Celebrate the commotion of emotion in the ocean of devotion

Some people conceive of spiritual perfection as an emotionless peace, a sanctuary of silence beyond the agitations and complications of material existence.

Gita wisdom acknowledges this as a spiritual perfection, but not as the topmost spiritual perfection. The Bhagavad-gita begins by differentiating between the body and the soul, and then urging indifference towards bodily emotions if one desires peace (02.70). But after thus subordinating body-based emotions, the Gita introduces us to the life of the soul proper in loving devotion to Krishna. In its four nutshell verses (10.0810.11), it declares that the enlightened delight in emotions centered on Krishna.

In fact, the joy in the devotional contemplation on Krishna is declared to be endless (10.18), akin to an ocean that is shoreless and fathomless. The ever-fresh realizations of the glory and the beauty of Krishna arising in the hearts of devotees are like gigantic waves rising in this ocean of devotion. These wave-like realizations toss the devotees about in the ocean. Intriguingly, this tossing about is not traumatic, but ecstatic – it brings them in contact with other parts of the ocean, newer facets of Krishna’s glories, thereby bringing fresh relish to their devotionally surcharged hearts.

The hearts of devotees in love with Krishna are characterized by a commotion of emotion. In their intense and intimate relationship with him, they relish the whole gamut of emotions ranging from the supreme delight of union to the ultimate devastation of separation. All these emotions being centered on Krishna, heighten the devotees’ remembrance of him – so the emotions, no matter how they appear externally, are irresistibly, supremely relishable. Indeed, these emotions are so breathtakingly sweet and heart-stoppingly unpredictable that the devotees’ life is simply an eternal celebration of the commotion of emotion in the ocean of devotion. That is the ultimate spiritual perfection.

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Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10 Text 18


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