Developing a Pure Heart



I know that a pure heart is the basis for bliss, as from pure heart emanates pure thoughts, words, and actions which eventually determine our destiny. I have been praying to God to bless me with one. It is a higher goal that I am asking for, but my prayer hasn’t entirely been answered. I have started meditation also a year back. But I have not been freed from lower emotions completely. How long and how much effort does it take to have a heart free of undesirable emotions?


—Shalin Joseph, India


Dear Shalin,

It’s important that we not be attached, even to spiritual goals. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna gives Arjuna the emphasis of “nishkam karma”, which means simply, action without the attachment to the fruits of one’s actions. The same can apply to spiritual goals. We need to do the best we can while offering it all to the Divine.

If your sincerity is there in purifying your heart, then God will respond. But God will respond in his time, not always in “our” time!

Continue to meditate daily, but also activate the devotion of your heart through chanting and feeling God’s presence. Paramhansa Yogananda said that “chanting was half the battle”.

Pray to the Guru to reveal God’s presence. Let your thoughts and feelings always be oriented towards the Divine. Let all else come from the devotion and offering of your heart.

How long will this take? Again, that is in God’s hands. Don’t be concerned.

How much effort does it take? In truth, all of your effort and concentration! But not with anxiety or tension. Let your efforts be relaxed and yet dynamic. Try not so much to think that you need to find God or open your heart; rather feel you are already with God and your heart is already open. Then think and act accordingly from that experience. Let God increasingly be with you at all times.

Try also to be in the company of others who likewise want to know God’s presence and have pure hearts. Satsang with other devotees can be a tremendous boon. But even more important – keep the presence of your Guru always with you.

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Pranaba