There are many ways we express our emotional nature and particularly our devotional capacity to give our deeper feelings – whether to another person, to our work, to a cause for others or through an artform.
One avenue that is personally satisfying and also can give pleasure to onlookers, is the art of sacred dance that has had a long tradition through human civilization and has been associated with the sacred spiritual rites and culture within the protection of the temple structure of the priesthood.
The customs are seldom retained or witnessed in our modern lifestyle. Certainly the sacred dance has been returned to its place in the Indian temples and lifted out of association with mere sensuous entertainment. Here the religious stories and legends find an attractive outlet as dance and drama are conjoined.
Dance is not a traditional Christian expression of spiritual feelings. Many people in western countries and cultures are therefore deprived of an outlet for refined emotions. Many take the only avenue available for movement and dance and this is through popular loud and primitive harsh strident sounds and savage energies focused upon heavy rhythms that drug the mind and senses.
The devotional rather than fundamental emotional influence are however evident in the classical ballet that generally is interpreting classical harmonies and beautiful music. This is a very different world and our wonderful dancers have developed techniques and thrilled us with new awareness of the body as an instrument of expression.
However, all art must be associated with higher inspiration and a spiritual source in order to express beauty truth, love and wonderment of life that must surely be the supreme goal.
As the happiness of the soul can find release through beautiful music and song, or pure visual beauty finds expression on canvas, so we can develop a language all of our own, and move to harmonious music, release our inner beauty and harmony, strengthening our goodness and love for life. This is sometimes the ideal choice for those who identify with the heart and mind of a Bhakti.