Integrating Head, Heart and Hand – The heart of Gita

Read this beautiful interview of Michael Lerner on Dailygood and I wanted to snip a part of it where he talks of Gita and post it out here.

When I think about this, when we go back to what the great traditions tell us about what it means to be human, virtually all of them-the perennial philosophy at the heart of all the great traditions-what are we given? We’re given our heads, our thoughts, our minds; we’re given our hearts, our capacity for compassion and kindness, and we’re given our hands, which is acts of service.

If you go back, for example, to the Bhagavad Gita, what are the three great yogas that compete for supremacy? They are jnana yoga, the yoga of wisdom; there is bhakti yoga, the yoga of the heart; and there is karma yoga, the yoga of the hands. I’ve been so fascinated because this is biologically designed; we all have heads, we all have hearts, and we all have hands. And in every tradition you find those three things in one form or another. In Christianity, faith is the jnana yoga; love is the bhakti yoga; hope is the karma yoga. You find the same in every tradition.

And so to me, we each are designed with different ratios, in some sense, of the degree to which we serve with our minds, serve with our hands, and serve with our hearts. But the traditions tell us that the greatest of these yogas, at least in the Bhagavad Gita and many of the great spiritual traditions teach us, that the yoga of love, of compassion, of kindness is the greatest of all three, the yoga of the heart. The mind is a wonderful servant to that-and the hands, enacted in the world.

So to me, it isn’t how I, or others, make the leap from thought to service-to action in the world-it’s that these three things are innate in us. And we each should have different preferences, perhaps at different times in our lives. Awakin, you knopw, this wonderful idea of waking up with kin, with kindred spirits, with those who are aligned with us -when we come together in community like that, we are just impelled towards some form of service.

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