{hinduloka} $title={Table Content} Spiritual Heart Center and Life Support

The Sanskrit word for Heart is hrid or hrdayam , which is usually translated as mind, soul, heart or chest. It is also used to refer to the emotional state of love, or compassion, or the essence of all things. 

Because it has a spiritual and philosophical meaning, it is also used in conjunction with other words as a deity epithet or to denote a certain physical or mental state. For example, Siva has the epithets Hridayanatha , lord of the heart, and Parvathi, Hridayeswari , goddess of the heart.

The heart has many dimensions in the macrocosm and microcosm of God's creation. In the universe, the heart is the abode of Brahman (God) as the center and support of all existence. 

The only way one can enter it is through the heart of Brahman , which is only possible if one connects one's heart with His heart through duty, knowledge, devotion, surrender, service, identification, sacrifice and silence.

In Hinduism the heart has great significance both as a resting place for the Jiva and as a representative of the location where Brahman resides . It is the center of life. As the center or hub of all movement and action, it has the following five dimensions:
  1. In the physical body , the Heart is the god who overshadows the soul. It has five holes through which it feeds the organs with prana and keeps them alive. It also has several blood vessels (hit ) that extend not only to other parts of the body but also to the outside. The heart also plays an important role in procreation because some of its energy is said to go into the formation of the hack (male seed).
  2. In the body of the breath , the Heart is the cave where the soul descends at the moment of death along with the breath. It has hundreds or thousands of arteries called blacka (means) through which energy ( prana ) flows. Through one of them, the soul moves up the head and from there escapes to the central space ( Antariksham ), or the space between heaven and earth.
  3. In the mental body, the Heart is the mind itself which is responsible for all thoughts and emotions, and different states of consciousness. Since the soul rests in the heart during sleep, it is also the source of dreams and the state of deep sleep. The Yoga Sutra (3.34) says that by concentrating and meditating ( samyama ) on the Heart, knowledge of consciousness ( citta-samvit ) occurs.
  4. In the body of intelligence, the Heart is the connecting link that opens the eyes to the truth of existence and helps to distinguish truth from illusion and ignorance to which one is subject. Since the Self ( Jiva ) resides in the Heart, it participates in its essential nature, which is intelligence.
  5. At the highest level, in the body of happiness, as the abode of the Self, the Heart is responsible for one's experience of self-absorption and happiness, beyond all duality and delusion. It happens when one draws one's senses into one's mind, one's mind into one's intelligence and one's intelligence into the Self, which is the source of all this.

The Heart as the Position of God's Love

According to Hinduism, the heart is the link between heaven and earth. It is there that we experience God's love, express our love for Him, or enter a dream state or deep sleep state. 

It is a secret cave ( Hreday a) in the body where face to face with the secrets of our existence. The heart is also our vulnerable place, and unless we protect it properly, we can succumb to negative emotions, and through them, to astral attacks. Therefore, it is important for us to fill our hearts with love and positive energy.

The Narada Bhakti Sutra states that
God is a form of eternal love and happiness, and so is the Self. He who attains it becomes immortal and happy. 
We do not experience Self-love because we are cut off from it by our own illusions and dualities. God's love manifested in the universe, radiating from his heart is without duality and without objects, like the sun and the ocean, an infinite love where nothing else exists.

It was more intense and powerful than any human could ever imagine. This is not love for any particular thing or being, but love that radiates in all directions and touches anyone and everyone who comes into contact with it, just as light radiates from the sun as its essence and touches everything in its path. His love is so strong yet so tender and vulnerable that no human being can sustain it for long. 

God's love also makes him vulnerable to the love of his devotees and to come out of his strong shell of detachment and indifference. However, because it is pure love, no evil can touch it or stand before it.

If a person wants to remain free from negativity, he must fill his heart and mind with the purest love and compassion. 
At the lowest level, the heart manifests as desire, at the intermediate level as love and compassion, and at the highest level as devotion, happiness, and unconditional love, which is not of this world.

The Heart in the Sacred Vedic Texts

The heart is mentioned in the  Upanishads  as an internal organ, and mostly in a passive sense as the location where the Self is present or where the Self collects the breath before departing from the body. This is a very important location in the body, as is light for the sun and the world. In that body is the abode of the Self and heaven itself, which connects beings to the gods, the Sun and the moon, and requires no further support. It is also a safe haven for the Self when the body is asleep or when traveling to a higher world while leaving the body.

According to the Chandogya Upanishad (3.18.2), in the body of the Universal Being (Vaisvanara, if the chest is (comparable to) the sacrificial pit, the heart (becomes comparable to) the sacrificial fire, space (akasa) or heaven.
As far as this (outside) space extends, so far is the space within his heart (expands). Both earth and sky are in it, both fire and air, both sun and sun. moon, both lightning and stars. Whatever was in it, and whatever wasn't, everything was in it.
The heart is called hrdayam , it is because the Self is located in the heart. "Indeed, the Self is in the heart," reads the verse (8.3.3) in the Chandogya Upanishad;
Regarding that, here is the etymological explanation. Hrdayam means hridi, in the heart, and chicken means this. That's why it's called HRD. Who knew this day by day entering the heaven realm.

