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Heart vs Mind -1 - A matter of choice


We have all read read the parable of the "Good Samaritan" which Jesus narrates. It is a famous parable and for those who are not conversant with it, I mention it in brief below.

Jesus asks from all who have gathered as to who is a good neighbour. When he does not get a satisfactory reply, he answers with a parable.

A Jewish traveller is robbed, beaten and left half dead by a devilish gang of robbers. A priest and a rich Levite pass that way but do not move even a finger to help the man in distress. Next comes a man from Samaria, a Samaritan. Samaritans and Jews are said to despise each other. But this man, nurses the injured traveller, takes him on his own donkey to a nearby inn, has him fed and clothed and pays the innkeeper for the night before leaving him in safe hands.

The colloquial phrase "good Samaritan," meaning someone who helps a stranger, derives from this parable, and many hospitals and charitable organizations are named after the Good Samaritan. But this story provokes many thoughts, dialogues and debates in the modern world. I attempt to portray one such dialogue here.

The man from Samaria proved to be the good neighbour, who helped without a second thought.......

The man from Samaria proved to be the good neighbour, who helped without a second thought.......

There are three members involved in the dialogue - the mind, the heart (conscience, seat of God, soul - the subtlest) and man (the witness who is the final decision maker)

Man: Let me go back to this parable now. The Priest and the Levite, both knew that the helpless man needed help. Yet they just moved on. Why?

Mind: I think that is simply because there was nothing in it for them. They had their own businesses to worry about and what could they have got if they helped that fellow who was stupid enough to let himself get attacked by bandits?

Man: Then what was there in it for the man from Samaria who went out of his way to help?

Heart: I feel that he simply felt oneness with the man suffering. He stopped to help because he felt the dying man's pain. The pain of the helpless man transformed into his own pain and it was in order to relieve himself that he rushed to his rescue.

Mind: This is all humbug. He simply lost time and money. And for what? What did he gain in return?

Heart: Hahahahaha! That is the paradox. What he gained is something that everyone must personally experience. And once you experience that joy and peace, no amount of money or time will be able to replace it in your priority list.

Man: It seems to me that while the priest and the Levite shared your thoughts, the Samaritan was convinced about what you feel.

Heart: And that is the difference between the selfish and the virtuous.

Mind: You call me selfish!!

Heart: Your guilt speaks for you!

Mind: Don't forget that the mind is man's most powerful tool.

Heart: And that is what it should remain - a tool! The heart should be man's master.

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Man has to hear to both the voices......the decision however, is solely his

Man has to hear to both the voices......the decision however, is solely his

Man: Even as you argue, remember that the heart is residence of God.

Mind: I don't get it. Anytime anyone listens to me, they label them as selfish and greedy. Why?

Heart: Oh mind! That is because you tend to be easily corrupted by the negative forces prevailing in the world.

Man: And so those that listen to you in your corrupted state cause problems in some manner or the other or refuse to participate in problem solving even if they can. They sometimes tend to even obstruct problem solving.

Mind: What about the heart? Will it not get corrupted by the negative forces?

Heart: Being the seat of God, they don't have a chance of getting into me. I have no will of my own. Whatever I do is only what the Lord wills.

Mind: I wont agree! Don't be so boastful...

Man: Seen this way, we realize that every time we think of doing something, there is a tussle between the mind and the heart - with the two pulling in opposite directions.

Heart: If we say we love God, we love Swami, it must reflect in the choices that we make.

Mind: This is not true. People pray to God so many times. They talk to him. it is God who does not talk or respond. That is the problem and so they resort to my advice.

Man: This is something that I will not agree to. God always responds. If we do not hear the voice of God, or the voice of the conscience, whatever you may call it, it is because we have allowed the intellect to rust and become dysfunctional. The fault is entirely ours and not that of God. If a radio set or a television set is unable to receive signals, can it be said that the broadcast waves are faulty?

( the debate between the mind and heart goes on............but how does one know how to distinguish between the two voices?)

