Reflections on Talks with Ramana Maharshi – God

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Chapter 7


4. “How is all-immanent God said to reside in the Ether of the Heart?”

Bhagavan: “Do we not reside in one place? Do you not say that you are in your body? Similarly God is said to reside in the Heart-lotus. The Heart-lotus is not a place. Some place is mentioned as the place of God, because we think we are in the body. This kind of teaching is meant for those who can appreciate only relative knowledge. Being immanent everywhere, there is no particular place for God. The instruction means ‘look within’.”

Note: That the Almighty God, who is infinite and boundless, can squeeze Himself in such a small and uncomfortable hole as the human heart, poses a tremendous problem to the sense-bound person. Bhagavan explains that the heart-lotus is not a physical place, but an apt simile made for the sake of those who “appreciate only relative knowledge,” that is, sensuous experience. But the designation of Heart for God is not without foundation: the experience of absolute Being is felt in samadhi as pure consciousness in one’s inmost being, rather, to be precise, in the heart of one’s being, because it is blissful as well as being. We are all agreed that joy or any emotion is only felt in the heart – not the muscular heart, but somewhere in our being, which we locate in the chest, though not in the flesh and ribs of the chest. It is in this heart, this subtle emotional centre, that the bliss of the pure consciousness or God is felt in samadhi. This is the meaning of the saying that God is bliss and resides in the ether of the heart. If the whole universe resides in this consciousness, it follows that consciousness pervades the universe. God is thus immanent and resides in the Heart as well. And if you wish to verify it, Bhagavan exhorts you to “look within.”

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