in the Javanese lexicons. The Balinese, later adopted the word “asih” from the Malay “kasih” to describe a higher form of love, above the sensual “craving” type trisna. Not bad. However, generally speaking, both the Javanese and Balinese lovers still use the word “trisna” to express their love for each other.

Understanding Misunderstanding

I began to sympathise with them. Poor souls – they did not understand what love was, what love meant. A husband clings to his wife, and would do anything for her, just because she was good in bed – love. Love?

A wife accepts her notorious and rather neurotic husband, because, “in our society, a divorcee has no status.” Love. Love?

Budding youngsters with no career, no job, get married because “it is safer to have sex at home with your partner.” Love. Love?

I sympathise with them, but it does not mean I should accept them. It does not mean that I should accept their understanding of love. Given that they have no adequate word for love, but all inadequacies can be turned into adequacies.

It is wrong to glorify our inadequacy, and justify all our actions, or rather misbehaviours resulting from such.

Ancient Greeks’ Ways

Agape refers to a pure, or the ideal, type of love that differs from Eros, the passionate love, the sensual type.

And, then there is Philia, the virtuous kind that expresses itself through the acts of loyalty, equality, and etcetera. Storge, or the natural affection felt by parents for their offspring. Lastly, Xenia that expresses itself as hospitality toward guests, care for strangers, and the like.

Each of these has an equivalent in Sanskrit.

Prema (Agape), Kama (Eros), Karuna (Philia), Mamta (Storge), Karuna (Xenia), indeed, there are many more words for love in Sanskrit than any other language, ancient or modern. Rati, Asakti, Moha – these are the attachment-based love.

But, above all is: Bhakti – love turned into devotion.

It is here that love is 100 percent free of all expectations. It is the unconditional and infinite love, pure compassion. Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, the Awakened One, called it Metta, or Maitri – love that befriends all, love that cares for all, love that is ever ready to share all that it has with all.

Now, those who define love as Trishna, which is related to Eros or Kama, can never ever comprehend Bhakti. It is beyond their understanding. Therefore, it should not surprise us if these very people would conspire to crucify a Jesus, poison a Siddhartha or force a Muhammad into exile.


I sympathize with them, but I must once again repeat: I neither appreciate nor accept their inadequacy. Coin a word, use Kasih, Prema, Agape, whatever, but rise above your loins. Enjoy Eros, but know that that is not the only definition of Love. Love has many shades, many colours, and each shade, each colour, adds to its lustre, its glory and its beauty. Embrace Love in its totality, in its entirety. That is for now.

Anand Krishna is a spiritual activist and author with healing centres in Jakarta and Bali, including a new live-in ashram in Ubud (


  1. made edy says:

    What an enlighten article! It explain why we’re never raise in love, otherwise ‘fall’ in love. Fall into emotion burst like love trap. Very rare can experience the ultimate – bhakti. Love without expectation, without condition. Love for the sake of love itself. Thank you Pak Anand for giving me deep understanding about love.

  2. Lili says:

    article that very much inspiring, we do have our own stage of spiritual evolution

  3. adi says:

    Thank you Bp. Anand Krishna for this great article. It gives me new understanding about love…

  4. sitha soerjo says:

    Thank you for the insight, Sir…it’s a totally new understanding for me regarding what our ancient wisdom says about love. Hopefully in the near future this “higher” meaning about the word “love” will become more popular than “violence”. And I think this is the right time for us to spread the love virus in it’s truest meaning…again, thank you pak Anand Krishna…with love, sitha 🙂

  5. haryadi says:

    It’s great to read your article again in Bali Times, Sir! Glad to have you back here.

    At usual, your writing is both shocking yet reflective. I don’t even realize that “simple” matter such as lacking word of “kasih/compassion” is the sign of our problem.

    Now, it raises question in me: Is that one of the reasons why Indonesia still in “dark ages” for years?

  6. Arbania says:

    Salute to Anand Krishna and The Bali Times. From this article, we knew the differencies between rema (Agape), Kama (Eros), Karuna (Philia), Mamta (Storge), Karuna (Xenia). It was enriched my knowledge. For the people who only understand love in ‘sexual’ way, this article could inspiring them. Wish, they could see love in different angle of view so they will be free from the boundage of narrow mind. Once again, thank you for the delightful article from Anand Krishna and The Bali Times.

