When life makes us emotionally seasick…

Seasickness is caused by the continuous up-down movement of the ship due to the sea-waves. Similarly, when we travel through life, its ups and downs can make us emotionally seasick. The continuous turbulence of emotions makes us long for calmness, just as seasick people long for the steadiness of the land.

We can find that calm by reaching the land of immortality, that is, by turning away from the outer world towards our inner essence as immortal souls. The Bhagavad-gita (05.20) indicates that when we become spiritually aware (brahma-vit) and spiritually steady (brahmani-sthitah), life’s inevitable dualities no longer overwhelm us.

However, remedying our emotional seasickness is a bit more complicated than remedying normal seasickness. Why? Because unlike seasick people who just want to get back to land as quickly as possible, during our emotional seasickness we want to hold on to the high points of worldly pleasures and avoid the low points of worldly pains. But that’s impossible.Just as we can’t have the crests of the waves without the troughs, we can’t have worldly pleasures without worldly pains.

Why do we want worldly pleasures? Because we fear that without them life would have nothing to look forward to. Addressing our concerns, Gita wisdom informs us that beyond the land of immortality lies an ocean of devotion. The goal of life is not just to experience the serenity of our spiritual identity but to go beyond it and savor the ecstasy of our devotional relationship with Krishna. In the ocean of devotion, life is not static but dynamic. As the waves in that ocean rise and fall, we experience union and separation from Krishna. But because both increase his remembrance, both contribute to our deepest emotional fulfillment. 

Thus by loving Krishna, we relish the richness of emotions without any sickness what so ever.

Bhagavad Gita Chapter 05 Text 20

“A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God is already situated in transcendence.”

When neither the summits nor the valleys matter…
We are just extras in others’ plots

Author: Chaitanya Charan Das

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