Read about it in Part 2.

Good choices come from good understanding

Good choices come from good understanding


© 2011 Aravind Balasubramanya


austin on April 30, 2015:

Add Your Comment..Thank u so much, you really set me out from my prison. These article is a miracle to me.

Avinash Kumar on September 11, 2014:

Great post.. Now, I am cleared between mind and heart..

Thank you.. Keep it up..

An Impressed Reader on May 02, 2012:

Wonderful post brother ..

'If we say we love God, we love Swami, it must reflect in the choices that we make'

Well said and so true!!

I usually start my day with Swami ..

Earlier I used to read Sai Inspires from Radiosai but they blocked the site at my workplace after sometime .. So now your blog is my daily dosage of Swami :)

jean2011 from Canada on September 07, 2011:

Thank you for such an interesting and reflective look at the mind, heart, and God. For sure the heart is the seat of God. I have voted this hub as interesting!

Amey on September 07, 2011:

Swami often says that in the battle between head and heart there is no good or bad / right or wrong decision but only peace or conflict... Know that when there is peace it's a decision the heart has corroborated and when there is conflict... well heart has taken its day off!!!

Nice one! Keep it going!

darshi on September 05, 2011:

I love how exactly what I think about comes straight to me when I surf for articles :) Yup, been constantly immersing myself in the mind/heart balance for a bit, and this was pretty insightful big bro!

I remember when I was younger, adults around me would encourage me to follow my heart . "If you don't feel like doing it, Darshana, then don't."

When i grew older however, we tend to switch to thinking rationally and the "what's in it for me?" question often pops up...

Life's come a full circle, I find myself back at the heart again.

Everything's a stepping stone meant for our journey of discovering our true's incredible :)

Good stuff Aravind Anna! :D

lakshmi ramchandran on September 05, 2011:

om sai ram. an eye opener article . too good .

Yogesh on September 05, 2011:

Very interesting way of putting things.

Aravind Balasubramanya (author) from Puttaparthi, India on September 05, 2011:

@ Sai - God is nothing but reaction, reflection and resound. What you think and feel is what you are projecting on God. You are angry with yourself and so you feel God is angry with you. God has no anger. Forgive yourself and love yourself. And when you pray to Swami just tell him,"Swami, you know what is best for me. I accept it all with a smile." And really do me - a miracle is waiting for you round the corner.

@ Spirit Whisperer - :) You are a constant encouragement for me...

@ Shruti - :)

@ Anonymous - I had not planned a second part. But your question has triggered so many thoughts in me. Thank you for the question. I shall pray and soon share what I feel.

Anonymous on September 05, 2011:

Is there a continuation? And, how do we differentiate whether the heart is speaking or the mind is speaking? Are all the negative response come from the mind and the positive one from the heart?

aparna burra on September 05, 2011:

took up a very complicated subject Arvind! Know you will provide the right aswer according to Swamy!

Shruti on September 05, 2011:

This remind me of two things....

1. Your good Samaritan drama :P

2. The mind and heart drama by you and Amey :)

But this is a very very practical piece of writing ..... most of us go through this on daily basis.... As Swami says...."Mind is a mad monkey", we all need to pay attention to the voice of God with in us!

Xavier Nathan from Isle of Man on September 05, 2011:

This is a very useful hub in that you are highlighting the conflict that exists in everyone who has not surrendered completely to the Lord. I think your words, " If a radio set or a television set is unable to receive signals, can it be said that the broadcast waves are faulty?", are brilliant. Thank you for another wonderful spiritual wake up call this morning.

Sai on September 05, 2011:

Some years back I had to take an important decision in my life. I heard an innervoice which was very clear, warning me that if I go ahead with the decision I will get in to trouble. I did not listen to the inner voice and went ahead. Now my life is upside down. After that so many times i have prayed to swami to get me out of this. But it seems he is in no mood to answer me.May be he is very angry with me for not listining to him.

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