  7. Seno Aji says:

    My parents used the word “bhakti” in many conversation among them, in their own language off course (java) . Frankly said, i did not quite understand the meaning of the word back then. But now I begin the get a vague meaning of it from this article.
    Thank you Sir.

  8. hermawaty says:

    Thank u Bapak for the inspiring article. Even love has many shapes and colours. Love made world beauty.

  9. Isty says:

    Wow thank you very inspiring article Mr. Anand, love has so many beutiful faces, hopefully I can feel, i can dive in bhakti not just Trishna, not just ordinary love

    Matur Suksme

  10. Mira says:

    Ever so inspiring! I am happy to see Anand Krishna’s writings again. Looking forward to more his writings.
    I wonder what Love means in Sundanese?

  11. imus says:

    ow ow trisna is not love?

  12. Sylvia says:

    Thank you, Sir, for writing what we need to understand more deeply. The twisted meaning of “love” made me reluctant to say it freely. Now you’ve clarified it. Perfecto!

  13. didit says:

    As John Lennon said “all we need is love”…we see too much violance and ignorance, we forget our humanity…which is based on love…

  14. Oka Dharmawan says:

    Thank you Pak Anand, This article can explain the rootcause of our disease. Trishna will make us craving for pleasure and destroy our body and mind. only love can release our disease, i love my body so i will live with healthy life style, i love my family so i will do the best for community because my family are the members of community. Love can make us live healthy and happy….

  15. Putu Harum says:

    Finally, after about two years, here comes your article. Thank you Bali Times, for publishing again Mr.Krishna’s article.

    What an enlightening article. I know that a lot of people use to relating love with some sensory pleasure…but it never comes into my mind to questioning it. Your article really a big stroke on my head…! Now I understand what I had known long before. Thank you Mr. Krishna, keep ‘blowing’ my head with you writing….!

  16. MARIE SAYANG says:

    Enjoying that Bapak Anand Krishna is finally resuming his articles in the Bali Times after two years of absence.
    and what better topic than the one and only important thing on earth, that keeps the universe in balance…

    Comes back to my memory that sweet and wild poem by Hafiz, a Persian Sufi mystic of the 14th century..

    ” The subject tonight is Love

    And for tomorrow night as well,

    As a matter of fact

    I know of no better topic

    For us to discuss

    Until we all


    Trishna, agape, bhakti, yes, great that you bring clarity into their meanings.
    I hear also a lot of people using “cinta”, what about that one, feels like the sound of a hug… am i wrong?

  17. hari says:

    I enjoy very much this article. It describes different meaning of love,, see it from different perspective.

  18. Thanks all for your overwhelming response and support. Love you all 🙂 Marie Sayang (Sayang is another Melayu word for love, which actually means “affection”, but now being used for “darling” 🙂

    Cinta is also Malay that can be translated as an expression of citta or our emotions. Well, this is my understanding.

    Once again thanks all

  19. edi lampung says:

    Very glad to meet You again Sir (on The Bali Times), hope that your next articles will always come. This is an oase for my “dry mind”. Thank You Bali Times.

  20. Divine ViVi says:

    Wowwww… What a truly inspired articles. Bring us to a new horizon of defining love..while many still equal that Love and Lust is slightly bit different.
    At this age of vibration.. We really have to practice , learn and implement such love which is liberate us from any attachment. I prefer call it Mohabbat..Bhakti.. Infinite LOVE whatever we name it.
    Only LOVE that matter as we souls come from pure LOVE ..then it shoud be our true identity forever.
    Thank You Bapak..Namaste

  21. david says:

    It’s an excellent article. Well, a little conclusion I made: it’s important to know the meaning of the words cause it will helps us to know the meaning of words behind it. Thank You Sir for giving me a courage to learn more about love behind the word.

  22. Bairbre Barrett says:

    A lovely read, thank you!

