Definition - What does Hridaya mean?

Hridaya is a Sanskrit word that can be interpreted as “spiritual heart.” It more literally translates from its root words as hri, which means “to give,” da, which means “to take,” and ya from yam, which means “balance.” Therefore, hridaya is “that which gives and takes in perfect balance.” In the same way as the physical heart does this with blood flow, hridaya is the center for giving and taking on a spiritual level.

Hridaya is sometimes used in connection with Hridaya yoga, a type of yoga that focuses on awakening the spiritual heart.

Yogapedia explains Hridaya

Hridaya is sometimes said to be located a little to the right of the center of the chest, although other sources describe is as being without any physical dimension. It is considered to be distinct as a concept from anahata, the heart chakra, which only refers to an aspect or a dimension of being, whereas hridaya is a much broader concept. Some understand hridaya as being not just a spark of God, but God itself.

By connecting with hridaya, a yogi is thought to be able to overcome their attachment to individual emotions and the individual soul, realizing instead their heart connection with the Universal Consciousness.

Hridaya yoga draws on practices of Hatha yoga, meditation and contemplation in order to follow the path to liberation, awakening the spiritual heart.

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