Feelings as a tool in spiritual growth!

Acharya2
|| Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath ||

Q: Do Indians see feelings as something that should be shaped and refined by means of yoga or meditation, etc.?

A:

Lovely Soul,

Yes! The feelings are of many colors; these varied hues are referred to as ‘Bhava’ and in Indian spiritual philosophy there is a complete system based on the refinement of ‘Bhava’ which is known as ‘Bhakti-Yoga’.

 

Even in ashtaang system of Yoga (the traditional yoga also known as Patanjali yoga) starts with refinement of ‘bhava’ or feelings through ‘Ishwara Pranindidhan’ which finds mention in Yama-Niyama (first two limbs of 8-fold path of Yoga). And this feeling of considering everything (animate or inanimate) as a part of the divine creator is further strengthened through experiential learning which becomes available during last two steps of Yoga i.e. Dhyaana (meditation) and Samaadhi (Dissolution of mind in its source).

 

Further if one wishes to explore tantra (Tattva Shakti Vigyaan being its precursor and preparation) even there you have a system of purification and modulation of bhava from impure to pure using various deity forms (especially in Yogini worship) in all the possible prakritis (saattvika, raajasika and tamasika) giving the tantra practitioner options of choosing a deity in any roopa (form) like bhaarya (consort), bhagini (sister) or maataa (mother).

 

So to presume that Indian spirituality does not value feelings (in fact in every system it has a role to play) and doesn’t have a system to shape and refine them would be false.

Shivoham!

– Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath

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