Ask Parvati 28: Enlightenment and Emotions – Part 6: Guidance from the Enlightened
PART 6: GUIDANCE FROM THE ENLIGHTENED
(Continued from The Rise And Fall Of Emotions)
“He who sees all beings in his own Self
and his own Self in all beings,
by virtue of that realization, feels no hatred.
He who has known that all beings
have become one with his own Self,
and he who has seen the oneness of existence,
what sorrow and what delusion can overwhelm him?”
– Isavasya Upanishad
We have explored this week the relationship between enlightenment and emotions. Enlightenment is a topic that is beyond most of us, as most of us are not enlightened. The masters show us the way through the perils of the mind and our tendency for attachment.
When we look at dealing with emotions along the path, we must remember that to feel better than or more evolved than another person, immediately lets us know that we are in our ego. The masters tell us that in an enlightened state, we would see all as divinity. There is no greater than or lesser than feeling in the divine.
We are human beings, sentient beings, returning to love. Emotions will come. Emotions will go. Until we are enlightened, we learn to witness them in ourselves and in others, without attachment. This is our practice until we are established in an open, flowing field of wisdom-compassion. We learn to respond to our emotions rather than react to them.
A friend of mine found out I was writing on this topic this week and sent me the most perfect quote from Amma, that I feel answers this week’s question perfectly. In the words of a true master, who resides in the One, Amma says:
“Enlightenment is not a rock-like state where one loses all inner feelings. It is a state of mind, a spiritual attainment into which you can withdraw yourself and remain absorbed whenever you want. After you tap into the infinite source of energy, your capacity to feel and express everything gains a special, unearthly beauty and depth. If an enlightened person wishes, he or she can express emotions in whatever intensity he or she desires.
Sri Rama cried when the demon king, Ravana, kidnapped his holy consort, Sita. In fact, lamenting like a mortal human being, he asked every creature in the forest, “Have you seen my Sita, where did she go, leaving me alone?” Krishna’s eyes were filled with tears when He saw his dear friend Sudama after a very long time. Similar incidents are there in Christ’s and Buddha’s lives as well. These Mahatmas were as expansive as limitless space and therefore could reflect any emotion they wanted. They were reflective, not reactive.
Like a mirror, Mahatmas respond to situations with perfect spontaneity. Eating when you are hungry is a response. Whereas, eating whenever you see food is a reaction. It is also a disease. Responding to a particular situation, remaining unaffected by it and then moving to the next moment is what a Mahatma does.
Feeling and expressing emotions and honestly sharing them without reservation only adds to an enlightened being’s spiritual splendor and glory. It is wrong to see that as a weakness. It should rather be considered as an expression of their compassion and love in a much more human way. Otherwise, how could ordinary humans understand their concern and love?”
May you witness the flow of your emotions and learn to rest in the field of true compassion for self and all beings. May you serve love by witnessing the ebb and flow of your thoughts and emotions. May you learn to love and serve the greatest good in all as you express presence by being in non-resistance to what is. May you move swiftly along your evolutionary path to enlightenment.
PS: My next post will be this Sunday.