Vedantic Wednesday: Feeling Emotions and Being Emotional

Last week’s blog on being indifferent under the guise of being detached ( led to a lot of conversations 450px-A_Buddha_Toywith few of you. While the discussions themselves were a mixed bag, it did bring out that few of us were doing some serious introspection.  This week I want to place in front for your consideration my humble understanding on a similar area of misunderstanding – feeling emotions and emotional.

Typically we see ourselves reacting to situations. Then on analysis we remark, ‘ I should stop being  so emotional’. What does this mean? To many of us it means not feeling the emotions at all. We assume a great sage is one who does not feel any emotions of sadness, happiness, anger, pain etc.  So without  much further investigation we begin to control our emotions.  We adopt practices of controlling our natural feelings that arise at any situation. This is a process of systematically numbing ourselves to feelings.

Numbing of feelings at physical and mental plane is not the method to exhibit self-control. It is akin to rote-learning vs understanding. It can take you only that far in life and journey of realization. In simple words (at the cost of technical transgression) we can understand becoming emotional to indicate falling a victim to the after-effects of feeling an emotion. You get angry. That is an emotion; but what do you do about it? Throw tantrums? Or understand that not everything has to happen as per your plan and look at what needs to be done? Somebody steals your wallet. You feel sad about having lost a sizable sum. What do you do about it? Grieve and curse ? Or figure out what vulnerability in your behaviour was exploited and how to ensure you cover it up going forward?

One cannot at the initial level control feeling these different emotions. But one can control the actions that get triggered on experience of emotions. This is the difference that we need to understand. For a person who has realized life in its true essence, everything that life dishes out is a Prasad. A blessing; an opportunity. So the only emotion that runs through him at every instance is happiness, peace and bliss.  Through deeper understanding of life, he has only emotions of bliss and gratitude in him.

However, till the time we reach that stage, we have to take smaller steps everyday to control how we react when we feel an emotion. We should not be controlling the feeling that arises in us. We should not become inert. We should become more aware – of ourselves and our impact on others!


8 thoughts on “Vedantic Wednesday: Feeling Emotions and Being Emotional

  1. Very true.. have been studying Vedanta (Bhagavatam) for quite some time and my understanding is in the same lines you have mentioned above (every instance is happiness, peace and bliss).. It’s very good and makes you as well as people surrounding you happy which is the ultimate wealth.

    1. Great to hear from you Vijay, especially on this blog space! Bhagavatam is one of the most beautiful source for the vedantic philosophies. So much meaning hidden behind simple and engaging stories.Hope you will share with us more of your thoughts as we go along. We should plan to catch up sometime.

      1. It’s very hard to find someone who clearly explains intended meaning of Bhagavatam stories (I mean actual philosophy hidden behind stories). Luckily with Gods grace, able to get one such great scholar but all of his teachings are in Telugu. Just pasting the link for your info :-

        I am badly looking for some community who is interested in exploring Vendatam so that we can have discussions. I will try to post when I find something interesting. Basically I don’t want to communicate using my words as there are chances of misinterpretation. I just want to forward the corresponding link but they are in Telugu in this case..

      2. Thanks for sharing this link. I am sure quite a few would benefit from this. I shall also share with you some places of satsang around vedanta.

  2. The very vital step is to become aware of the emotion that is triggered. Why there is a trigger
    and then connection between the cause and effect.If we investigate this a little further we can
    perceive that there is an input.How do we get the input; it is through our senses carried to the mind and then to the EGO. Ultimately the perceiver is the I.From gross physical level to the most subtle level.Let us take for example there is hot breeze.The intelligence in the body tells
    mind that it is not pleasant.This message is perceived as “I am feeling hot”
    In Bhagavadgita Lord Krishna says : samaduhkhasukh svasthah samaloshtaasma kanchana
    thulya priyaapriyo dheerah thulya nindatma samsthuthi!
    One who perceives with equqnimity the pleasurers and pain ; praise and insult he is valiant.
    Why someone who treats pleasure pain equally is valiant?Is this not against commonsense.
    We have delve deeply. This perception of pain is because of the identification of self with body.
    We fail to see the instrumentality of the Body and think it is ME.
    The moment we shift our focus from ME to IT there is recourse to solution with peace.
    Some people even if a small damage is caused to, say their vehicle they get very disturbed.
    But that is different.
    The Bhagavadgita highlights the same in several places and in different ways.
    Yes as Krishna Himself admits this is indeed difficult task and one has to be constantly at it
    practising arduously with determination.

  3. Hi Raj, thank you for providing this forum for us to discuss the deeper meaning of our daily lives. My initial difficulty with this concept was that, I didn’t want to view pleasure and pain as no different from one another, until I understood they were both maya and not ones “true being”.

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