The Path of the Heart For Spiritual Realisation

The way of knowledge is not the only path for the seeker of the Divine. Another path is the way of the heart. The intellectual, the individual who operates primarily from the mental level, will not necessarily accept that the heart can know the Truth and respond to it; however, there is a long historical experience that ensures that the seeker who goes to the depth of the heart’s inner seat can also achieve the realisation.

Sri Aurobindo describes this debate: “The heart with its emotions and incalculable movements is to the eye of his intellect an obscure, uncertain and often a perilous and misleading power which needs to be kept in control by the reason and the mental will and intelligence. And yet there is in the heart or behind it a profounder mystic light which, if not what we call intuition–for that, though not of the mind, yet descends through the mind–has yet a direct touch upon Truth and is nearer to the Divine than the human intellect in its pride of knowledge.”

The Upanishads speak of the “heart-cave”. Behind the seat of human emotional response, there is a deeper sense, which Sri Aurobindo elsewhere calls the “psychic being” which immediately knows the truth and responds to it, even while the mind is unclear or uncertain.

Seekers have often experienced the secret soul-sense deep behind the heart. The Gita refers to the Divine seated in the heart. “According to the ancient teaching the seat of the immanent Divine, the hidden Purusha, is in the mystic heart,–the secret heart-cave, hrdaye guhayam, as the Upanishads put it,–and, according to the experience of many Yogins, it is from its depths that there comes the voice or the breath of the inner oracle.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 5, The Ascent of the Sacrifice-1, The Works of Knowledge–The Psychic Being, pg. 140