yogaThe Lotus Heart Within Us

The Lotus Heart Within Us

Yoga Sutra 1:36

विशोका वा ज्योतिष्मती ३६॥ 

viśokā vā jyotiṣmatī 36

Also by the sorrowless and luminous state of the mind.

viśokā= devoid of sorrow, pain

 The ancient yogis believed that within each of us lies an actual center of spiritual consciousness, called “the lotus of the heart,” situated between the abdomen and the thorax, which could be revealed during deep meditation. 

It is said to have the shape of a lotus flower and that it shines with an inner light. It is a place beyond sorrow, and that simply by seeing it the meditator would be filled with an extraordinary sense of joy and peace.

It is written in the Upanishads that, 

The supreme heaven shines in the lotus of the heart, and those who struggle and aspire may enter there, and retire in solitude. Seated on a clean spot in an erect posture, with the head and neck in a straight line. Control all sense organs, bow-down in devotion to the teacher, and then enter the lotus of the heart and meditator there on the presence of Brahman- the pure, the infinite the blissful.” 

  It tells us that within the city of Brahman, which is the body, there is a heart and that within the heart there is a little house. This house has the shape of a lotus, and within it dwells that which is to be sought after, inquired about, and realized. 

What dwells within that little house? 

What is it that must be sought after, inquired and realized? 

    So large is the universe outside is the universe inside the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, sun and moon, the lightning and all the stars. Whatever is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm also. 

    Though old age is inevitable and comes to the body, the lotus of the heart does not grow old. It does not die with the death of the body. The lotus of the heart, where Brahman resides in all its glory- that, and not the body is the tru city of Brahman. Brahman dwelling within is untouched by any deed, ageless, deathless, Fred from grief, hunger and thirst. It’s desires are right desires and the desires are fulfilled. 

    Within the lotus of the heart HE dwells, where the nerves meet like spikes of a wheel. Meditate on HIM as OM, and we may easily cross the ocean of darkness. HE is pure. HE is the light of all lights. 

    Both Hindus and Christians practice this form of meditation- concentrating not only upon ones own heart, but also upon the heart or body of Buddha or Christ. Trying to feel their heart has become our own heart within our own body. By simply using the localization of an image can be very useful. 

     This method of meditation is helpful, because it localizes our image of the spiritual consciousness toward which we are struggling. If our body is thought of as a busy and noisy city, then we can imagine that in the middle of this busy city, there is a little shrine, and that within the shrine resides Atman, Christ, Buddha, our real nature and it becomes present. No matter what is going on in the streets outside, we can always enter the shrine and worship. It is always open, we need only seek within ourselves.