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The intensity of romance pursuit felt in seeking one's love usually turns into the intensity of possessing the other person after marriage. 

— Karmayogi

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Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam Rarely do we encounter instances of pure devotion in human relationships. Love is an ideal and that ideal is founded on a self-less delight in the happiness of one’s beloved. Self-giving is the highest form of human action, because it is to recognize something more important than one’s own egoistic personal satisfaction. Devotional love is beautifully depicted in an extraordinary movie about a woman who is prevented from marrying the man she loves, only to discover that the man she does marry is a living embodiment of selfless love.

 

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Vanraj and Nandini’s relationship is a fine example of the powerful bonds of Devotion - Level 8 in the Scale of Romance. See the article and videos.
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Plot Summary

 Nandini (Aishwarya Rai) is the daughter of Pandit Darbar, renowned proponent of Indian classical music, living in the Rann of Kutch. Nandini has been brought up with more freedom and education than her siblings, as she is the most beloved of Pandit Darbar. In this carefree life enters Sameer (Salman Khan), a boy of Indo-Italian parentage who wants to learn Indian classical music from Pandit Darbar. Sameer stays with the Darbar family and Nandini is asked to vacate her room to give the guest the nicest room in the manor. Nandini takes a dislike to Sameer, and the two keep playing pranks on each other, but soon realise they are in love. Their love blossoms in the Darbar household around weddings, festivals and family get togethers.Nandini's cousin is unhappily married and comes back from her inlaws place defeated. She is in love with someone else. Nandini and sameer help her to run away with her lover unaware of the consequences. One day, the pair are caught rehearsing their wedding vows and dreaming of their future together. Pandit Darbar is distraught as he trusted Nandini above all. He has already planned Nandini's wedding. Sameer is kicked out of the house and asked never to contact Nandini again as fee for his education(Guru Dakshina). Sameer does not leave India, he stays in town, writes letters to Nandini asking her to join him, but his letters do not reach her in time.

Nandini's parents have arranged to get her married to Vanraj (Ajay Devgan) - who had fallen in love with Nandini during her cousin's wedding. He is a simple man, an advocate who blieves in running a truthful life. On the wedding night, Vanraj realises that Nandini is not herself, and tries to ask her why she is not responding to his love ? He asks her for the truth, promising he will help her no matter what. Nandini stays quiet, but is caught reading Sameer's letters when she is alone. He is very angry at first, but later accepts the reality that his wife is in love with another man. He shows the ultimate understanding by taking Nandini to Italy and help her search for Sameer, much to the dislike of his own parents. Nandini and Vanraj arrive Italy and start searching for Sameer but always come up against a dead end. During their search, they face many problems and dilemmas and slowly Nandini gets to see what Vanraj really is like. she sees Vanraj selflessly devoting himself to care for her during her stay in hospital after an incident. Eventually they get news about Sameer (through his mother - played by Helen), and Vanraj arranges for Nandini to meet Sameer, on the night of his debut concert. His job done, Vanraj says goodbye to Nandini and walks away. Nandini and Sameer meet, but Nandini's feelings for him have changed. She reflects on the unwavering love and devotion that Vanraj showed throughout her stay with him, and realises that she loves him. She tells sameer in what esteem she holds her husband and parts with him to go after Vanraj.

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Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Written by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring Ajay Devgan as Vanraj,Aishwarya Rai as Nandini, Salman Khan as Sameer Rafilini
Copyright belongs to Bhansali Films


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Love that Lasts

"Love is a passion and it seeks for two things, eternity and intensity." (Sri Aurobindo) Yet all too often that passionate feeling arrives without warning out of nowhere and then vanishes just as suddenly without a trace. In The Notebook, an old man spends his idle time in a nursing home reading a love story to an old woman with Alzheimer's disease who has lost her memory and forgotten her family and her life, but listens with rapt attention to the old man's narrative. The story he narrates exemplifies romantic love in its purest and most powerful form, a love born in youth and sustained for decades.

It began at a carnival on Seabrook Island, South Carolina, as an unlikely summer romance between teenagers from very different backgrounds and strata of society. Allie was the only daughter, heiress and pride of a wealthy southern family of distinction, given the finest education and raised with the highest expectations of accomplishment in life. Noah was the son of an intelligent, working class father with aspirations that did not extend beyond raising a happy family on this beautiful island of his birth. Initially Allie was put off by Noah's bold intrusion and pursuit. He was handsome enough, but one look was sufficient to show the differences in their origins and up-bringing. Yet differences can be deceptive. For beneath the striking contrast, they found a deep and joyous commonalty of shared affection. Noah was all too aware of the social distance and obstacles that separated them, but he was sure of himself, the intensity of his love and his capacity to make her happy as no one else could do. He helped free her from the stifling conventionality in which she had been raised and brought out her creativity as a painter. She was thrilled with wonder to discover the poetry of his unpretentious heart. He offered her little, but pledged himself to buy the dilapidated Windsor Plantation on the riverbank and restore it to its former grandeur for her sake.

