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Do Not Follow Your Heart, Instead, Follow Your Head

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
source: http://sikhism.about.com/b/2010/03/23/do-not-follow-your-heart-instead-follow-your-head.htm?nl=1

Do Not Follow Your Heart, Instead, Follow Your Head

By Sukhmandir Khalsa, About.com Guide to Sikhism
Tuesday March 23, 2010

A very wise Sikh who did not speak much English, once told me when I inquired about the meaning of Amrit, "Do not follow your heart, Instead, follow your head."

A Sikh who is baptized drinks Amrit during an initiation process whereby he or she agrees to give their head to the Guru.

What does it mean to give your head?

Giving their head, the Sikh accepts a code of conduct which insures success in both secular and spiritual life. A Sikh who drinks Amrit takes on the role of saint and soldier and approaches life in this manner. The saint strives to live a life of humility which is not driven by ego, the solider confronts and slays the ego.

So having given the head, the heart may not lead one astray. I can almost hear the gasps. In America we are taught to follow our heart that it can never lead us astray. But is that really true?
We could take a look at the divorce rate among Americans as compared to that of Sikhs. An astounding 50% divorce rate exists for Americans who follow their hearts as compared to 1-2% among Sikhs (1% of Sikhs in India and 2% of Sikhs in the States) who have given their head and follow their commitment to Guru instead. The heart represents feeling which when based on emotional upheaval of egoism can cause confusions and lead one astray. The head represents rational thinking and adherence to a code which offers solutions and resolutions based on humility to a couple foundering in feelings. Imagine if your heart could follow a chart to success simply by giving your head to the Guru's plan for your life.

It's real. It's doable. The numbers bear evidence to success.

Let us examine relationship status in Sikhism. The code of conduct tells us that outside of marriage everyone of the opposite gender is brother or sister. Therefore to get involved outside the bond and sacrament of marriage is to enter an incestuous relationship. By honoring and respecting each other as brother and sister we are able to love and support each other over a lifetime without falling prey to the sticky trap of relationship entanglement.

In Sikhism the heart belongs to the divine husband and a Sikh loves principle above all else. Ego takes second place to humility. Self centeredness is sacrificed before selflessness. Husband and wife bonded by the sacrament of Anand Karaj are fused with each other in divine inseparable union. One who follows the head essentially does so in service of the heart where the divine resides. Serving the divine within each other rather than the self ensures happy and successful relationships.