Love in Sanskrit

Sanskrit Love

स्निह्यति  snihyati

In Sanskrit there are three states of love that correspond with the triguna of the mind. To quickly review these three states, tamas is inertia, ignorance and darkness of the mind. This state is best used for sleeping. Rajas is movement, desire and passion and is great for getting things done. Sattva is an actual Sanskrit word for mind as it is the natural state…calm, clear and peaceful.

Now let’s associate love with each state.
Moha – this is love covered with tamas. It could be considered infatuation. It is delusional.
Sneha – this is rajasic love and is the one we feel when we fall in love.
Prema – this is beautiful sattvic love, unconditional.

Our word snihyati means to fall in love, coming from the rajasic form of love, sneha. In ayurveda we refer to oiling as snehana and to oils as sneha. Oil is sticky and so is rajasic love, as it is full of attachment.

Regardless of which love you are in this Valentine’s Day, I hope it is the greatest ever and your hṛdayam is filled with joy! By the way, heart is a compound word in Sanskrit. It is made up of hṛ, which means takes in, + dayam, giving out. Sound appropriate?