The Heart ... (Ramana Maharshi's "hṛdaya kuhara madhye" verse)
"In the inmost core the Heart shines as Brahman alone..."        

hṛdayakuharamadhye kevalaṃ brahmamātraṃ 
hyahamahamiti sākshādātmarūpeṇa bhāti |
hṛdi viśa manasā svaṃ cinvatā majjatā vā 
pavanacalanarodhādātmaniṣṭho bhava tvam ||

In the inmost core, the Heart
Shines as Brahman alone,
As ‘I-I’, the Self aware.
Enter deep into the Heart
By searching for Self, or diving deep,
Or with breath under check.
Thus abide ever in Atman.’

(Bhagavan’s English translation as reported by Arthur Osborne in ‘Collected Works’)

Hridayam - hṛd + ayam - means "this is the Heart [or Centre]" Sri Ramana Maharshi.

ayam’ is used to talk of what is present - here and now. The word can derive from two stems - ‘a’ and ‘i’. From these two stems we get 1) ‘atra’ - ‘here’ and ‘in this’; 2) ‘iha’ - ‘here’ or ‘in this world’.


A few of the varied translations

In the Centre of the heart-cave, Brahman alone shines, in the form of the Atman, with direct immediacy as "I, I". Enter into the Heart with questing mind or by diving deep, with breath controlled, and abide, simply, as the Self! (trans. Me :))

Brahman is glowing lustrously in the middle of the cave of the Heart in the shape of the Self, always proclaiming “I am, I am”. Become an Atmanishtha, a Self-Realised person, either by making the mind absorbed in the search for the Self or by making the mind drown itself through the control of breath.
(translation found on p. 232 of ‘Letters from Arunachala...’)

In the centre of the Heart-Cave there shines alone the one Brahman as the 'I-I', the Atman. Reach the Heart by diving deep in quest of the Self, or by controlling the mind with breath, and stay established in the Atman. 
( from Reality in 40 verses supplement; trans. K. Swaminathan)

Inside the cave of the Heart the Pure and Infinite Being Himself shines as the Self, the limitless I. Enter thou the Heart, diving by Quest of the Self or by holding the breath and thus be one with the Self.
(from K. Lakshmana Sarma's 'Sri Ramana Hrdayam' Ramanasramam;1991)

In the interior of the Heart-cave there shines alone the One Brahman as ‘I-I’, the self-conscious Atman. Realize that State of steadfast inherence in the Self, entering into the Heart either by diving deep within through Self-enquiry or by the submergence of the mind through breath-control.
(from Supplement to the Forty Verses as found in ‘Collected Works’, edit. Arthur Osborne)

For further information on Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi  and some of the authors above go to the Official Ramana Maharshi Web Pages 

There is some controversy, however... regarding Sri Ramana’s comments on the physical manifestation of the Heart... and some confusion

However there really need be none. 

What is one’s perpective right now? Is it that of the jnani? If so then the omnipresent Heart, the Centre, without circumference, exists right here, ‘in this’ (cf. Talks 273). However if one operates from the position of a limited centre, here, ‘in the world’ (cf. Talks 97) then what is the justification for arguing over Sri Ramana’s words. 

You just have to be honest about your perspective and cut away the bull.

In Chapter 10 of his book ‘Reflections on Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi’, while commenting on
Talk 29, S. S. Cohen elucidates, “To the highly critical mind there appears a contradiction in the statements of Bhagavan, who on the one hand makes Heart to be everywhere and nowhere, and on the other fixes it in the right chest, from which the sushumna nadi rises, and where the jiva retires in sleep, etc. The apparent contradiction is due to the perception of the body, which has to be related to the mind, or the intelligent principle which acts and perceives through it. The mind has thus to be shown in a dual aspect, the one as the pervader of the body, and thus hypothetically limited to its shape, and the other as limitless and free.” (Sri Ramanasramam; 1990)

Anomalies remain only as long as one pays mere lipservice to the practice. Once one ends such pretense, vichara [Self-enquiry] is the single means by which the inconsistencies, based on cherished beliefs and attitudes of mind, can be eliminated.

Related link:

Regarding heart sensation and the "Natural State" please see Thud in the Thymus

copyright - nanyar - 2006