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.
"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."