The difference between lust and love is that one is based on ignorance and the other on the truth, one is selfish and the other selfless. When we are under the misconception of, “I am this body and you are your body,” and when we are after the temporary flickering sensations that give pleasure to our bodies, that is lust. But when we understand the eternal nature of the soul within us and we understand the nature of God within us, and when we experience the pleasure of giving of ourselves selflessly to reach the soul of another—that is love.
When our desires are disconnected from the eternal truth, our desires become lust. When they are reunited with the eternal truth, all our desires are an expression of true love.
By Radhanath Swami