One Mr. Ramachandar, a gentleman from Ambala, asked where the Heart is and what Realisation is.
M.: The Heart is not physical; it is spiritual. Hridayam = hrit + ayam – This is the centre. It is that from which thoughts arise, on which they subsist and where they are resolved. The thoughts are the content of the mind and, they shape the universe. The Heart is the centre of all. Yatova imani bhutani jayante (that from which these beings come into existence) etc. is said to be Brahman in the Upanishads. That is the Heart. Brahman is the Heart.
D.: How to realise the Heart?
M.: There is no one who even for a trice fails to experience the Self. For no one admits that he ever stands apart from the Self. He is the Self. The Self is the Heart.
D.: It is not clear.
M.: In deep sleep you exist; awake, you remain. The same Self is in both states. The difference is only in the awareness and the non- awareness of the world. The world rises with the mind and sets with the mind. That which rises and sets is not the Self. The Self is different, giving rise to the mind, sustaining it and resolving it. So the Self is the underlying principle.
When asked who you are, you place your hand on the right side of the breast and say ‘I am’. There you involuntarily point out the Self. The Self is thus known. But the individual is miserable because he confounds the mind and the body with the Self. This confusion is due to wrong knowledge. Elimination of wrong knowledge is alone needed. Such elimination results in Realisation.
Sadhu Arunachala (2010-07-01). Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi