Thought is a living force
Thought is a vital, living force, the most vital, subtle and irresistible force that exists in the universe. The thought-world is more real relatively than this physical universe. Thoughts are living things. Every change in thought is accompanied by vibration of its matter (mental). Thought as force needs a special kind of subtle matter in its working.
Mind assumes the form of anything it contemplates. When you think of an object, your mind shapes itself into the form of that object. When you change your thought, your mind also changes its shape. Many modifications continually arise in the mind. Your thoughts rapidly change. Your mind also changes its shape rapidly. Every moment, mind is continually creating hundreds of these thought-forms and continually dispersing them again. It never holds on steadily to one thought-form for some time.
Language is different, but thought is one. Mental image is same in all.
Thought is a creative force
Thought is a dynamic force. Thought moves. Thought is infectious. Thought creates. You can work wonders with the power of thought. Through the instrumentality of thought, you acquire creative power. There are nowadays numerous books on thought-power.
Every thought has a literal value to you in every possible way. The strength of your body, the strength of your mind, your success in life and the pleasures you give to others by your company – all depend on the nature and quality of your thoughts.
Thought gives health
If you entertain healthy thoughts, you can keep good health. If you hold on to sickly thoughts in the mind, thoughts of diseased tissues, thoughts of weak-nerves, thoughts of improper functioning of organs, you can never expect good health, beauty and harmony. The body is the product of the mind. If you hold on vigorous thoughts in the mind, then the physical body also will be vigorous.
Evil thoughts of all kinds befoul and infure the mind and, if persisted in, will become veritable diseases and maimings of the mind, incurable during the period of life.
Thought builds character
“As a man thinketh, so he is.” “Man is created by thought; what a man thinks upon, that he becomes.” Think you are strong; strong you become. Think you are weak; the weak you become. Think you are a fool; fool you become. Think you are God; God you become. A man forms his own character, becoming that which he thinks. If you meditate on courage, you shall work courage into your character. If you think nobly, you shall gradually make for yourself a noble character, but if you think basely, a base character will be formed. Steady persevering thought sets up a definite habit of the mind and that habit manifests itself as a quality in the character. The thread of thought is woven into mental and moral qualities and these qualities in their totality form what we call character. You can build your character as surely as a mason can build a wall, working with and through the law.
The first step towards a deliberate creation of character lies then in the deliberate choosing of what we will think and then of thinking persistently on the quality chosen. Soon, there will be a tendency to evince that quality; a little longer, its exercise will become habitual. Thought makes character. You spin the thread of thought into your destiny.
Thought weaves destiny
That which man thinks upon in one life, he becomes in another. If the mind dwells continually upon one train of thought, a groove is formed into which the thought-force runs automatically and such a habit of thought survives death and since it belongs to the ego, is carried over to the subsequent earth life as a thought tendency and capacity.
every thought has got its own mental image. Every man has a mental world of his own, how own views, his own sentiments, his own feelings, his own habitual thoughts, his own experience and his own mode of thinking. The essence of the various mental images formed in one particular physical life is being worked out in the mental plane. It constitutes the basis for the next physical life. Man makes the circumstances of his future life by the effect of his actions upon others.
Every action has a past which leads up to it; every action has a future which proceeds from it. An action implies a desire which prompted it and a thought which shaped it. Each act is a link in an endless chain of causes and effects, each effect becoming a cause and each cause having been an effect; and each link in the endless chain is welded out of three components – desire, thought and activity. A desire stimulates a thought; a thought embodies itself in an act.
Selfish coveting of the possessions of others, though never carried out into active cheating in the present, makes one a thief in a later earth-life, while hatred and revenge secretly cherished are the seeds from which the murderer springs. So again, unselfish loving yields as harvest the philanthropist and the saint; and every thought of compassion helps to build the tender and pitiful nature which belongs to one who is a friend to all creatures.
Like attracts like
The great law, “Like attracts like,” is ever operating. This is a great cosmic law. This is a law in nature. This law operates in the thought world also. People of similar thoughts are attracted towards each other. That is the reason why the maxims run as follows: “Birds of the same feather flock together….A man is known by the company he keeps.” A doctor is drawn towards a doctor. A poet has attraction for another poet. A singer loves another singer. A philosopher likes another philosopher. A vagabond likes a vagabond. The mind has got a ‘drawing power’. You are continually attracting towards you, from both the seen and the unseen sides of life-forces, thoughts, influences and conditions most akin to those of your own thoughts and lives.
In the realm of thought, people of similar thoughts are attracted to one another. This universal law is continually operating whether we are conscious of it or not. We are all living, so to speak, in a vast ocean of thought; and the very atmosphere around us is continually filled with the thought-forces that are being continually sent or that are continually going out in the form of thought-waves. We are all affected more or less by these thought-forces either consciously or unconsciously and in the degree that we are more or less sensitively organised or in the degree we are negative and so are open to outside influences, rather than positive, which thus determine what influences shall enter into the domain of our thoughts and hence into our lives.
Carry any kind of thought you please about with you and so long as you retain it, no matter how you roam over land or sea, you will unceasingly attract to yourself, knowingly or inadvertently, exactly and only what corresponds to your own dominant quality of thought. Thoughts are your private property and you can regulate them to suit your taste entirely by steadily recognising your ability to do so. You have entirely in your own hands to determine the order of thought you entertain and consequently the order of influences you attract and are not mere willowy creatures of circumstances, unless indeed you choose to be.
