Question: What happens when a woman's heart is transplanted into a man's body?

Sri Chinmoy: At birth we inherit the constitutional make-up of both our parents. For example, we may have a physical body which is phlegmatic or perhaps highly nervous. The body has its own rhythm, and the heart is part of this rhythm. If the heart of a young girl who is very light and dynamic were transplanted into a man who is very heavy and lethargic, for example, his body would have a tendency to reject it. Doctors know that the physical cells of one’s body will not tolerate any substance that is foreign and will automatically reject any foreign organ. They tell us that only the physical organ of a very close relative who has the same genes, the same cell make-up, will be tolerated. So in the case of the heart transplant I was speaking of, the man’s body would not find it compatible; it would see it as a foreign element and throw it off. Since the heart is the physical organ of life, it is very important that it should be of the same physical make-up as the rest of the body.

This brings up another point. The heart is the seat of the emotions and we always identify our deeper feelings with the heart. We say: “I love you with all my heart.” And although the physical heart is just an organ, the emotions — what we call the vital or emotional nature of man — are invisibly housed in this heart area. This vital nature is actually housed in the middle of the chest, but not in the physical heart itself. Even so, whenever one person’s heart is transplanted into another person’s body, a certain emotional confusion and disorientation are bound to take place.

I am not actually in favour of heart-transplantation, for it impedes the spontaneous flow of life-energy. Also, the physical sheath, which is composed of five elements, finds the transplantation a tangible intrusion of a foreign element in subtle ways that medical science will not understand. Medical science can prolong a person’s life by transplanting a heart, but mere prolongation of life is of no avail when one’s inner aspiration for the perfection of one’s own body is lacking. A real aspirant will not be able to aspire for a higher purpose with the potentialities and capacities of a different heart.