Pointers on the Heart

by Ramana Maharshi

Selected from the teachings of Ramana Maharshi

Pointers on the HeartCall it by any name: God, Self, the Heart, or the seat of consciousness; it is all the same. The point to be grasped is this: The heart means the very core of one’s being, the center, without which these is nothing whatsoever.

The Self is the Heart, which is self-luminous. Light arises from the Heart and reaches the brain, which is the seat of the mind. If the mind is turned inward, toward the source of light, objective knowledge ceases and the Self alone shines forth as the heart.

The moon shines by the reflected light of the sun. When the sun has set, the moon is useful for revealing objects. When the sun has risen, no one needs the moon, although the pale disc of the moon is still visible in the sky. So it is with the mind and the Heart.

The Heart is the only reality. The mind is only a transient phase. To remain as one’s Self is to enter the Heart.

The spiritual Heart-center is quite different from the blood-propelling, muscular organ know by the same name. The spiritual Heart-center is not an organ of the body.

To see the Heart it is enough that the mind is turned toward it. Then, the mind loses itself and the Heart shines forth.

The Heart is the center from which everything springs. Because you see the world, the body and so on, it is said that there is a center for these, which is called the Heart. When you are in the Heart, the Heart is known to be neither the center nor the circumference. These is nothing else. “Whose” center could it be?

The Heart is neither a conception nor object for meditation. It is the seat of meditation; the Self remains all alone. You see the body in the Heart, the world in it. There is nothing separate from it.

In the center of the Heart’s cavity Brahman shines alone,
Self-aware as “I-I”.
Enter into the Heart by diving deep in search for self,
Or with breath under check,
And thus ever-abide in the Self.