The Highest Perfection of the Heart

The heart is the center of our emotional nature and is normally subject to the winds of passions such as love and hate, courage and fear, joy and sorrow, which have such a profound influence on the decisions and actions we take as human beings. Sri Aurobindo addresses the necessary steps to bring about the perfection and highest action of the heart. The goal is not to dull or deaden the heart, but to have it respond to the highest possible impulses and focus its natural power of passionate dedication on achieving in life the fulfillment of those impulses.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “Another necessary element is a faith in the heart, a belief in and will to the universal good, an openness to the universal Ananda. The pure psychic being is of the essence of Ananda, it comes from the delight-soul in the universe; but the superficial heart of emotion is overborne by the conflicting appearances of the world and suffers many reactions of grief, fear, depression, passion, shortlived and partial joy. An equal heart is needed for perfection, but not only a passive equality; there must be the sense of a divine power making for good behind all experiences, a faith and will which can turn the poisons of the world to nectar, see the happier spiritual intention behind adversity, the mystery of love behind suffering, the flower of divine strength and joy in the seed of pain. This faith …, is needed in order that the heart and the whole overt psychic being may respond to the secret divine Ananda and change itself into this true original essence. This faith and will must be accompanied by and open into an illimitable widest and intensest capacity for love. For the main business of the heart, its true function is love. It is our destined instrument of complete union and oneness; for to see oneness in the world by the understanding is not enough unless we also feel it with the heart and in the psychic being, and this means delight in the One and in all existences in the world in him, a love of God and all beings. The heart’s faith and will in good are founded on a perception of the one Divine immanent in all thins and leading the world. The universal love has to be founded on the heart’s sight and psychical and emotional sense of the one Divine, the one Self in all existence. All four elements will then form a unity and even the Rudra power to do battle for the right and the good proceed on the basis of a power of universal love. This is the highest and the most characteristic perfection of the heart….”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 14, The Power of the Instruments, pp. 708-709

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