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The Field of the Heart

Before a farmer can raise a crop in his field, he has to do a great deal of preparation. Before the seeds can be sown, the land must be cleared of brush, stones and weeds, and then it has to be softened by plowing and irrigation. The farmer must determine what particular types of seeds will grow best on that land, and what kind of nutrients would be required to fertilize the soil. When all these preparations are completed, he finally sows the seeds. Therefore, before a crop can be raised, the entire field has to be made ready for cultivation. Stones and weeds have to be dug out and thrown away. Only then can the appropriate seeds be sown to assure a good crop.

In a similar way, a spiritual aspirant must also carefully prepare the field of his heart. The same principles of cultivation apply to that field. First, one has to remove from the heart all undesirable thoughts and useless habits. They have to be dug up and cleaned out. After that, you have to irrigate the entire field of the heart with the waters of love. These waters of love make the heart soft and cultivatable. With the help of spiritual practices, you have to plow the field of your heart and spread the fertilizer of faith in order to make the soil rich and nutritious for the seeds to grow well there. Only when all this has been done will the entire field of the heart be ready for sowing. When the heart is covered with bad weeds of base thoughts, when it is barren, hard and dry and infertile, how can good seeds grow there and have any chance of maturing into a bountiful crop?

It is in this connection that Krishna said to Arjuna, "Arjuna, you must cultivate and transform the field of your heart. You must root out your external vision. Develop a pure and strong flow of love for God. Sow the seeds of God's name in your heart and you will raise a rich harvest of unity consciousness there, for that is what grows best in that field. That is its very nature. Then you will become a man of steady wisdom and attain your spiritual goal. In the garden of your heart you will be able to enjoy the sacred fruit of liberation. Once you have that, fear can never again trouble you.