By Swami Harshananda
Hṛdaya literally means 'that which is taken away by the sense-objects’.
The word ‘hṛdaya’ is generally used in two senses:
- Physical heart
- Seat of mind
It has always been considered as the seat of consciousness. Suśruta describes the shape of the heart as that of a half-open lotus with the face upward. Caraka (3rd cent. A. D.) says that the ten dhamanīs or ducts, which carry the constituents of the body, start from the heart. Figuratively, the word is used to indicate the inner sense of a thing.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore