Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

The Boss And The Attendants

--by TKV Desikachar (Jul 24, 2017)

The great masters, in ancient times, not only had visions of the Higher Force, they were also very practical. Their teachings are simple: They encourage the development of a great mind, but warn us that this is not an end in itself. Only sustained by a great heart, leading us in action, will such a mind be useful. Nowadays, it would seem that the heart doesn't even warrant second place, let alone first. When the heart prevails, our actions are different from how they were before. Our motivations and the results of our actions change form through discrimination.

A great mind is one where the intelligence is able to differentiate between cause and effect, the conscious and the non-conscious and particularly between the 'boss' and the 'attendants'. Creation has somehow ensured that we undertake this journey towards discrimination in order to appreciate that the heart is the boss. The body and the senses are directed by the mind- with its different departments, levels of activity and ways of reacting: - these are the attendants. The boss in a mysterious way is feeding all these complex structures. He is holding everything together from beyond the mind, but can only see and act through this instrument. Discrimination grows through meditation and paves a way for the heart to prevail. Then our works are undertaken in another manner.

Heart comes within our vision during meditation, and we should be ready for this. The very techniques which have led us to this extraordinary capacity of the mind can prevent us from experiencing the heart. We can bypass the most precious part if we are too busy with our mind, and our intellect, and with the techniques to direct them. We miss the message in our experience of meditation.

"What is most beautiful is always hidden" says the proverb. This essential part of meditation always leads us, when we are open enough to receive it, to a deeper relationship with our heart. If we really look at life, we will see that every moment something extraordinary happens, and to do this we must be open to the unknown. This attitude and the developed capacity to meditate will reveal apparently uninteresting events as instructive. These experiences will enrich our heart as much as the intellect, and give us a new understanding.

When two people who understand from both these sources meet, things are simple and problems are resolved quickly. On the other hand when two people who understand only via their intelligence meet things can be very complicated and problems last for years. Meditation should make us happier, bring us closer to our heart and make life simpler.

When the heart prevails, something radiates from us and affects the results of our actions. We seem to expand and influence the things around us and the people that we meet. Although we are still seeking, something mysteriously acts through us and determines the influence of our actions upon our environment. A spirit of service fills our being and overflows. What we were seeking begins to find us.

TKV Desikachar was a world renowned yoga teacher. This excerpt is from his book "What Are We Seeking".

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On Jul 23, 2017 david doane wrote:

 A boss is in charge, and an attendant serves.  Thinking makes a fine attendant and a terrible boss.  I like Chesterton's statement that "The madman is not the one who has lost his reason, it is the one who has lost everything but his reason."  I've learned to be suspicious of reason.  And I believe what Oscar Wilde said, that nothing worth knowing can be taught.  It must be learned, probably through experience.  My learning through experience involves my heart and head, making for personal and deeper learning.  One's head and heart are naturally integrated, and the problem is when they become separated, like so often happens in school.  That's what makes learning in school so inefficient.  I now know that all of me thinks, not just my head.  'Heart thinking' is different than head thinking -- both are useful and knowing that helps me listen to both, with heart getting priority.  And the top dog is the soul, the source of both head and heart, but that's a different story.

On Jul 23, 2017 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

" What is most important is always hidden'  These words resonate with a saying I had learned from my dad a long time ago.. It is in Sanskrit: Dharmasysa tatvam nihitam guhayam-the essence of harmonious land joyful living resides  hidden in the cave of our heart. Heart is the source of the mystical, nurturing, and loving-kindness energy that creates, sustains and flourishes our purpose of living.Living from the heart creates deep and happy connections with all living beings regardless of the differences.

We seem to be giving more emphasis on the mind or head in many areas and aspects of our life.In the world we live in,  science and technology are more valued than what is created form the heart. This creates imbalance in our life. It deprives us of the joyful, peaceful and happy dance of life. We need both-heart and head; compassion and intellect.  When head overtakes  heart, we suffer. We need a dialectical balance between both.

We need to cultivate discrimination for making wise choices. Meditation brings us closer to our heart and helps us  embrace life more deeply and meaningfully with ease and simplicity. Mind creates achievement; heart creates fulfillment.Like the author says, "A spirit of service fills our being and overflows. What we are seeking begins to find us."

Recently, we had a very animated discussion in our family. My youngest grand daughter is in the last her of high school. Her older sister and  her best friend are in the medical field. They kept on advising her to go for medicine. Her uncle and the other grand father are in the engineering field advising and encouraging her to go for engineering. All of them were advising her to make use of her high intelligence and high academic performance. None of them  were mentioning anything about how her heart feels. What her intuitive voice was whispering to her. All of them love my grand daughter and want her to be a great achiever using her intelligence. My suggestion to her was to meditate and  listen to her voice with an open mind and open heart and follow what feels deeply and clearly right. She knows how I have chosen my path.At the end of our discussion, we all wished her well.

May we take time out, meditate, and listen to our inner voice quietly when we encounter confusion, conflict and uncertainty!


Jagdish P Dave

On Jul 25, 2017 Mareda wrote:

 Thank you for your insights.  I have for so many years of my life relied heavily on my intellect (head) and neglected the heart (spirit) within me.  I'm making changes in the rhythm of my life - contrary to what the world and my past experiences have taught me.  I'm starting to know more peace - small ribbons that are adding color to my life journey. 
Joy and peace be with you.

On Jul 27, 2017 Sanjeev Verma wrote:

 Intellect gives us the discerning power-gives us wisdom ( or Panya)--helps us to distinguish between right and wrong actions. However the intellect acquires its power when the mind is quiet. We acquire this discerning power when the mind is quiet since we look at things with the help of intellect through the prism or lens of mind. We can not see things clearly when our prism or lens is clouded. It is important to tame or quieten the mind  in order for us to acquire discerning power. Our mind is always under constsnt agitation--lots of thoughts bouncing around--just like Brownian motion. These random thoughts take away our Wisdom. Finally I think that we often loosely use the term heart instead of mind--it is a part of our physical existence that regulates blood flow in our body. Probably we mean mind when we use the word heart. Similarly we often end up using the word brain instead of intellect.

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