Bhakti purifies, sanctifies and amplifies our emotions
Emotions differentiate us conscious beings from unconscious things. As matter doesn’t have the capacity to experience emotions, the presence of that capacity in us suggests that there is more to our identity than matter – it points to our spiritual essence.
Yet it is a sad irony that the very emotions which suggest our spiritual identity also often obfuscate that identity. Our emotions generally tend to get activated primarily by matter in its various colors and shapes, thereby binding us to material existence.
So, some people equate becoming spiritual with becoming unemotional. As bhakti is centered on emotions, these people often look down upon bhakti as low-level spirituality. If they are to understand the glory of bhakti, they need to “please see again” or PSA, an acronym that indicates the three broad parts in the remarkable redirection of emotions that bhakti brings about: Purify, Sanctify, Amplify. Let’s look at this threefold redirection:
- Purify: Bhakti connects us with the supremely pure being, Krishna, thereby purifying us of entangling material emotions.
- Sanctify: Bhakti directs our emotions towards the supremely sacred being, Krishna, thereby sanctifying those emotions.
- Amplify: Bhakti reveals to us how Krishna is far more attractive than anything of the material world. This revelation gradually makes our emotions for him stronger and deeper than our past emotions for anything material. Thus our life acquires an emotional amplitude that we never knew was possible.
Thus, bhakti utilizes our natural emotionality to fuel our spiritual journey. And such transcendental emotions connect us strongly with Krishna, the reservoir of all pleasure. This connectedness makes our spiritual journey a joyful journey, as the Bhagavad-gita (09.02) confirms.
“This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.”