Knowing their daughter to be head strong and independent, initially her parents tolerated the summer romance with little doubt that it would end when Allie left for college in New York in the fall. But the ardent intensity of her feelings alerted them to a deeper danger. After failing to curtail her emotions, they cut short their vacation and forced her to leave a week early. Noah outwardly resigned himself to the campaign against him, while silently accusing Allie of not openly refusing to leave. Feeling deeply hurt by his accusations and rejected, she decided that Noah must take the initiative to pursue her if he really cared to.

The following year Noah wrote to her every single day, but Allie waited in vain to receive his letters, because her mother confiscated them without her knowledge. Mistaking Noah's silence for indifference, Allie was heart-broken for months but finally decided to move on with her life. Noah went off to WWII, where he lost his closest friend. Allie became a nurse for wounded soldiers, where she met and was attracted to Lon Hammond, a handsome, sophisticated southern lawyer from a wealthy family, precisely the type of man her parents had always wanted her to marry.

After the war, Noah's father presents him with the deeds to the old mansion and together they embark on a labor of love to restore its lost beauty. Seven years have passed. While visiting Charleston, Noah catches a glimpse of Allie walking down the street. He sees her enter a restaurant and kiss Lon affectionately. The passage of time has not dampened his feelings, nor has it disturbed the quiet reserve which prevents him from speaking up for what he wants. He returns to the island alone.

Shortly thereafter, Lon proposes and Allie accepts him to the great joy of her family. The day their engagement is announced in the Charleston papers, Allie notices an article on the very same page with a picture of Noah and Windsor Plantation, relating the story of the restored mansion. Preparing for the wedding, Allie tells Lon she must go away for a few days. She returns to Seabrook and drives out to the magnificently restored mansion where Noah is living by himself. Amazed to see how Noah has remained faithful to his promise, shocked to discover that he had written her 365 letters which she had never received, and deeply moved by the evidence that he had never ceased to love her during all the years of their separation, her long buried feelings of joyous love rose to the surface and overwhelmed her.

Two blissful days later, her mother drove up to the mansion and informed her that Lon has come to Seabrook in pursuit of her. After Allie confronts her with the treachery of concealing Noah's letters, she drives Allie to the sand mines where she points out a middle-aged laborer and describes the passionate love affair that she had with him on a summer holiday in her youth. Then she had chosen convention, conformity and security over love. She had tried to impose the same decision on her daughter. She now withdraws her opposition and returns Allie to the mansion, gives her the 365 letters and leaves her daughter to choose for herself.

For once in his life, Noah breaks his stoical silence. He accuses Allie of giving in to security and social pressure and tries to compel her to choose what he is sure she really wants. Strong willed as ever, she quarrels and drives away to meet Lon. Hours later she returns to Windsor with her suitcases to spend the rest of her life with Noah.

The old woman was deeply moved by the old man's narrative. Suddenly she realized that the story was one she had heard before, it was her own story and the man who read it to her was Noah. For five minutes they enjoyed the intensity of emotional reunion before she lapsed back into self-forgetfulness once again. She herself had written that story down in a notebook when she realized she was losing her memory and had made Noah promise to read it back to her in the hope of reviving her memory. For months Noah had been reading her the story daily. She had forgotten her children and grandchildren and could not recognize them, but the story in the notebook brought back momentarily the most sacred emotions of her life. At first her recovery came every few days, then every few weeks. Now it had been months since she had last remembered. But for those few brief minutes they both relived freshly with the original intensity the love they had felt for each other the first summer they met. In one such moment of lucidity, she asked Noah whether they might die together and the next morning they were discovered lying motionless next to one another in bed.

What kept alive the flame of love between Allie and Noah over more than half a century of quiet living in the same home, raising children, seeing them married and having children of their own? What made their love so very different from so many ordinary or disappointed marriages? Though physically attractive in their youth, beauty and good looks that vanish quickly with age could hardly explain the longevity of their love. She came from wealth and sophisticated society, he from the plain simplicity of the rural South. Nor did they share any intellectual interests or artistic pursuits. She was well-read, highly educated, played the piano and painted pictures. He never went to college, read poetry and crafted furniture. She was vivacious and extroverted, he somewhat quiet and reserved. She had aspirations to see the world, he to live in the world he already knew. What they shared was at once much simpler and more profound than the long list of factors that purportedly determine emotional compatibility.

Allie did certainly love Lon, but the heart is a plant that blossoms just once in a lifetime. After that it may continue to give fruit, but a second blooming can never match the purity and intensity of the initial bloom when the love it is based on is true. Allie's love of Noah was no mere childhood infatuation. Its fragrance arose from deep in their hearts and remained true throughout their lifetime.

The secret of lasting romance is not a matter of chance or luck or the magic of finding the perfect person. It lies rather hidden in the aspirations and values that bring two people together in the first place. Allie made a conscious decision to follow the deeper urges of her heart, rather than the surface attraction of wealth, material security, status, respectability and social success. It is true she did love Lon in her own way, the way we love all our families, all that we are used to, all that represents a comfortable and acceptable way of life. But her love for Noah issued from the depths of her being. She had the strength which her mother lacked to renounce the safe and secure path in favor of an emotional adventure of the soul.

Though often felt but briefly, never to return, true love is not altogether a myth. Eternal romance is not mere fantasy. Attaining that intensity requires a purity of aspiration that is willing to give up everything else combined with a capacity to give oneself in joyous love and ask nothing in return. Rare are the hearts qualified for it. Rarer still those that can sustain and revive it year after year, but love lies always in waiting, ready to return to hearts that remain true to love.

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You've Got Mail!

Opposites attract. Romantic attraction is strongest between complementary personalities. Sometimes the contrast between characters is so strong that they start off their relationship in conflict or even as bitter enemies. This romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks depicts the process of two strikingly different and apparently incompatible individuals learning to respect, like and ultimately love one another.

 

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 Read how personal conflict can develop into enduring romance. See the article and videos.
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Plot Summary
Kathleen Kelly is the owner of a little and famous bookstore for children's books in Manhattan, New York. Suddenly, her business gets endangered by the opening of Fox Books discount store just "around the corner". She meets Joe Fox, son of the owner, and soon gets annoyed by his arrogant way of managing business matters.
Joe and Kathy become bitter business enemies when Joe's superstore puts Kathy's little shop out of business. Meanwhile, the two of them meet in an online chatroom under the pseudonyms NY152 and Shopgirl, without knowing each other's the identity. What starts as anonymous flirting via e-mail slowly converts into a deeply meaningful relationship in which they confide in each other, share everyday life problems, and exchange their inmost thoughts and feelings.

They finally agree to meet face-to-face. Joe discovers Shopgirl's true identity just before going to meet her. Realizing she will never accept him as her on-line friend when she knows who he really is, he conceals his true identity and creates occasions to run into her apparently by accident. Each time they meet, she abuses him for his cruel, ruthless business practices. Attracted by her gentle, affectionate sweetness, he comes to truly appreciate and understand Kathy's view of things. By contact with her, the ruthless, arrogant, sarcastic businessman gradually awakens to the joy of warm human relationship, small joys and compassionate human values. In exchange Kathy learns from Joe to be more assertive, face the challenges of life boldly, take hard decisions and move beyond the sense of failure arising from the closing of her store. Increasingly attracted to the real life Joe, her mind clings to the anonymous relationship with NY152, until Joe finally discloses that the two men she loves are one and the same person.

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Directed by Nora Ephron
Screenplay by Nora Ephron & Delia Ephron                                                                                             
Starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks
Copyright belongs to Warner Bros. Pictures

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Jerry Maguire

Jerry Maguire This movie depicts the unlikely romance between a high flying, high energy sports agent Jerry and a shy, homely accountant Dorothy. Through their relationship Jerry moves from the charms of sexual and vital attraction to discover the greater richness and sweetness of loyalty and affection. Dorothy’s intense goodwill and affection become the foundation for Jerry’s high achievement.

 

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 Jerry and Dorothy’s relationship is a fine example of Affection - Level 5 in the Scale of Romance. See the article and videos.

Avery's response to adversity is a good example of how relationship based on Physical attraction cannot survive adverse situations See the article and videos.

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Plot Summary

Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is an agent with a major sports management firm. He's enthusiastic, successful, a great negotiator and people like him. But it begins to dawn on Jerry that there's something wrong with what he's doing, and not long after a troubling encounter with the son of an injured athlete he represents, Jerry has a serious crisis of conscience. In the midst of a sleepless night, Jerry writes a memo calling on himself and his colleagues to think more about the long-term welfare of the clients they represent and less about immediate profits. While everyone around him applauds the sentiment, Jerry's superiors think his ideas are bad for business; Jerry is fired, and, rather than standing in solidarity with him, his "friends" in the firm scramble like sharks to claim Jerry's clients.

