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The word ‘bhavna’ (meaning emotion, feeling, attitude) carries far more depth than we give it credit for.

Most of us carry things in routine, even emotions. We carry emotions without feeling them, without engaging with them.

Emotions in routine

For example, the emotion to help others. So, there’s this thought, imbued with that shade of emotion, help. We have been conditioned to think that helping others is a good thing. So out of routine, we act, we help, however, don’t “feel” much. (This explains why we are routinely selective in who to help. That is fair too, but in select conditions). In general terms, we discriminate in displaying the emotion of help.

In routine-bound act, ‘bhavna’ is missing; I feed a dog, because I was told this is good thing to do, however, there is no genuine feeling /emotion (‘bhavna’) attached with that canine. Similarly, I pray every day, but ‘bhavna’ is missing.

What is the result? A feeling of disconnect. Why? because I haven’t engaged truly with the emotion of help and I haven’t engaged genuinely with the emotion of pure love either.

Lip servicing an emotion

‘Bhavna’ means feeling emotions to the core of the being and acting out from that core space. ‘Bhavna’ is pulsation or vibration carried out with a certain attitude or ‘bhav’. We are spiritual beings. Spirituality implies connecting to our spirit, which is our true self. Our true self exists in its pure form, stripped from conditioning of what we have been taught in routine.

By genuinely feeling, spirituality is lived and spirit-connection is re-established.

However, in a routine, things work differently. We may visit our altar — inside the home or outside — pray, chant hymns and songs and feel good. When done, we can come out only to shoo away an asking hand or scowl at someone. Where is my spirituality? Lost. I stand disconnected. Disunited from my own spirit. Result? ‘Dukh’, or suffering.

Conditioned ‘bhavna’ gives conditioned respite from our pain and sufferings. This is because a conditioned ‘bhavna’ reflects, rather, mirrors disunion. This disunion is ‘vi-yog’ the opposite of ‘yog’, that implies union. Disunion with others, is disunion with self. In other words, being unable to empathise with others is disunion. Disunion causes disharmony within self.

All is self

There is a way to deal with it. For example, if one wants to live with the ‘bhavna’ of compassion (‘karuna’), then one ought to live it. No less. Live it, going beyond the routine and sporadic display of it.

One ought to feel compassion in every fibre of the being. When you live compassion truly, like you own it, like it is yours, then you will automatically start acting in that vibration. You will then experience the connection, the union, between the self and the person/object engaged with the self. This union brings peace.

When separation is dissolved, the opposite happens — union is experienced.

So, next time, if you choose to feed a stray animal, carry the ‘bhavna’ of the hunger that, that animal experiences, the uncertainty of a meal that it goes through, the love and protection that it yearns for. Take a moment, feel all those things that, that creature of the Divine, has, and goes through day-after-day. That is living an emotion. Your compassion will flow. Next time, if you choose to lash out on a person, take a moment and imagine the situations he/she may have gone through, the ups and downs of life, just like you. Your compassion will flow.

In living an emotion, live it in balance. Let your intention and wisdom be the guiding ally.