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Inquirer: Hi, Daniel.
I wonder what it means that the self is situated in the heart. I do not remember which verses, but it is referred to as the heart in many places in the Bhagavad Gita.
I have experience of the importance of the heart, but do not really understand what it means that the self is connected since I, awareness, am not attached to the body.
I am doing my best at reading; so far I think the book is brilliant, although I have listened much on YouTube earlier, so it is easy and enjoyable to read. There is not anything I do not grasp yet. It is an awesome book.
Daniel: I’m glad that you’re finding How to Attain Enlightenment> tasty; it’s a 5-star, full-course meal, which will most definitely satisfy all your answers. Yum.
I’m also happy to hear that you’re making use of the YouTube videos. The more you expose the mind to the teachings the easier and more enjoyable inquiry becomes. This is because self-inquiry is all about you and there is nothing more satisfying than understanding yourself, awareness.
The heart that we’re referring to is not that fleshy thing that we are taught about in biology class. The heart is just a symbol of you, awareness.
Vedanta aligns our thinking to match that of reality. It grounds you in your “true heart,” the heart that never stops beating, the heart that is free from beating.
The heart is a symbol of the self, the seat of consciousness, and the physical heart is located in it, meaning that the physical heart is known to it. Vedanta calls the “cave of the heart” the hridaya, which means the place of the ayam, the “I am,” the true “I.” The cave symbolizes ignorance, and the light of the awareness resting in it removes the “darkness” (ignorance).
It’s common – especially in texts such as the Bhagavad Gita – that words/phrases are used as symbols and are often dramatic or poetic. There is no need to take them literally. Keep self-inquiry/discrimination simple.
You’re doing brilliantly.
~ Much love, Daniel
Inquirer:Thank you very much Daniel. I enjoyed reading your answer. The self is situated in the heart, it says in the Gita, but the body is seen by the self is in the self, so how can it be? All is the self.
Daniel: No need to take the Gita literally. That text was written for “new inquirers,” not for jnanis, so descriptions were often “poetic.”
Yup, all is self, and you are the self.