As we have already seen in earlier articles in this series, spiritual emotion (bhāv) is a state of experiencing God’s presence everywhere. This includes experiencing God’s presence in oneself, in others, as well as in all the living and non-living things in the universe. Though some can readily understand this at an intellectual level, it is quite difficult to actually experience it. More importantly it is very difficult for most to be able to live as per this understanding from moment to moment in their day to day life.
One of the important reasons for the inability of most people to experience spiritual emotion is the lower spiritual level of the average person. Please note that by the ‘average person’ we mean a person who is average spiritually. In his worldly life this person could be a billionaire, a head of state or a celebrity from show business. The mode spiritual level of people across the world in the present times is 20% while that of a Saint who has attained the Final Liberation (Moksha) is 100%. For spiritual practice to occur smoothly due to their spiritual emotion, the spiritual level of the seeker has to be at least 50%. Similarly, to awaken spiritual emotion through spiritual practice, the minimal spiritual level required is 50%. To attain this level, one needs to chant the Name of God, remain in company of the God Principle (satsang) and offer one’s service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā) constantly. Even after awakening spiritual emotion, to maintain it one needs to keep doing one’s spiritual practice.
An important point to note here for the serious seeker of God is to be wary of the mere external manifestations of spiritual emotion. Please refer to our article on ‘What are the various manifestations of spiritual emotion?’ It is important to gauge our spiritual emotion with the yardstick of being able to live it in our day to day life. For example, one may experience spiritual emotion in the form of cool tears when visiting a place of worship, when remembering one’s Spiritual master (Guru) or when going through a spiritual experience. However the real test of one’s spiritual emotion would be to be able to actually see God’s hand supporting us even when we are going through adversity in our life. In that case after we have made all the efforts possible, we would be able to actively surrender the situation at God’s feet. Another check is to look out for our attitude and behaviour with others, especially those who behave negatively with us. If we can be aware of the God Principle in them in our dealings with them, then it is a sure test of our spiritual emotion.