Q. 1) What is the difference between heart and soul?, 2) Why matajis can not take sannyas? and 3) How to control the heart?
A. 1. Soul is the life or consciousness that we see in a living body. Soul is the real person, the individual who animates the body. When we say “I” or “You”, we are actually referring to the soul in that body. The body is simply a dress that covers the soul. The soul is located in the region of the heart.
2. The Vedic scriptures recommend that a woman needs to be protected during all stages of her life: by her father during childhood, by her husband during youth and by her grown-up son during old age. Otherwise, if she is let alone, she will be mistreated and exploited by unscrupulous men. Especially in Kali-yuga, men are not trained how to respectfully treat a woman due to which women are all the more vulnerable. This is evident from the rising number of crimes committed against them. Women are also easily fooled to think they have become independent.
Therefore the Vedas forbid women to take sannyasa. She simply needs to follow her husband and assist him in his spiritual duties. In fact, this is a blessing on her because without undergoing any of the strict rules a man is expected to follow to achieve perfection, a woman can achieve the same position simply by following her husband.
3. Heart is the seat of mind and intelligence within which the soul is embedded. Controlling the heart means controlling the mind from all unwanted desires. The only way to control the mind is by engaging it in the service of God, someway or the other. And the easiest way to control the mind is by chanting the holy names—Hare Krishna, HareKrishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.