    Fasinating, that I have had this conversation only the other night, on the word Love and it’s meanings.
    I told my friend how I practice the word Love every day,and always think of all the things I am greatful for. That I have painted the word LOVE on the walls of places I staid while traveling, and in my house have it everywhere, and how that word changes the whole atmosphere, to a calm, realxing, loving one!
    How when I drink my water, I call it Love, respect, food, Medication, strength etc, and this is what I get. Also, that I always sign off a letter or conversation with love or a heart <3

    He was suprised to hear this, asking was it hard, that it must be, which in turn suprised me! No, I told him, it is easy, and to start practicing this.

    When people act neggativly, or I do, I ask them to list 5 things they are greatful for, that they love in life.
    I never realised this was such a big thing I did in my daily practice until having this conversation, and again reading your article. "Doesn't everyone do this?" I thought. They don't appearntly! They should!

    We as a nation can be brought together with Love. We all have Love in us, for people, things, places. If we take note, and use Love as often as possible, then we can only be happy.

    "Love is all you need"

  23. Yuki says:

    As one of many young adult currently inhabiting today’s earth, this topic is an everyday conversation amongst me & my friends. That in itself is a dilemma, i’m at one side excited that my generations are questioning love (as questioning leads to learning) but on the other side i am a bit sad that love sparks a very common misunderstanding.

    I dont know if i have the rights to speak on a generation’s behalf, but Sir, i promise you we’re trying to shift the understanding of love. That love goes beyond what is promised in today’s pop songs. That love is guaranteed to everyone. That love is the one thing that we can all guarantee on.

    Thank you for the awesome article, again.. Always a very heart warming read.

    With Love,

  24. Calvin says:

    Such a great article,Bapak…Thanks for sharing this,i feel so gratefull to know that i can read this article tonight…thanks a lot Bapak.Love You.

  25. Sudi Martana says:

    Thank You The Bali Times. This article was so enlightened me, just like the other Bapak Anand Krishna article on this web. I was share my opinion about this Bapak Anand Krishna latest article on my FB….coz I Just, really2, this time, in this very2 moment, know what is the meaning of LOVE and then BHAKTI, and where is the word Love meaning came from. I just know that my language doesn’t have word ‘Love’…..and at what cost my people ‘must pay’ for that…Thank You Bali Times. I Like every article of Bapak Anand Krishna, so please always post His Latest article….

  26. zeembry says:

    Wow, very inspiring article and enlightened topic we have here. When you say the word “Love”, it triggers some vibration from human inside. The vibration that will unite us as a humankind. We will sure live in peace and harmony in this world. If you put the word “love” in your brain (not in your heart), then it is useless. Thank you.

  27. Diah says:

    Thank you for your article Mr. Anand..
    Absolutely enlightened. I realized now that my parents never use a word “love”. Yes, sometimes they use trisna to each other. They also use bekti for relation a child to parents and mengasihi (for me its sounds like mengasihani)… They never use cinta and never hug each other… And never hug their children after they grow up… 🙁

  28. Nadia says:

    a very vivid and inspiring article (as always).
    thank you so much for the new understanding.

  29. tri says:

    Thanks Pak Anand and Bali Times. Now, I realize that our vocab of love is trishna. This is why I personally like kasih than love. But now all is clear…. Thanks Lord……

  30. mikael says:

    Anand Krishna’s article on Balitimes? Wow! this is very inspiring n enlightening to most people of the world,especially Indonesian.
    Thanks a lot Mr.Anand.

  31. Dominggus says:

    Thank The Bali Time for allowing such “no-ordinary” article be here. It makes me understand that love is not of the brain but beyond the emotion and feeling. Thus, it sounds ridiculous when we hear someone saying to his/her partner, “Say, say that you love”..and there it goes the “i love you” uttered out of the mouth. Few weeks, moths, years later the couple has untied, divorced..:)

    O, love, where are YOU? I’m burdened with selfishness, egotism. I’m the slave of my mind. Cure me DEAR, I’m sick of all what I’ve told YOU..

  32. Harjadi K. says:

    Thank you for new horizon article. Articles like this is what we need nowadays.Your unique points helped me think about this information.

  33. jack Rizal says:

    Thank you Pak Anand Krishna, for inspiring article, giving me deep understanding about love.

  34. Harny says:

    Thank you pak Anand for explaining the real meaning of “love”. I think this is the article that we must spread out so that we will not misunderstand the word in the future.

    Thank you for The Bali Times to have this article published.

  35. sukmawati says:

    What’s an inspiring article! Thank you so much Mr. Anand Krishna and thank you for Bali Times too, for publishing this article.

  36. didi M says:

    I Love You “or” I Lust You.
    Thanks I Finally Understand

  37. janfrional says:

    Thank You Bapak Anand Krishna…for this “Love”ly made article.

    The Bali Times has timely made Bali more beautiful 🙂 by adding more and more of Pak Anand Krishna’s articles.

  38. Harjadi K. says:

    Thank you for new horizon article. Article like this is what we need nowadays. Your unique points helped me think about this information.

  39. Hento W says:

    What’s a enlightened article explained different meaning of love from different languages…..
    Thanks to The Bali Times………..

  40. Dominggus says:

    Thank you for the enlightening article, Sir

  41. Willy Wong says:

    Remarkable article from the remarkable great person like Bp. Anand Krishna..! Waiting for the next remarkable one..

  42. fatin says:

    Hmmm, this article make me start to questioning myself. I speak many time about love without realize what is the different between passion, love, devotion etc. Sometime the appearance seems the same…but more i read this article..more i can see the difference..thanks Pak Anand for your article

  43. Devi. J says:

    Thank You Mr. Anand Krishna for the inspiring article… Just realized that all we know about love right now, not more than craving, desiring and wanting something. which is never can be accomplish and make us become desperate, frustration and ‘wild’ as well. No wonder we have a miserable lives..!!

    You said, Love arises from our innermost being… How to raise that kind of love Mr. Anand? It will be a very wonderful life if we could reach that part and spread to the world/our surrounding….

    Thank you.

  44. adrian says:

    It is very painful to know, we are still being a slave for a passion and call that activities is love. It is a hard work to cultivate love from inside, deeper and deeper and spread to each other being around us. love will set you free, so if our life is still dependent to our parent or our boyfriend or girlfriend, it is not love, it is bondage, it is attachment. Thank You Mr. Anand Krishna.

  45. Made Mulia says:

    Love….It’s hard to understand what love is, until this article is written by Pak Anand. I’ve been misunderstanding about Love for ages. What Pak Anand writes is something new in my live. Pak Anand clearly explain about Love to “me”. Thank you Pak Anand for giving “me” a new understanding about Love and for Bali Time, thanks for publishing a fantastic article.

  46. Sri Aryana says:

    Finally…. I got the answer. The root of our problem is misunderstood of Love. That’s why our relationship under the name of love could not give us any fulfillment. That’s why our relationship become very shallow and tends to manipulating each other. To see others as means for fulfillment of our own desires which we call love.
    Thank you Pak Anand. Shall we are all rise in Love.

  47. made mulia says:

    Love…. It’s hard to understand until Pak Anand write this article. I have been misunderstanding about Love for ages. This article is giving me a new understanding about Love. Thanks Pak Anand, thanks Bali Times for publishing Pak Anand article.

  48. Danar says:

    It’s not enough for me to read it once. write by someone who unite with Love itself… it’s so beautiful. 🙂

  49. wayan german says:

    wunderbar vielen dank…bapak Anand thank you very much finally we read and got a deeper explanation about love das ist eine gute erklaerungen ueber die liebe so wir konnen viel lernen davo…i am waiting for your next article nochmal danke und matur suksma bapak Anand

  50. Darmadi says:

    Thank you bapak Anand Krishna,for inspiring article…..thank you so much for the new understanding… Rahayu, matur nuwun

  51. Domi T Agastya says:

    Glad to have u back on The Balitimes Mr.Anand… 🙂
    I think it’s a Fail to Understand the meaning.. First, fail to understand the symbols, then fail to understand words.. Or it just an act of bad education. To give love a very bad name.. Thanks for this article.. to explain everything abt Love.. I think U shld tell us more about this Sir.. anyway.. Welcomeback <3

  52. Ratna says:

    I was truly impressed and inspired by this article. Wow…how wonderful to know that love has a very deep meaning beyond passion and the attachment-based love. This long misunderstanding about love has dragged us to a miserable world. Thanks so much to the writer of this article, Mr Krishna, for sharing such a precious knowledge. This is very essential for today’s modern men who has missed the deep meaning of love.