Something strange but amazing has happened to me. I was involved in certain sadhana from a long time, suddenly yesterday I felt a different voice coming from inside, near my heart area. Now, I am feeling there is a gap between that and my mind. I can see my mind is still involved in thoughts but I am not affected. I can feel joy watching it somewhere from far. It’s not enlightenment because I can go back in mind whenever I wish. So what has happened?
—Akansh Goel, India
Let me try to understand what you experienced. When you say a “voice” in the area of the heart, I assume it is less of a spoken voice and more of a feeling which you are understanding intuitively. That doesn’t mean there aren’t words, but you used the word “felt,” and that is most often what takes place.
There are many possibilities. On the one hand, nothing to fear. On the other hand, one should always be cautious and use common sense. You don’t want to exaggerate or let the ego-mind grab this experience, claim it for itself, and take some kind of pride of possession. There are some people for whom “voices” are definitely an issue, potent with psychic harm potential. So let me explore with you some different facets:
1. Ask yourself, “what is being communicated to me?” The range of possibilities is all but infinite, but let us say it goes from feeling love or acceptance to being directed or encouraged to take new directions in your life. If it’s about new directions, common sense needs to weigh in to ask whether these directions are ego-enhancing or harmful to yourself or anyone else, or devotional and uplifting, spiritually. To summarize this point: the communication can be strictly of a feeling nature, presumably expansive, loving, kind, etc. Or the communication can be that of guidance to take certain actions. In the latter case, you must apply your own reason and common sense to any action being suggested. You may wish to consult a person you trust who is of a spiritual character. From your note I do not sense any fear or concern on your part about what has happened.
2. It is completely normal for a devotee to develop an intuitive awareness which finds expression in a feeling way in or around the heart center. In this very normal situation, it is as if the “intuitive channel” to higher consciousness (soul, superconsciousness, Divine Mother, etc.) is being awakened and opened.
3. Your note doesn’t indicate your Ishta Devata: your guru, deity, or form of worship. If this experience were of the more extraordinary kind wherein one’s guru or deity were “appearing” or “speaking,” you would know that for sure. If you feel this voice is “outside you,” you should address it consciously and ask,”Who are you?” If you were to receive an answer, that doesn’t mean it is true. You still need to assess any guidance given to you by the yardstick of common sense and universal teachings. (A voice that tells someone to kill their neighbor, e.g., is obviously not of a divine origin no matter who it claims to be!) Nonetheless, you may be the recipient of an extraordinary visitation which has yet to fully unfold. Be wary, however, of any excitement on your part. Be strong in your “testing of the Spirits to see whether they are of God” (Jesus Christ’s advice).
4. The fact that this “voice” is separate from your mind (ego-mind; rational mind; left brain!) is totally normal no matter what its origins (spiritual or otherwise). But whether it is of the subconscious mind or the superconscious mind is more the question you have to ask yourself, and use your common sense, intuition, and rational intellect to determine.
The odds are best that you are experiencing higher guidance (depending on your “answers” to my questions above). Remain calm and even-minded about this experience and about any future experiences. Pay attention to these feelings and assess them without attachment as to whether true and of the soul. Be grateful for any upliftment of consciousness you experience, taking the experience into your self with humility and grace. In your sadhana, then, pray for guidance and purity and that whatever you might experience that it be for your spiritual growth and awakening.
May the Light of divine wisdom shine upon you,
Seattle WA USA