Life is a story of the alternating patterns of expression of emotions in happiness and suffering, joys and misery. Even saints are known to have struggled with the power of emotions. Though emotions are problematic, human beings supposedly become more ‘humane’ because of them. Through the expression of our emotions, we share our inner feelings and state of mind with others be it positive or negative in nature. The expression of our emotion enables us to provide comfort, assistance and support in times of hardship and distress to others and oneself. Expression and sharing of emotions are considered to be the driving force of human development.
Emotions influence our actions, no matter whether they are positive or negative. By their very nature, emotions are binding and bad for intellectual reasoning & act there upon. A resolve made with proper thought and concern would be much firmer than a resolve arising out of emotions. To succeed in controlling our mind and the senses according to what needs to be done, we need to be not swayed nor influenced by emotions. We should treat emotions as just states of mind to which we should be indifferent.
Good mental health has been associated with positive emotions like love, affection, compassion, sympathy, empathy, gratitude and so on. Most faith traditions of different religions of the world also emphasize these qualities. But, they all belong to the preliminary stage of spiritual life. Spiritual growth and maturity of spiritual faith is characterized by complete detachment to all emotions. Emotions like divine love ought to be expanded to complete unselfishness in Bhakti Yoga.
Dr Mahesh Chandra Panda