Brihadaranyaka (5.4.1) gives a different explanation, 
This is Prajapati, this heart. This is Brahman. All of these. It has three syllables. They are 'hr' 'da' and 'yam.' Hr is one syllable. For those who know this, his own devotees and others make offerings. Da is one syllable. For those who know that their own people give. Yes is one syllable. He who knows this goes to the heavenly realm.
The same Upanishad (Chapter 3.12.4) compares the heart to the subtle body. It is the Purusha body in us where the breath rests. 
What constitutes the body of the Purusha, in fact, is what is the heart in the Purusha, for in the heart the breath rests but does not go beyond it.

According to Shankara , the six syllables in the Gayatri meter symbolize the six organs of Purusha , namely, "Speech, Purusha, Earth, Body, Heart and Breath."

In the same passage, we further hear that the space outside the body is Brahman , and the same space is located within the heart. 

The heart has five openings (according to Mundaka seven), through which five types of breath travel in the body and keep it alive and well (Chapter 3.13). 

The eastern opening is Prana , the southern opening is Vyana , the western opening is Apana , the northern opening is Samana and the upper opening is Udana .

The importance of the heart in the body goes beyond superficial symbolism. The heart is essential for life and existence on earth, as it is also the location for the Self in the body. This is confirmed by the teachings of Sandilya (3.14.3). 
This is Me in my heart, smaller than a grain of rice, than a grain of corn, than a mustard seed, than a millet or the seed of a millet.
Since the Self resides in the inner space of the heart, it is also the source of intelligence and the resting place of perception. Even faith ( sraddah ) only rests on the heart.

Thus, the heart is a very important location in the body which houses both the breath and the Self. Due to its subtle nature, it also maintains contact with the astral world. Through it the Self travels to the astral world during sleep and to the Sun or Moon at death. This is facilitated by many arteries called blacka (energy channels), which extend from the heart all the way to heaven. Just as the road between two villages stretches from this to that, "They start from that sun and enter this artery; and starting from this artery, they enter the sun."

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (4.2.3) makes it even more explicit,
Just like a hair that is a thousand folds, there is an artery called black that is embedded in the heart.

What protects people from harm when they are asleep and helpless is also the heart. When a person is fast asleep, he enters the arteries of the heart and no evil can touch him.

This idea is reaffirmed in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (2.1.18) by Ajatasatru who affirms it to Balaki. 
The heart is where a person rests during sleep. It is also the door to the dream world (Br.2.1.19). 
Now, when he is asleep, when he knows nothing, by the seventy-two thousand arteries called the black, which run from the heart to the whole body, he travels and rests in the body. As a son, as an emperor, as a great Brahmin can rest, having attained supreme bliss, so he rests in the body.

The heart is the door to dreams and the astral because during creation from the heart the mind is separated and from the mind of the moon. Likewise, during the formation of the body, the moon enters the heart into the mind. Since the heart is the location of the Self, it is also the source of intelligence. 
Which is heart and mind, That is consciousness, perception, discrimination, intelligence, mental intelligence.
According to the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (3.9.22) the heart is where life begins and ends, and where the gods gather to unite in the body during birth and dissolve at death. And when he dies, he ascends through the same artery to the Sun or to another world.

Since the heart is the abode of the Self, all the gods descend into the heart when one is about to die and merge with the Self. 
That self when it became weak and numb, as it were, then breath gathered around it. Carrying this luminous one he descends into the heart. When the person in the eye withdraws from all sides, then he becomes oblivious to forms.

Chandogya (8.6.6) explains what happened then, 
Hundreds of one are the arteries of the heart; one of them goes to the top of the head. Through it one attains immortality; the other serves as a means of going in a different direction, yes in a different direction.

The process of liberation also begins from the heart because that is where the Self, as big as a thumb, is bound with the knots of desire (Katha.2.3.15-17). They must be cut into pieces and the Self must be patiently separated from the body as one separates a blade of munja grass from its midrib.

According to the Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.11) the heart must be calm, as the mind, to attain liberation. The heart must be pure to experience the highest happiness. For that the mind must rest in peace, with the senses drawn into the mind and the mind into the heart. 
Having established the mind and senses in his heart, the sage must cross, in the boat of Brahman, the current of fear."
If he endures by Siva's grace he will be able to "understand Him as great and become free from sorrow.

Since the Self is located in the heart and the mind is the door to the heart, only through the heart and mind can we know the Self. One should focus on the heart, having made it pure and lustless. 
Focus on the lotus center of the heart, which is lustless and pure, and meditate in the center on that which is pure without sorrow, unthinkable, unmanifested, infinite form, auspicious, peaceful, eternal and the cause of Brahman