Children, spiritual teachers often give more importance to the heart than to the head. Of course, intelligence is necessary; Amma will never say otherwise. In truth, the head and heart are not two. If we have a discerning intellect, our mind will naturally become expansive. From expansiveness arises innocence, the readiness to compromise, humility and an attitude of mutual co-operation. The heart is a synonym for expansiveness.
However, today, our intelligence is often impaired. Selfishness and arrogance govern our thinking, and this is the cause of all sorrow in life. When arrogance increases, we become more narrow-minded and less willing to compromise. An expansive and accommodating mind is necessary in both worldly and spiritual life.
Suppose a man lays down certain laws at home: his wife should live, speak and behave in certain ways only because she is his wife. If he insists that she follows these rules, will there be peace at home? No! Suppose he does not utter even a single word to his wife and children after returning home from work. If he continues to behave like an executive at home, going to his room and looking over his papers, will his family members appreciate it? If he justifies himself by saying that this is how he is, will they be able to accept it? No. Conversely, if he speaks pleasantly to his wife and spends some time with his children, everyone will be happy. There will be peace at home. It is this attitude that is being referred to when we talk about the heart.
Today, our most dominant characteristic is selfishness, and it has edged discernment out. This absence is making itself felt in life. It is difficult for society to enjoy peace and progress without a give-and-take attitude. Just as a machine needs to be greased regularly to prevent it from rusting, we must be humble and ready to compromise in order to facilitate the journey of life. There are times when we must use our intelligence, but we must use it discerningly. Similarly, we must give the heart due importance whenever the situation warrants it.
When we give due importance to the heart, humility and an attitude of co-operation will grow in us. Peace and contentment will blossom. The goal of spirituality is also broad-mindedness, for only one with an expansive mind can realise God. The Self is beyond the reach of logic and intelligence; it is a subjective experience. If we wish to savour the sweetness of the Self, we must cultivate the qualities of the heart more than those of the head.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader and humanitarian