The Boss And The Attendants

TKV Desikachar
525 words, 16K views, 4 comments

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".