When a child is born, the first thing that it responds to is the Spirit of its mother. At the moment of his birth he is not aware of his body or that of this mother, but he is aware of the Spirit. The moment he comes out of the womb he suffers a shock, and his first reaction is to get back to the womb. At this stage his mind, conditionings, and ego aspects are not developed. He is pure Spirit, and it is this pure Spirit that finds comfort in the Spirit of this mother and through that comfort, sustenance in the new alien environment. This response is true love or unconditional love; it is not a conditioned response, but the sheer joy of the fusion of two Spirits.
The Heart Chakra is the home of the Self, the Spirit, Atman—all mean the same thing. Time and again Shri Mataji has stressed that "You are nothing but an eternal Spirit." In this way she is telling us that we have to realize and become our Spirit, and leave behind the futility of the illusion we live in. We start the process of becoming our Spirit after realization, as we start to lose our false identifications with our body, mind, and feelings. Only after this enlightenment can we take our Attention to our heart and cleanse it. The Spirit can only manifest when our heart is open and clean, at which point we feel the eternal joy of creation and the meaning and purpose of our place in it. We clean our heart through our pure desire and through our Attention. Saying affirmations such as "I am the Spirit" are effective in this process, but it must be from the heart and not a mechanical action.
Pure love, which enlightens us all, is the real quality of the Heart Chakra. In the unrealized state we rarely love for love's sake. Because of our conditionings we confuse feelings of love with those of possession, sex, and selfishness. Pure love is detached, it gives without interest. Like the tree which gives shade to one and all, it is without prejudice or motive. True love is the quality that emanates from the Spirit and not from the body or mind. When we talk of loving someone, we should understand the direction in which this love is flowing. Bodily attraction is physical. It can arise out of sex appeal or even from an artist's or marketer’s projection. There are even those who exercise seductive arts to ensnare a good "catch." We can see this in those who indulge in excessively trendy fashions. These people are especially at risk in their relationships because they relate not as two Spirits, but as two fashionable physical forms. This kind of physical attraction is not true love because it comes from the mind, and the mind does not love—it merely wants. When the want of the mind is attained, the novelty wears off and the mind just wants something else.
Love is often mistakenly thought of as being restricted to male-female relationships. In fact, love is the flow of life in all limbs, between children and parents, brothers and sisters, friends, old people, etc. Where many people share and care, then the whole society opens up its heart center. It becomes a collective society and changes the world. This is the power of love. Love is the principle behind all creation, all vibrations. We say that God is love and love is God, because in its depths we cease to be. In true love there is no "I" and "You," there is simply the merging in the Spirit. Where there is love there is growth, celebration, joy, and evolution.
Most problems arise from fear. If we live in fear, then our natural immune system is weakened and we become vulnerable to allergies and disease. If we have self-confidence, the basis of which is love, we have strong defenses which protect against base desires and negative outside influences. Our personality grows and shines when our heart is strong, and we approach life with a will to win like a warrior. It is the love which becomes compassion which makes us reach out without thinking to help mankind. This is a spontaneous act, not an intellectual decision, and arises when fear is healed by love.
Our relationships with our parents have their place in the Heart Chakra. Our physical mother has her place in the left heart, and our father has his place in the right heart. Once we realize that our parents have this place within us, we don't try to run away from any problems in any way and we face our responsibilities. At all times we should treat our parents with the love and respect which is their due.
Parents should likewise raise their children in a pure life, which will encourage their spiritual development. They should love them without attachment and fear, knowing that they are the trustees of their children. If parents do not practice what they preach, they cannot set a proper example to their offspring. How we get along with our spouse is also a matter of the heart. If one partner dominates the other or is possessive, then the love is stifled and the relationship is disturbed. Vibrations of the Spirit's love must have the freedom to flow, and each partner must respect one another and not block the other's growth by force of personality or will.
The family unit is important to society, and the foundation of this unit is respect, love, and duty between the members—parents and children. If the family ideal collapses, society is soon to follow. We just have to witness the problems of violence and substance abuse amongst children in societies where the family has been neglected to see this connection. The seat of the Heart Chakra is located in the Brahmarandra at the crown of the head (in the Sahasrara chakra). This is where the Kundalini energy unites with the all-pervading energy of the universe.