At the end of his last day, the only people willing to join Jerry as he strikes out on his own are staff accountant Dorothy (Renee Zellweger), a single mother secretly in love with him, and Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.), a football player whose pride and arrogance have gotten in the way of his reaching his potential. Jerry and Dorothy bond both professionally and romantically, which is a good thing since Jerry's fiancé, Avery has left him after his fall from the ranks of the rich and famous. Jerry is also drawn to Dorothy's son, Ray, and soon he and Dorothy become involved. But Jerry's future rides on renegotiating Tidwell's contract and during this time he learns that it's best to work from the heart as well as from the head in both his professional and personal life.

 

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Directed by Cameron Crowe
Screenplay by Cameron Crowe
Starring Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire,Cuba Gooding Jr.as Rod Tidwell,Renée Zellweger as Dorothy Boyd
Copyright belongs to Gracie Films and Tristar Pictures

 

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Level 7 - Mental love

Real love is a pure and special vibration between people that differs from the intense longings and passions many describe by the word. It is difficult to sustain vital forms of love without strong positive encouragement from the other person, whereas mental love does not depend on reciprocity. The power of Mind arises from an organization of ideas. Mental love is based on an idealistic conception of what love is and a perception of idealized values in the other person. Mental love gives rise to unwavering loyalty. It involves a lasting commitment to the other person which does not depend on circumstances, personal contact or even the response of the other person. We can love another person as an individual only when we fully recognize and respect the ways they are unique and different from ourselves and value them for those differences rather than trying to change them or mold them into our ideal image. Mental love may lack the intense sensations of previous stages, but it brings a lightness, sweetness and refinement of feeling that is uplifting and more deeply fulfilling.

An Angelic Goodness (Gone with the Wind)

The relationship between Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara is glorified in the public imagination as the quintessence of romance. But the real love story in Gone with the Wind is not between these two selfish, self-centered characters whose passion torments and ultimately ruins the happiness of both. It is rather the quiet, idealized love between Ashley and Melanie Wilkes that depicts the true qualities and power of love to nurture, save and protect, even in times of extraordinary upheaval. Scarlett has set her heart on marrying the refined and cultured Ashley. But he chooses instead his mild-mannered and frail cousin Melanie and marries her just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Then he is called to serve in the Southern army and they are separated for the duration of the war.

 

Melanie lacks the captivating beauty, energy, vitality, and feminine wiles of Scarlett. But her gentle heart is made of pure goodness and possesses extraordinary power of goodwill that protects Ashley through the long years of fighting and imprisonment. She combines goodness and goodwill with a capacity for total self-giving to those she loves, which makes her one of the most remarkable women in life or literature. Incapable of a selfish act, she yearns only for the well-being and happiness of her husband, family and friends. Incapable of suspicion or recriminations against anyone, she loves Scarlett even though she knows of Scarlett’s secret yearning for her husband and on her death bed urges Scarlett to care for Ashley. The suffering and destruction wrought by Civil War leave little scope for pleasure or happiness of any description, but through it all Melanie’s unshakeable loyalty and commitment to those she loves creates a cocoon of sweetness and affection which nurtures and protects. Ashley is devastated by her death. Only after her passing, does Scarlett realize the immense power of her idealized love.

A Queen’s Love (First Knight)

Can a person truly love more than one person? In the movie First Knight, Lady Guinevere is torn between her deep, idealistic admiration for the good and noble King Arthur and her passionate emotional attraction to valiant Lancelot. Her love and loyalty to her husband King are juxtaposed to the yearning of her heart and body for the knight who has twice saved her life. Her love of Arthur is the mind’s idealism which cherishes all that is true and noble. Her love of Lancelot is yearning vital-emotional passion. Though very different in nature, Guinevere’s love and loyalty to Arthur are as real and compelling as her powerful physical and vital attraction to Lancelot. A human being is capable of loving more than one person, but few have the energy and intensity to maintain it. In this case, Arthur dies so she can live out her love with Lancelot.

Learn unfailing strategies to rise up the scale of romance in your relationship

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Stairway to Romance

Love is not a fruit that grows on trees or a flower that drops from heaven and remains fresh for a lifetime. It is journey, an ascent up a steep incline toward an ever-receding peak. It is not a thing to be grasped and possessed, but an adventure of self-discovery for the brave of heart that grows only in complete freedom and requires unwavering courage, spotless sincerity, unending patience and unstinting perseverance. Romance is not something that happens to us, but something we choose - a way of living, a way of being.

