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Yogi Bhajan Lecture: Compassion & The Heart Chakra

Excerpts from a lecture given on February 12, 1991 in Los Angeles, CA

We are going to talk today about the heart center. The story of the heart center is very funny. The majority of the time people do not know anything about it. It has some petals, some energy, this and that—you can read about that in books, but what is this heart center, and what is this fight between heart and head?

The heart center means warmth, compassion, kindness, passion, hatred—everything which is wonderful in the world and everything which is rotten on the planet. They all come from the heart center.

If you set your heart on something, your head will give in. That's why it is the most powerful center and extremely dangerous. On the other hand, this is the only center worth living with. Now see to the physical side of it: you have a heart, its electromagnetic field is its own; you can put a pacemaker in it and help it to beat for you. It pumps the entire blood and nurtures your every organ. It is responsible for supplying your lifeline and it works constantly, till it gets tired and says goodbye.

This center is very enduring. It is made of two parts. One is physical, one is electromagnetic. It is one organ which has its own electromagnetic wavelength and composition. There are millions of words we say: “Open your heart,” “I hate you from the very bottom of my heart,” (now what you do with the top I don't know). “My heart goes out to you.”

Passion and Compassion

There are millions of expressions which relate to the heart, but still we mess up our life, mostly because of heart, because this center controls passion. Anytime passion is not controlled with human intuition, it will bring destruction. It's a law which I can't change. I am not against passion, but ninety percent in your life, your pain comes from passion, not from compassion. And ninety percent you have no intuition with your passion.

Passion you must have, but passion minus intuition is self-destruction, period. It can be so destructive that you will start condemning yourself. Sometime, overleaping passions make human miseries so magnified, that people have gone lunatic.

When you feel negative, to say negative is a release. When you feel negative and you don't say negative, it is a stress. It's such a heavy stress; I think a saint will crack under it. When you read through your negative mind, which is automatic and totally essential and gives your life protection, the only way you can feel negative and not act under it, is if you can chew it and digest it. Do you understand that pressure on you?

Passion is wonderful. It moves you; it's delightful; it pumps the blood—but it's not true that passion will remain passion. Passion is to go after something, but when your truth mixes with it and that truth tells you that the other person is wrong or the other person is in your way or the other person is destructive or the other person is not good news, it creates a consistent blind anger. Secondly, passion is great to be successful, but when your truth or your insecurity joins it, you become a nagging nonsense to everybody, because your passion is to succeed and you find certain people not matching up to your passion. So if you do not match up with equal compassion, war is on.

Analyze everything in your life and you will find it was your passion, your insecurity, your anger, your not having an intuitive tomorrow, your inability to see the whole picture, your non-universality—which brought you pain.

Tolerance

I am in pain, very much. You will ask me, “You are Yogi Bhajan, what is wrong with you?” Everything is wrong, because at first sight I can see the wrong. Second is to think how to say it. Third is to decide whether to say it or not. Fourth is to decide to say it to elevate the other person. Now I have a professional duty to elevate anybody I touch, see and feel.

I have a tragedy. I can know the root of the situation with the other person, beyond time, in seconds. I have to have a tolerance, and you know what tolerance is? It is a couple tons of weight. Tolerance is not a joke, folks. The heaviest thing on the planet under metals is called platinum. I say, wrong; the heaviest thing on the human mind is human tolerance. If you are in status of tolerance and you don't enjoy it, you will go insane fast. Physically it eats your parasympathetic out, mentally it will make a rat out of you, and spiritually you will become extremely a hermit. That is the price of tolerance a person has to pay. Then what is the easy way? Easy way is to have fun.

The easy way is don't tolerate, enjoy that it is not you. If you do not at that time glorify yourself and feel happy with that negativity which comes from another, that it is not you, there is no medicine which can cure you. There is no chance that you can smile in life. You will be scared of everybody; you will be unhappy every day; you will be miserable every night; and you shall have nightmares. You think your negativities can be shut up, it's not possible. The negative mind feels it, you conclude it, you are sure of it, it becomes your personal truth.

Self-Compassion

In our Sikh prayer we say,

"Jinna veik ki andett githa."

Those who have seen and unsee it, for their great labor say, "Wahe Guru."

You see something, then how can you make it that you have not seen it? If a doctor sees cancer in somebody, he doesn't become the cancer himself. He sees it and either he can remedy it, or he can advise it, or he can ignore it, or he can be grateful he doesn't have it. 

The highest status which a man can enjoy in a human life is self-compassion. I am not asking you to be compassionate to others; I am asking you folks to be compassionate to yourself. This is the key to happiness. The gate to happiness is self-compassion.

If you have this misunderstanding that you should be compassionate to others, you are fooling yourself. Compassion does not mean anything to others; that is your drama, it is your act and it's meant for you. Be extremely compassionate to yourself and don’t indulge in unnecessary nuisance and tax your nerves, your mind and your life.

People say, “Have compassion. Be compassionate” That means have compassion for somebody. If you ever want to be compassionate, be compassionate to yourself. Others can handle their life. It is your life, and you are supposed to handle it and that is called Divinity of God.

In your total behavior as a human being, you have learned one thing—to be compassionate. Every religion teaches it: be compassionate to others. Be serviceful to others, be kind to others, but always be compassionate to yourself. Be good to others, be helpful to others, be friendly to others—all adjectives are all right, but never be compassionate to anybody when you are not compassionate yourself. You are totally a hypocrite.

Hypocrisy means when you are not real or you are pretending to be real when you are not real. It will happen only when you are not compassionate to yourself, because the fourth center guarantees to be either compassionate or passionate to yourself. It does not allow this for anybody else. Passion and compassion are two sides of the same coin, and they are for the self. If I am not passionately in love of myself I cannot love anybody truly. If I am not compassionate to myself, I will understand nothing, period.

You shall not understand the other person’s feelings accurately, intuitively, if you are not compassionate to yourself, period. Your friendship won't last, your relationship won't last, this, that, won't last, because if you do not have passion for life, and compassion for the self, you do not know what the damn life is.

The Language of the Heart

We can talk, we can play games, we can use words, we can be diplomatic—there are manners you can get by, but just remember, the language of the heart can be read on the face. Whatever is in your heart must show up on the face, and on that nobody has control. You can lie, fine, and the other person cannot read your aura, it's okay. But what is in your heart, you will be forced to show it through your face and that you cannot hide.

Normally marriage doesn't last, because if you do not find the root of your passion and your compassion, you can never find yourself. You have to find your own root, the very source of your passion, the very source of your compassion, if you want to find yourself. Therefore, the heart center is very important.

Sat Nam.

©The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan