When we expand our concept of the heart to see it as Heart with a capital “H”, and give it the meaning as Ramana Maharshi does below, today’s verse becomes very clear. This statement by Ramana: “The ‘I-less’ Supreme Brahman – which shines in all bodies as interior to the light in the form ‘I’ – is the Self-ether…” shows that Ramana experienced light in the form “I” and also a light that is interior to that light. I understand his meaning to be that what common language usage takes to be “I” is actually of the light from the Heart, but is a diminutive of it, and the Absolute Reality is the source of that light. When we say that we are living from the heart, we actually mean living from the Heart, which is living connected to that Absolute Reality more and more and less emphasis on the illusory small self.
16. Love cannot be made. Love flows naturally from the heart and the heart is forever one with Infinite Love ♥
Visitor: “How can it be said that the Heart is no other than Brahman?”
Ramana Maharshi : “Although the self enjoys its experiences in the states of waking, dream, and deep sleep, residing respectively in the eyes, throat and Heart, in reality, however, it never leaves its principal seat, the Heart. In the Heart-lotus which is of the nature of all, in other words in the mind-ether, the light of that Self in the form ‘I’ shines. As it shines thus in everybody, this very Self is referred to as the witness (sakshi) and the transcendent (turiya, literally the fourth). The ‘I-less’ Supreme Brahman which shines in all bodies as interior to the light in the form ‘I’ – is the Self-ether (or knowledge-ether): that alone is the Absolute Reality. This is the super-transcendent (turiyatita). Therefore, it is stated that what is called the Heart is no other than Brahman. Moreover, for the reason that Brahman shines in the hearts of all souls as the Self, the name ‘Heart’ is given to Brahman. The meaning of the word hridayam, when split thus ‘hrit-ayam’, is in fact Brahman. The adequate evidence for the fact that Brahman, which shines as the Self, resides in the hearts of all is that all people indicate themselves by pointing to the chest when saying ‘I’.”
“In the Hearts of all individual souls, that which shines is Brahman and hence is called the Heart” — Brahma Gita
Visitor: How is one to know that in the Heart the Self itself shines as Brahman?
Ramana Maharshi: Just as the elemental ether within the flame of a lamp is known to fill without any difference and without any limit both the inside and the outside of the flame, so also the knowledge ether that is within the Self-light in the Heart fills without any difference and without any limit both the inside and the outside of that Self-light. This is what is referred to as Brahman.
Visitor: “How do the three states of experience, the three bodies, etc., which are imaginations, appear in the Self-light which is one, unitary and self-luminous? Even if they should appear, how is one to know that the Self alone remains ever unmoving?”
Ramana Maharshi (made the above diagram and responded): “The Self which is the lamp (1) shines of its own accord in the inner chamber, i.e., the causal body (7) that is endowed with nescience as the inner wall (4) and sleep as the door (2); when by the vital principle as conditioned by time, karma, etc., the sleep-door is opened, there occurs a reflection of the Self in the egoity-mirror (5) that is placed next to the doorstep — mahat tattva (3); the egoity-mirror thus illumines the middle chamber, i.e., the dream state (8), and, through the windows which are the five cognitive sense-organs (6), the outer court, i.e., the waking state (9). When, again, by the vital principle as conditioned by time, karma, etc., the sleep-door gets shut, the egoity ceases along with waking and dream, and the Self alone ever shines. The example just given explains how the Self is unmoving, how there is difference between the Self and the egoity and how the three states of experience, the three bodies, etc., appear.”
(Ramana Maharshi , Self-Enquiry)
- Fleeting Moments of Bliss a Sign of the Times (goldenageofgaia.com)
- How to Live in Peace with Yourself – Ramana – B4Peace (newearthpulse.wordpress.com)
- The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharishi (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)