Many of us can recollect at least one special moment in our lives when our relationship with another person transformed the whole world into marvel of ecstatic joy. Love may come by surprise like an arrow from cupid's bow. Or it may grow slowly and unnoticed like wild flowers beneath the shade of a tree. However fleeting the experience, during that time it feels like we have attained some heavenly state that will last forever.

Because it arrives suddenly and often when we least expect it, some may have the impression that the feeling of love can be sustained for a lifetime without any real effort on out part. Yet all too soon, the wonder fades into the common light of every day life and is tarnished by the dullness of familiar routine and the pain of difference and conflict. Feeling that experience of ecstatic joy for a moment is one thing. Converting the experience into a lifetime of harmony, affection, sweetness and bliss is quite another. The experience comes to many, the permanent state of romantic fulfillment to very few. Guiding seekers to that goal is the objective of RomanceEternal.org.

Many find themselves in relationships in which the spark of romance seems to have never been born or has faded away long ago. They regret the decisions that they have made in the past and believe that romantic fulfillment is not possible with their present partner. True romance is not something that can ever be lost. It remains alive beneath the surface and can be awakened at any time, often long after the initial attraction has disappeared. Romance lies ready to be awakened even in cases where that initial attraction was never felt. Finding a perfect partner never was the true basis for romance. Whenever people are attracted to one another, it signifies that they share a deeper complementarity which can become the basis for true romance. The key lies in discovering and bringing to the surface that hidden complementary.

The Stairway Of Romance shows the steps involved in the ascent from the charm of love at first sight to a lifetime of romantic fulfillment. The value of the scale is that it shows an ascending path and it provides practical strategies to help you move from wherever you find yourself to wherever you want to go.

This scale is based on the fact that human consciousness consists of several levels - a physical level which includes our physical needs and bodily sensations, a vital level of nervous impulses, interests and desires, an emotional level which is the source of our attitudes and deeper affections, a mental level based on opinions, ideas and ideals, and a spiritual level deeper within and above which is the source of our highest values and aspirations. The feeling of attraction to another person can occur at any or all of these levels. The lower the level from which it originates, the more physically intense but short-lived the experience. The higher the level which it embraces, the sweeter, more lasting and harmonious the relationship. The lower levels give rise to desire which generates fleeting pleasure. The higher levels give rise to enduring affection and ecstatic joy that is everlasting.

Each of these levels, but most especially the physical and vital, are characterized by both positive and negative factors that impact on the nature of a relationship. That is another reason why ascending the scale brings greater happiness. Our physical consciousness is subject to doubt, insecurity, selfishness, and clinging possessiveness. The vital can be excitable, irritable, angry, domineering, jealous and greedy. The emotions can be turbulent and demanding. It is only when romance is influenced by the higher mental and spiritual centers that it becomes refined, sweet, lasting and pure.

The ten levels represent an ascending scale of romance beginning with the most physical and rising to emotional, mental and spiritual levels. The ten levels are not entirely separate or disconnected from one another. Attributes of each level can be found at levels above and below but they will be less prominent. Each higher level includes the essential strengths of the levels which are below it. The positive aspects of the lower levels are purified and refined and the negative aspects become less intense and insistent as you rise up the scale.

Starting at the physical and vital levels, we can ascend the stairway to higher levels of emotional, mental and spiritual fullness. Each step upward removes some of the dross of the lower levels, expands our being and brings greater happiness and fulfillment into our lives. Use the scale to identify the present level of your relationship and to learn practical strategies to rise higher. Ascending the scale requires real commitment, serious effort and perseverance. But that is only natural. Whoever said that romance was for the faint of heart or a gift to be acquired just for the asking? It has to be fought for and won by self-discipline and self-giving, but those who sincerely aspire to attain it are sure of success.

Relationship is a journey that two people embark on together. So the question naturally arises whether you can rise to higher levels without the full cooperation from your partner. Cooperation is certainly welcome, but it is not the essential condition for success. That condition is your own determination. Too often partners think that their happiness lies in making the other person different than they are. In reality no one has ever attained romantic fulfillment by changing another person. Eternal romance is attained only by those willing to grow and change themselves. Ultimately your romantic fulfillment does not depend on a second person at all. It is something you create in yourself. And when you do so, other people and circumstances change to convert your whole life into an adventure of romance. That is part of the secret of romance which you can discover on this journey.

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