Love is the essence of evolution; it is the essence of religion too, for it is religion (not organised religion) that teaches ethics and compassion.
Of course, organisation is necessary but we should see that the core is not corroded by the trappings. The evolved human being is not judged by the number of cars he owns or his bank balance. He is judged by his capacity to understand and love; by his compassionate nature and strong desire for peace — all hallmarks of an evolved being.
The ancient Vedic prayer, ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina’, says, “May the whole world be happy”. The compassion and love of all humanity of the Buddha is well known. Love is the parent of ahimsa, non-violence. The Qur’an starts by saying ‘Bismillahir-Rehman-ir-Rahim’, which means “In the name of God, the Compassionate”. Compassion is the highest manifestation of love. In the Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, “The first and foremost qualification of a religious person is ‘Sarva bhuta hite ratah’ — he should have love and concern for all living beings in the universe”.
Sowing the seeds of love in our hearts is the only solution to the problems of the world.
Great literature, sublime poetry, exquisite works of art have all been inspired by love and compassion. The highest evolutionary attainment is the experience of love for all beings.
And if we claim to be religious and neglect this aspect, we are religious only in name. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said that to love and serve those in sorrow and pain, was the best way to serve God.