For review, we have 4 “hearts” in the chest. This is one of the reasons it’s experienced so many different ways. Even just the heart chakra itself can be seen as a vortex, a flower, a space and so forth.
The 4 Hearts:
1 – the physical heart, in the left chest.
2 – Anahata – the heart chakra. This is typically experienced most distinctly when the kundalini shakti is rising.
3 – Hrit – the heart sub-centre said to run the physical heart. It’s above the physical heart and below the shoulder. The initial connection is up by the 6th chakra so it comes on-line a bit later. It includes the “holiness and beatitude” qualities and is more prominent in those on a heart-driven path. Denise, for example, often puts her hand on this “high heart” when singing. Or people will put their hand in the middle of the chest over anahata, depending on where they feel it most.
As I reviewed here, energetically, with the manas (mind) sub-centre on the right, it creates a Fleur-de-lis pattern. And the cross people cross themselves with.
4 – Hridaya, the divine heart, discovered most often during the post-awakening descent phase known as God Consciousness. It is larger and fuller than Anahata but in the same space, more subtly.
“The hridaya or spiritual heart is not the heart chakra (Anahata) but the core of our being, the seat of Atman or Purusha, in which all chakras, all worlds, and all beings are comprehended.” — Dr. David Frawley
I discussed this recently here.
Given the similar names of Hrit and Hridaya and that they have the same number of petals, I considered if these were the same chakra as some suggest. In fact some suggest all 3 are the same thing, or they confuse Hrit and Hridaya with Surya below the heart, or as a root of Anahata. I suspect all this kundalini muddling is a blend of conceptually guessing what the old texts meant and poor energetic literacy. A great deal of understanding took a hit during the Dark Ages.
Kundalini Vidya is very clear Hrit is as above. The quote makes it clear Hridaya is distinct. And all 4 can be perceived distinctly. But they can also be experienced a number of different ways, as I mentioned above. If we’re following descriptions and not clear experience, the water gets muddy.
One western-developed chakra system I saw oddly put the 3rd gut chakra over to the side. I thought that a little odd until I ran into a text that suggests it can be deflected. This isn’t the normal experience but it became part of a chakra system.
Yet another layer to this scenario is the sutra. We have a sutra (nadi) entering through the top of our head that runs down the spine. It is known as sushumna. This is what the kundalini shakti eventually rises up through all the chakras. There is another sutra that connects to the heart directly, from the front, bypassing this.
The heart is also the fulcrum point. It is the axis of the one into 3 into 7 within us. The spiritual chakras above the heart, the world chakras below. It brings the 2 together.
On the journey up, the heart is the transition from being ego-driven to becoming a seeker. On the journey down, the heart is the transition from the detached witnessing spirit of Self Realization into God Consciousness which sets the ground for the fullness of Unity.
One begins to get a sense of why the heart is so important in a spiritual journey. And in the rich quality of life that is our birthright.
[Update – I’ve seen several references to the “high heart”, a sub-centre between the heart and throat. Rose calls it the “soul thrill” sub-chakra. It supports the Fleur-de-Lis pattern even better. See comments.]