I would like to ask each of you reading this post one question, what does unconditional love mean to you?

Let’s take a moment to reflect on this idea. We’ve all heard it being said a million times and we’ve all heard a million versions of what unconditional love entails. We have also been told that god loves each of us unconditionally and let’s not forget the famous statement “Love thy Neighbor as you love thy self “. If you were anything like me you would have also grown up wondering just what the heck does this even mean?

How can I love anyone unconditionally? Also, what does it mean that some god out there loves me unconditionally?? This whole concept seemed to me rather obscure and at one level an unattainable standard. I will be the first to confess that I grew up thinking that this whole thing about unconditional love was complete fiction, it didn’t exist and was a lie fabricated by religious fanatics. I grew up with the mindset that I would show kindness to people that was in line with how they acted towards me. If someone treated me fairly, I would reciprocate the same sentiment to them and if I felt someone had wronged me, then I would let them know that they were substandard humans (in my books that is).  I have also been told by several preachers and gurus  ” Oh my child, Love can move mountains and can melt stones”, to which my only thought was ” Great to know, but how does that translate into conventional human interactions? Dont talk to me about Jesus Christ on the cross forgiving people, tell me something I can relate to in the here and now..not some story from the Puranas or vedas or the Bible“. One day I said a prayer within myself…not to some god or personal diety of mine (thats for a different story..we’ll get there in future posts), just within myself. I said to myself ” If there is a higher power out there, please help me to understand what this thing called unconditional love is..please help me to make sense of this“.

It looked like my prayers did not fall on deaf ears after all, and that someone was listening in!  One day not too long after my prayer was expressed, I was watching a television documentary about one of the worst serial killers out there at the time in the US.  His name or who he was isn’t that important for this story, so I will keep his identity anonymous here. What I can share is that his actions were truly unimaginable and absolutely horrendous by any human standard. This was a man who came across as being barely human, demonic more like it. He took great pleasure in torturing and murdering women in gruesome manners and he had claimed more than 100 lives of beautiful beings. Long story short, he was eventually apprehended and put on trial.  Little did I know that the tv show I was watching on the trial of this gruesome human was how the universe (now I know the universe as my Devi), wished to address my prayer on what unconditional love was and its power to transform.

I will be honest with you readers that at the time I was just hooked by all the tv drama, this was reality tv at its best! I was just excited to watch this. I saw this murderer take the stand and by this time of course it was established that he was guilty of the crimes and before the final sentencing the prosecution team was given permission to allow some of the victims family members to take the stand and address the man who had inflicted unspeakable horrors on their loved one. I sat glued to the tv.

One by one, I saw one different people take the stand and address the murderer. 

Sir, you are an animal, an abhorrent beast and I hope you really know what hell fire feels like  on your skin for a billion years” or ” You MONSTER! YOU ABSOLUTE MONSTER, YOU DESERVE TO DIE!!! DIE YOU FIEND!!!” or ” I TRULY FEEL THAT YOU ARE SATAN HIMSELF IN FLESH AND BLOOD” etc..these are but a small sampling of some of the sentiments hurled at the man and every now and then the judge would turn to the murderer and ask him ” Mr. xxxxx  do you have anything to say? ” and the man then would turn and face the judge and then the families of his victims. I can never forget the expression on his face…absolutely cold…no remorse or any kind of emotions whatsoever. “ I am guilty as charged“…that was the only answer that could come out [ I maybe paraphrasing a bit but I can honestly say that was the answer conveyed, that he was guilty and no ifs or buts about that ..nor any show of remorse]. His heart I thought was not one of stone, I mean to me his heart was more like that of solid iron. Impenetrable, unmovable and absolutely devoid of any feelings so much so it gave him an air of invulnerability.

It was almost like he was taunting the world ” Go on, do your worst, I dare you to try, you know what, you can even put me to death but you cannot touch me inside! I am absolutely invincible 

The prosecution then said to the judge that there was one more man who wanted to address the murderer and that he was the father of a young girl who was brutally murdered by the man on trial. I watched with absolute attention to what happened next. Little did I know that this random tv show would change the course of my life. This man who took the stand looked rather frail, had a very somber look to him but seemed generally calm and collected when compared to the other people who took the stand earlier. His words are burnt into my mind.

He looked at the murderer squarely in his eyes and spoke with a gentle voice ” Sir, the people who spoke to you before me have wished great harm and pain unto you. You stand here before us a convicted man and though you have been given a chance to repent for your actions, you haven’t yet done so. Sir, you took something, you took someone from me who was more dear to me and my wife than anything else in this world. We loved our daughter dearly and we will never ever get her back.  Standing here, I know that.  But what I do not know is what you have experienced in your life that has made you into the person you are today, capable of inflicting so much pain unto others. I am a devout Christian. The lord tells us to forgive…but he hasn’t told us that forgiveness is dependent on any conditions or actions. He just tells us to forgive.  Sir, so even though you have brought immeasurable pain to me and to our family, I want you to know that I forgive you and wish the lord brings some peace to your heart 

I was stunned….absolutely shell shocked ….so much so that I didn’t even register fully what was happening.  However, it looked like I wasn’t the only one either…very very slowly I saw the lips of the murderer slightly tremble …soon I saw his hands started to shake and within moments the mans knees found it hard to support his weight. He for the very first time ….I repeat, for the very first time, broke down and started sobbing. He finally was able to understand just what kind of horror he had inflicted on so many and showed true remorse. No matter how many layers of defense and how densely solid his heart had been, it was no match for what I understood as the power of unconditional love. That Love shown by that gentle grieving father completely obliterated all of his defenses and shattered him to pieces right there.  It brought out the inner man within the murderer. It once and for all time showed me that if a human being was capable of showing such a state of love, then can we even imagine the kind of love that the universe is capable of showing? 

Gentle reader, whether or not you believe in a personal god or wish to see life as an impersonal movement of consciousness, my opinion is that the power of unconditional love is a force beyond any of our conception, capable of transforming the most dense of objects, like the heart of a murderer. This incident has absolutely transformed my life and has made me a kinder person to all in my world. Thats the only way I can repay the goodness of this kind father.  Sharing this story is a way I can keep his love alive and I hope this story helps you to show more kindness in your lives as well.

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