Heart and mind: poetry or philosophy?

The answer depends on the meaning you attach to the words “heart” and “mind”. Also would be interesting to understand how Maya works.

First of all we should not make the error to give them a sentimental or emotional definition. When we speak about “love”, “heart” of similar topics, to make this mistake is easy.


There is poetry and there philosophy. They are two different things.


Poetry is used to provoke emotions without actually meaning anything real. When a man in love speaks to his beloved and tell her “you are the air that I breath” or “you are the light of my eyes”, that shouldn’t be taken literally. She is a person and not air or sight. Those phrases are put together to evoke emotions.
Sentiments are part of manas, the mind, which has two main functions subdivided into five:
first, thinking feeling, willing, and
second, accepting or rejecting sensorial experiences.


Philosophy is used to prove things in the real world. Sometimes the language may appear dry but it deals with realities.
When we say “life comes from life” we actually mean it, because it does. Philosophy is a scientific method much similar to math. For example, a simple syllogism says: “Life is alive. Matter is not alive. Therefore life is not material”. It is very much like math. “2 + 3 = 5. Therefore 5 is composed of the number 2 and 3”.


When trying to understand expressions like “love for Krishna” we want to understand the real meaning of those words. We do not want to fall into the emotional trap thinking “Oh, I love Krishna so much” while our life is not even dedicated to Krishna.


Maya is a divine energy meant to bewilder those who want to be bewildered.

Maya acts mainly on aham-kara (ahankara), or the ability to identify ourselves.
When we think “I am a man” we act as men. When we think “I am american” we act as americans. When an animal thinks “I am a dog” acts as a dog.
This is called aham-kara and it’s a spiritual quality of the jiva.
By these examples we can understand how important is aham-kara. It’s the base of what we do in life.


When Maya makes it malfunctioning, we forget what we are (spirit souls) and we identify with what we are not (ma = not, ya = this).

Manas, buddhi, ahankara, cittam (contaminated consciousness) etcetera are all spiritual capacities of the soul, but when Maya bewilderes aham-kara everything starts malfunctioning.
Our mind (or heart) functions materially by loving something that is not worth of our love, and we are attracted to something that is not really attractive.


The process of Bhakti Yoga attacks the mind (so to say) “from the south and from the north”.
From the south we purify it through the use of the senses (indriya) in devotional service and from the north through cultivation of transcendental knowledge (buddhi).


Therefore practical devotional service and studies are both mandatory for all those who have the desire to advance in Krishna consciousness.



– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
20 May, 2019

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