See love in the expression of emotions – and in the concealing of emotions too

Our relationships can become dry or even break down if we don’t express the affection we have for our loved ones. As others can’t read our minds, only when we express our feelings for those who love us do they feel reassured that their feelings are reciprocated.

However, expressing emotions is not the only way to show love. Sometimes, love may be shown best by concealing emotions. If a child is going to a distant land for higher studies, the mother may feel overwhelmed by anxiety. Yet she may conceal her tears to gift her child a happy last memory of a proud parent offering good wishes and blessings.

The essence of love is not emotions, but purpose: the purpose of doing the best for our loved ones. Such a purpose-centered understanding of love illumines the Bhagavad-gita’s exhortation (12.17) to stay equipoised amidst happiness and distress. Though this verse seems to call for unemotionality, it also declares that such equipoise endears us to Krishna, that is, it brings us emotionally closer to him.

How can unemotionality engender emotional proximity to Krishna? By helping us focus on him. Presently, because we are materially attached, we get emotional primarily about temporary material things. And such emotionality distracts us from our long-term spiritual good.

Therefore, bhakti-yoga involves demonstrating our love for Krishna by expressing appropriate spiritual emotions whenever we feel them and by subordinating those emotions that obstruct our spiritual purpose. For example, on a holy fasting day, we may not like to fast. But instead of laboring through the whole day with a sullen face, we strive, as an austerity, to absorb ourselves in serving Krishna as cheerfully as possible.

When we cultivate such absorption by concealing inappropriate emotions, we become purified and gradually relish constant spiritual emotions.

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Seek a guru to show the way, not to sanction your way
Eventual defeat doesn’t justify immediate defeat
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1 Comment

  1. Atrue love knows no emotion as of mother

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