Devotion is a passion that is beyond passion

The word ‘passion’ has both negative and positive connotations.

Negatively, it refers to the mode of passion that induces worldly desires which bind us to material existence.

Positively, it refers to the defining drive that brings purpose and energy to our life.

These contradictory connotations of passion reflect our existential dilemma that centers on the role of passions or emotions in our life. Without emotions, we would become like stones – merely existing, not living. Yet due to emotions, we often find life unlivable; we form emotional attachments to worldly things and suffer terribly because everything worldly is temporary.

This brings us to the dilemma: is passion to be abandoned or cultivated?

To help resolve this dilemma, Gita wisdom introduces us to a divine passion that is beyond worldly passion – the passion of devotion to Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita (18.54) indicates that pure devotion resides beyond the ken of material emotions such as hankering and lamentation, implying thereby that it lies far beyond worldly passion. And yet devotion is itself an emotion, a divine passion that bonds us to Krishna. The Gita (10.09) indicates that devotees offer Krishna their mind, their speech and indeed their whole life. And unlike worldly passion, devotion brings endless enjoyment because both Krishna and we as souls are eternal.

Significantly, devotion, though transcendental to worldly passion, is still accessible to those subject to worldly passion. That’s because bhakti-yoga doesn’t demand that we renounce all worldly things; instead, it enables us to use those things in Krishna’s service and thereby start relishing devotional happiness. The more we cultivate the divine passion of devotion and rejoice therein, the more we see the futility of material indulgences and abandon worldly passion.

Thus, devotion not only exists beyond worldly passion, but also offers us the best exit out of worldly passion. 

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 18 Text 54

"One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me."

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4 Comments

  1. thank you pr ji c c das for explaining the concept of ” beeing situated in one self “, also explaining the dual meaning of ” passion ” and also for clarifying the method to use passion in the right way. thank you again and again and again.

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  2. Very well written and expressed. In differentiating worldly passion as material emotions and divine passion as devotion, one is better able to understand the differences and move toward Krishna consciousness without any confusion or dilemma.

    Thank you. Hare Krishna!

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  3. This is one of the best articles yet, medicine for the soul. Your articles are so easy to read and understand. Thank you!
    Steve Harvell

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