[Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru - hR^idaya

Dr. Yadu Moharir ymoharir at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 26 19:52:44 CDT 2010

Here are some additional thoughts that may help clarify the term "hR^idaya":
sushruta shaariira samhitaa (4) describes hR^idaya as a lotus that faces doenwords.
puNDariikeNa sadR^ishaM hR^idayaM syaavadhomukeNa |
atharvaveda (9.1.6) mentions hR^idayaa as a vessel that hold "soma"
kastaM praveda ka u taM ciketa yo asyaa hR^idaH kalashaH somadhaano axitaH | 
brahmaa sumedhaaH so asmin madet || atharva 9.1.6 ||
Here, one needs to understand the meaning of this vessel as the reservoir of knowledge that has been understood / realized.
R^igveda one find description of soma entering heart ;
bR^ihad gabhiiraM tava soma dhaama | R^igveda1.91.3 ||
tubhyed indra sva okye\Kp somaM codaami piitaye | 
eSha raarantu te hR^idi || R^igveda 3-42-8 ||
 Evidence of Vedic R^iShii getting inspiration from the "ocean of heart" hR^idayasamudra can be seen in the following R^icaa: 
etaa arShanti hR^idyaat samudraac Chatavrajaa ripuNaa naavacakShe | 
ghR^itasya dhaaraa abhi caakashiimi hiraNyayo vetaso madhya aasaam || 4.58.5 || 

Vedic R^icaa having beenm inspired in the heart may be the reason why they reach the heart of others.  This is observed in R^igveda (1.16.7)
ayaM te stomo agryo hR^idispR^ig astu shaMtamaH | 
athaa somaM sutam piba || R^igveda 1.16.7 ||
Finally, R^igveda (10.47.7) utilizes a term hR^idispR^isha, that suggests touched by the heart (not just head). 
hR^idispR^isho manasaa vacyamaanaa asmabhyaM citraM vR^iShaNaM rayiM daaH || R^igveda 10.47.7 ||
This suggests that knowledge that has been recognized by "Five Organs" of perception needs to be reflected by mind (6th) and then understood and realized by the heart.
imaani yaani pa~ncendriyaaNi manaHShaShThaani hR^idi brahmaNaa sa.nshitaani | 
yaireva sasR^ije ghoraM taireva shaantirastu naH || atharvaveda 19-9-5 ||
IMO - Discussions and deliberations really need to happen in our hearts.
That is why judiciary while interpreting the law always tries to understand the purpose and intention of the law rather than just the literal meaning.
Just some thoughts on hR^idayaa.
Kind regards,
Dr. Yadu

--- On Thu, 3/25/10, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Vidyasankar Sundaresan <svidyasankar at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] On the forms of Guru
To: "Advaita List" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Thursday, March 25, 2010, 3:37 PM

> And Sunilji is right. Bhagavan says the locale of the hrdhayam is on the
> right chest where we all point to when saying 'I'. Hrdhayam is translated
> as heart in English for whatever reason but that does not mean it is a
> physical heart that is on the left that is meant.

hRt (Sanskrit), heart (English), herz (German), hjarta (Swedish/Icelandic),
hjerte (Norwegian/Danish), hart (Dutch), cardia (Greek) - all have a common
ancestry in the Indo-European languages. There is a good reason for the
translation and part of the connotation is the physical heart. In all these
languages, there are also many non-literal usages of the word heart, e.g.
to lose heart, to steal one's heart, etc. Even in English, the word heart
does not refer only to the physical organ.

Also, "the physical heart is on the left side" is overdone in common talk. It
is really quite along the center of the chest. There is a slight leftward tilt
in its orientation - that is all. If it were substantially on the left side, there
would be no room for the left lung! When we point to the chest and talk
of hRdaya, our fingers land on the sternum bone, almost exactly on top
of the physical heart. We don't point over the right pectoral muscle.

It should be perfectly obvious to anyone, from the context, when the word
"heart" is used to refer to the physical organ and when the word is used in
a non-literal manner. In my opinion, there is no need to go on and posit
another entity, also called heart, non-physical in nature, but still physically
located in the body on the right side of the chest. I mean no disrespect to
Ramana Maharishi here. I would request you to see whether he said this
himself or if it was something a disciple asked and he merely said, "yes,
people say this." There is a world of difference between the two scenarios.
A lot of what people attribute to Ramana Maharishi lies in the questions that
his disciples and devotees put to him, not quite in the answers that he gave!

Finally, returning to the vedAntic source-texts, even the location of the
Atman/ISvara in the heart is meant primarily to focus a sAdhaka's attention.
The Atman is really all-pervading - there is no one place where it is nor is
there any place where it is not.


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