Give the Heart a Place of Honor
by Nischala Joy Devi.
November 17, 2014.
To truly progress as spiritual beings, we must give the heart a place of honor.
My foremost inspiration from a saintly woman came in the form of Sri Sarada Devi. Most commonly known as the wife of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, she was a luminous teacher in her own right, known to many as the “Holy Mother.” In her humility, the Holy Mother expressed the teachings through her living example.
Often friends or students who came to me during a life crisis did not want to express their emotions, fearing I would find them lacking in “spirituality.” In an endeavor to comfort them, I often related one of my favorite teachings from Sri Sarada Devi.
After the death of Sri Ramakrishna, the Holy Mother became the spiritual head (better yet, the spiritual heart!) of the organization. In spite of the fact that the Master himself honored her with the position, some of the male monastic disciples doubted that a woman could have the spiritual attainment to advise them.
There were, however, a few who recognized her divinity. One younger monk who revered her as the Divine Mother personally attended to her needs and served her food with love, devotion, and reverence.
On a particular morning she expected him, but another monk appeared with her breakfast. “Where,” she asked, “is my other dear son?”
“Mother,” replied the monk, “I am here to inform you that in the night he left his mortal coil.” Immediately on hearing this, tears cascaded down her cheeks. Abandoning herself to grief, she began to sob.
“Mother, how can you resort to such emotion? You know that the body is just temporary, that only the soul is immortal. We are not the body or the mind!” He had the gall to quote Vedanta (scripture) to her!
With the compassionate smile emanating from her pure heart, she said, “Yes, my son, I know all the sacred teachings. Yet, I am still in human form and, therefore, have feelings. Right now my heart is breaking for the physical loss of my beloved son. I honor that pain with my tears.”
Within the spiritual traditions, both mind and heart must be honored. Since much emphasis is placed on controlling the mind, it is vital to give the heart its place of honor. It is the guardian to the spark of Divinity, the True Self.
♥ Article: Women’s Natural Gift: The Heart of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
♥ Audiobook: The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras by Nischala Joy Devi
Photo: The Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi