The term heart is often mentioned in Vedantic scriptures.  However, the term is not used in a physiological sense but rather in a psychological one as in the heart of the issue or the heart of a nation. In Advaita Vedanta heart has a very specific metaphysical meaning but also many divergent explanations of that meaning that one might just as well concentrate on the physiological heart.

There is, however, one definition that perfectly elucidates the Vedantic meaning of heart.

In his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 15, Verse 15, referring to the line, “I am seated in the hearts of all,” H. H. Swami Chinmayananda wrote:

“The term HEART in philosophy means ‘minds which have been trained to entertain constantly the positive qualities of love, tolerance, mercy, charity, kindness, and the like.’ A peaceful, joyous settled in tranquility, alert and vigilant to receive higher intimations is called the ‘heart.’

The Infinite ‘DWELLS IN THE HEART’ means, though He is present everywhere the Lord is most conspicuously self-evident, during meditation, in the HEART of the meditator.”

So, as Gurudev has pointed out, the term heart refers to the mind and a very special kind of trained mind.  And Vedanta tells us that the mind is not a part of the body.  Many associate the term mind with the brain, which is in the body. Both body and brain are composed of gross physical matter. The mind, however, is composed of subtle matter, and, if anything, one could say the body and its brain exist within the mind and not vice versa.


When adversity befalls us, some rail against it in anger, some crumble under its weight in anguish, still others turn away in denial as if ignoring the pain will make it disappear.

Rare are those who accept it fully and attempt to deal with it. Rarer still are those with the courage to look into it very deeply, to see adversity for what it is, to see who it truly belongs to.

Do you own it? Is it your pain? Your misfortune? Your anguish? Or are you merely the observer? The One that watches joy and sorrow come and go. The eternal witness that observes the play of opposites as they appear and disappear upon the screen of life.

Or are you the sufferer who owns the pain, identifies with the pain and becomes the pain, the sufferer.

The choice, my friend, is yours.

Yesterday, I posed this question in a Vedanta study group: What happens to an enlightened being who contracts serious Alzheimers disease? Is it even possible for this to happen to a realized master? The consensus of the group was that it could not happen since the nature of realization is to transend the mind. Therefore, any disease of the mind cannot affect an elightened being because they are beyond the mind. However, since the mind is necessary to reflect upon the Self, pure awareness, a jiva who contracts this disease prior to enlightenment cannot gain realization in this particular lifetime.

As we know, the prarabdha karma still must be experienced even after realization. Many realized masters have contracted various forms of cancer and the like. So, what about Alzheimers and its effects?

Your thoughts on this and other posted topics is always very much appreciated.