Question: How can we expand our heart and have more of its divine qualities in our daily actions and our relationships with people?

Sri Chinmoy: The spiritual life is not the life of indifference. However, one has to have discrimination when dealing with the world. If you give your heart to everyone, irrespective of who the person is, then people may exploit you. If a thief wants to buy tools to steal with, and if someone with a magnanimous heart gives him the money without questioning what kind of person he is or why he wants the money, who will be partially responsible for his future thefts? The man who gives money to the thief. A spiritual person may have a truly wide heart, but to utilise the heart's quality with wisdom is more important than to cry for the enlargement of the heart.

God has already given our heart many divine qualities, but we do not use them and thus we slow down our spiritual growth. Very few people, I must say, know what the spiritual heart really is. What we mistake for the heart is actually the emotional vital. This moment we want to give everything to a person and the next moment we want to keep everything for ourselves. This moment, for no reason, I am ready to give everything to you and the next moment, again for no reason, I am ready to take your life away. This kind of feeling does not come from the heart at all. It is the play of our demanding, unfulfilled vital that we are seeing.

If our vital is trying to play the role of the heart, it will try to dominate others or make them feel that they need us badly because we have wisdom or light, whereas they do not. But the very existence of the heart is based on identification. Identification is light. The spiritual heart can identify only with light and delight, for it gets continuous light and delight from the soul. We may identify with someone's sorrow, but what we are actually identifying ourselves with is the light inside that sorrow. Inside pain, inside suffering, inside darkness itself, there is light. Ultimately, the heart is identifying with the light within. If we cry every day for our own inner light, then we will see that the heart is bound to expand. But if we want to expand the heart without light, we will merely expand our ignorance. Only when we cry for the Highest will our heart really expand.

We must realise that the vital, which is deceiving and exploiting us, must be put aside. Very often forces from the impure vital, below the navel, enter into our heart and cause us to suffer. Purification of the vital is absolutely necessary if the vital wants to act divinely, together with the heart. Otherwise, the heart will have to play its part alone. But please be careful in dealing with humanity, that you do not offer the false light of the demanding and possessive vital. In the name of concern, we very often offer worries, anxieties, impurities and so forth.

It is not at all difficult to bring forward the heart's good qualities such as sympathy and concern. We can bring forward these good qualities through our aspiration. We are aspiring for God, who undoubtedly has more Concern, Affection and all other qualities of the heart than we have. Our sincere aspiration can bring these qualities down from God.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Mind-confusion and heart-illumination, part 2, Agni Press, 1974
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