The heart is the universe, the creative principle. The intellect is the destructive principle. The heart is the way to God and the intellect is the way to the devil. This can be seen in the modern world. Even in one’s personal life one only becomes close to family, friends and relatives through the heart. If a person is close to someone through the intellect, it is only for selfish motives. If there are selfish motives, one says nice things, but the purpose originates from the brain, the head.
The heart is free from selfishness. It is the source of the most important quality: sacrifice or selflessness. A mother is selfless, God is selfless, guru is selfless, because they operate at the level of the heart. Leaders of a country are not selfless because they operate through the intellect. If anyone in the world wants to approach God, to have a connection or relationship with God, then intellect is the barrier. One will have to transcend intellect, reasoning and logic. Intellect can be helpful to some extent, but it becomes a barrier at a certain point and one has to transcend it.
How can anybody believe that he can understand God through the intellect? Maybe he can discuss God through the intellect, but he cannot feel Him. The intellect cannot realize or feel God; it is beyond the capacity of an intellectual. There are many great thinkers in the world, many intellectuals who can write book after book, but they have never had the faintest experience of the divine. To have an experience of God, of the whole universe, of the absolute totality, one needs the heart. Feelings are expressed through the heart. What is feeling? Love, hatred, passion, sacrifice and anger are feelings. They are not seen, but are felt.
Similarly, no one can see God. One cannot say, “Show me God, then I will believe in Him.” God has to be felt. God has to be felt just as a mother’s love or a friend’s love is felt.
The feeling of friendliness, or even hatred, is called bhava. It is an attitude of the heart. An individual has various attitudes in him which are fully matured. One does not have to learn how to develop the heart. Every human being, whether a saint or an ordinary person, a child, a young woman, an old man, or even a two-year-old infant, has a fully developed heart, because they can feel love, pain, animosity and hatred. Feelings don’t have to be developed; they are natural to every living being, not only human beings. Trees and animals have feelings. It is the natural tendency of every living being to react, and this reaction to each other is an outcome of feeling.
In order to understand the relationship between the heart and the universe, it has to be understood that God is the centre of the universe. The heart is the eye through which one can see Him. He can never be seen without heart. A person may study the scriptures, the Puranas, the Koran and the Bible, but it will be to no avail. One can only see God through the eyes of the heart. This same God is the centre of the universe, the inner soul, and the totality of the universe. God and the universe are identical. There is absolutely no difference.
13 December 1994, Rikhiapeeth, printed in YOGA Year 1, Issue 6 (Nov–Dec 2002)