Should I listen to the mind or the Heart? || Acharya Prashant (2014)

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Question: Should I listen to the mind or the Heart?

Speaker: Some people say, “Listen to your mind.” Others say, “Listen to your heart.” What is this choice? What is this comparison? Somebody says, “A is important,” somebody says, “B is bigger,” can I choose between A and B without knowing A and B? Can I decide which of the two is bigger, without knowing A and B?

A question comes to you: Is A greater than B? To answer this question, you must know that what is A and what is B. The people who say, “Listen to the mind,” do they understand what the mind is? The people who say, “Live by your heart,” do they know what the heart is?

You hardly know anything. It is not a question of the ‘mind’ and ‘heart’ alone. You hardly know anything. And it is not about twenty, twenty-five year olds. People who are fifty and eighty year old, they too do not know what they are talking about. Everyday concepts, general words that are being used twenty times a day, do people know their meaning? I just said, “Do people know what the mind is, and what is meant by the heart?” Do people understand what is meant by career, or money, or love, or family? Do they understand what is the Self, or what is God, or what Joy is? No, we don’t know. But we live by these words, without even knowing what their real meaning is.

Today’s newspapers are flooded with articles of the horrible story of parents in Delhi who have killed their daughter in the name of honor. Now, do we know what honor is? We do not know what honor is, and yet we are living our life, giving this word so much importance. That is tragic, very tragic.

So what is the mind, and what is the heart? IMG-20150527-WA0051Mind simply is the seat of all the action that you see. You think, that is mind. You feel sad, that is mind. You feel happy, that is mind. You are excited, that is mind. You are dull and bored, that is mind. Everything that you experience, is mind.

And the mind and the world are one, because whatever is happening in the mind, is coming from the world. And at the same time, whatever you see around yourself and call as ‘the world’ is being projected by the mind. So the mind is nothing, but the world.

Mind is all the ceaseless action that is going on, like the flow of the river. That is mind. That constant movement inside, that is the mind. Mind moves around the sense of self. At the center of mind lies the sense of self called ‘the ego’, the ‘I’. And because it is at the center of the mind, so everybody is at the center of his own universe.

So you go and ask anybody,”Who is the most important person in the universe?”and if it is an honest reply, the fellow will say, “I” There is nobody to whom anybody else is more important than ‘I’. So there is a lot of movement going on. You are thinking, you are choosing, you are deciding, hesitating walking, and acting. At the center of all this lies the ego, lies the sense of self. This is the mind. Obviously, this mind is ruled by the world. This mind is ruled by the illusions. This mind is thoroughly conditioned.

Thankfully, it is possible for us to get rid of that illusion. It is possible for us to get rid of all that conditioning. And that is the only achievement worth achieving. All your other achievements do not mean anything. There is only one achievement that is possible in life. And that is – freedom from conditioning, freedom from illusion, and hence, freedom from slavery.

If you are continuing to be a slave, how can any achievement come to you? Can a slave really achieve anything? Whatever he achieves, he is still a slave. So what has he achieved? Nothing. So, this compulsive slavery, whose name is the mind, getting rid of it, is the only achievement possible. And it is in fact possible. It is possible to rid the mind of all the influences that keep attacking it.

When the mind IMG-20150528-WA0007is cleansed of influences, then it is called ‘the Heart’. So what is the Heart? A clean mind is called ‘the Heart’. Otherwise, what is the mind? Nothing but an aggregation of influences and conditioning. In its usual state, when we call ‘the mind’, then it is a conditioned mind. But when the conditioned mind is cleansed, then it is called ‘the Heart’.

So ‘the Heart’ is the highest state of ‘the mind’. The Heart is the cleanest possibility of the mind. Heart is not the seat of emotions. All emotions arise from the conditioned mind. Kindly get rid of this illusion, that the mind thinks but the heart is full of emotions. This is such a stupid statement to make. Emotions arise from the conditioned mind. Heart is the seat of understanding.

What is the Heart? Freedom from conditioning is the Heart. The Heart understands. Heart is not the center from where feelings arise. Heart is the seat of realization and understanding. And that is possible only when the mind is free of conditioning, free from influences of the past and the world. That is the heart.

We have abused the word ‘Heart’. Feelings are the demonstration of our deepest tendencies. The deepest conditioning is what leads to feelings. But we attribute our feelings to ‘the heart’. That is an abuse of the word ‘heart’. All your songs, they talk of the word ‘heart’ in the context that whenever there is something stupid coming to the mind, you say that it is coming from the heart.

Heart is the seat of supreme intelligence, not stupidity. Always use the word ‘heart’ with care. The Heart is the seat where the ultimate sits. Where the highest sits, that place is called the Heart. The clean mind is the Heart.

So now you must know, that when you talk of the mind and the Heart, which is your real center, where you should operate from.

Listener 1: Sir whatever that comes to our mind is thought. So whatever comes in Heart, can that be attributed to realization?

Speaker: Just because you claim that something is coming from the Heart, it doesn’t mean that it is actually coming from the Heart. The Heart never says anything. Whatever voices you hear from within are always the voices of the mind. All inner voices are conditioned voices. The Heart never says anything.

When we talked of realization, we said, “Realization is like a clean mirror.” Does the mirror ever say anything? The painting says something. The mirror never says anything. The heart too never says anything. If there is somebody I am there - function of the Heartinside you who is saying something you should be sure that it is the mind, not the heart. So never go on claiming that- “I have heard the voices of the heart.” The heart has no voice.

The heart means – simple, pure, direct realization. That realization is not a thought, is not a sentence. It is pure presence. ‘I am there’ – that is the function of the heart. So if you can understand right now, without thinking, if you can connect right now to what is happening then the heart is functional. This function of the heart, that you are able to connect to this. This is the function of the heart, that as you are standing, even without using thought, you are able to understand. This is the function of the heart.

– Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Should I listen to the mind or the Heart?

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