Good thoughts and evil thoughts
A good thought is thrice blessed. First, it benefits the thinker by improving his mental body. Secondly, it benefits the person about whom it is entertained. Lastly, it benefits all mankind by improving the general mental atmosphere.
An evil thought, on the contrary, is thrice cursed. First, it harms the thinker by doing injury to his mental body. Secondly, it harms the person who is its object. Lastly, it harms all mankind by vitiating the whole mental atmosphere.
Every evil thought is as a sword drawn on the person to whom it is directed. If you entertain thoughts of hatred, you are really a murderer of that man against whom you foster thoughts of hatred. You are your own suicide, because these thoughts rebound upon you only.
A mind tenanted by evil thoughts acts as a magnet to attract like thoughts from others and thus intensifies the original evil.
Evil thoughts thrown into the mental atmosphere poison receptive mind. To dwell on an evil thought gradually deprives it of its repulsiveness and impels the thinker to perform an action which emodies it.
The progeny of Thoughts
It is not sufficient that your thoughts are not bad. You must transmute bad thoughts into good thoughts. This is the first part of your Sadhana. You must make them helpful thoughts. When they are sent out, they must be capable of doing immense good and benefit to the suffering humanity and your neighbours.
Thoughts are your own real children. Be careful of your progeny of thoughts. A good son brings happiness, name and fame to the father. An evil son brings infamy, discredit to his father. Even so, a noble thought will bring happiness and joy to you. An evil thought will bring misery and trouble to you. Just as you rear up your children with great care, so also you will have to rear up good, sublime thoughts with great care.
Thought is contagious
Thought is very contagious and nay. Thought moves. It actually leaves the brain and hovers about. It enters the brains of others also. A sympathetic thought in you raises a sympathetic thought in others with whom you come in contact. A thought of anger produces a similar vibration in those who surround an angry man. It leaves the brain of one man and enters the brains of others who live at a long distance and excites them. A cheerful thought produces cheerful thought in others. A thought of joy creates sympathetically a thought of joy in others. You are filled with joy and intense delight when you see a batch of hilarious children playing mirthfully and dancing in joy.
The mind is like a wireless machine. A saint with peace, poise, harmony and spiritual waves sends out into the world thoughts of harmony and peace. They travel with tremendous lightning speed in all directions and enter the minds of thousands and produce in them also similar thoughts of harmony and peace. Whereas a worldly man whose mind is filled with jealousy, revenge and hatred sends out discordant thoughts which enter the minds of thousands and stir in them similar thoughts of hatred and discord.
Thoughts are very contagious. Keep a good and honest man in the company of a thief. He will begin to steal. Keep a sober man in the company of a drunkard. He will begin to drink.
Thought-transference or Telepathy
What is the possible medium through which thoughts can travel from mind to another? The best possible explanation is that mind-substance fills all space like ether and it serves as the vehicle for thoughts. Hence, thought-transference is possible. Thought-transference is telepathy.
If we throw a piece of stone in a tank or a pool of water, it will produce a succession of concentric waves travelling all around from the affected place. The light of a candle will similarly give rise to waves of thereal vibrations travelling in all directions from the candle. In the same manner, when a thought, whether good or evil, crosses the mind of a person, it gives rise to vibrations in the mental atmosphere, which travel far and wide in all directions.
While electricity travels at the rate of 1,86,000 miles per second, thoughts virtually travel in no time, their speed being as much faster than electricity as their vehicle mind is finer than ether, the medium of electricity.
Thoughts are like things. Just as you hand over an orange to your friend and take it back, so also you can give a useful, powerful thought to your friend and take it back also. You must know the right technique to handle and manipulate a thought. The science is very interesting and subtle. You can aid a friend in trouble by sending him thoughts of comfort, a friend in search of Truth by thoughts clear and definite of the truths you know. You can send into the mental atmosphere thoughts which will raise, purify and inspire all who are sensible to them.
If you send out a loving, helpful thought to another man, it leaves your brain, goes directly to that man, raises a similar thought of love in his mind and returns back to you with redoubled force. If you send out a thought of hatred to another man, it hurts that man and hurts you also by returning back to you with redoubled force. Therefore, understnad the laws of thought, raise only thoughts of mercy, love and kindness from your mind and be happy always.
When you send out a useful thought to help others, it must have a definite, positive purpose and aim. Then only it will bring out the desired effect. Then only that thought will accomplish a definite work.
Benefits of Thought-control
Thoughts lead to action. Thoughts are the sources of all actions. Thinking is the real action. If you can root out all evil thoughts in the beginning, you will not do any evil action. If you can nip them in the bud, you will be free from the miseries and tribulations of this world. Watch your thoughts with vigilance and introspection.
A wise man watches his thoughts and eradicates all evil thoughts as they arise from the surface of the mind. So he is happy. He has always pure thoughts. By meditation on God, pure thoughts emanate from the mind.
If you have control over your thoughts, you can turn out immense work with intense concentration. Mental torments of all sorts, cares, worries and anxieties will disappear. The peace that you will enjoy cannot be adequately described.
Those who have even a little control over their thoughts and speech will have a calm, serene, beautiful, charming face, sweet voice and brilliant, lustrous white eyes.
Conservation and proper utilisation of Thought-energy
Just as energy is wasted in idle talk and gossiping, so also energy is wasted in entertaining useless thought. Therefore, you should not waste even a single thought. Do not waste even an iota of energy in useless thinking. Conserve all mental energy. Utilise it for higher spiritual purposes and meditation and helpful service to humanity.
Do not store in your brain useless information. Learn to unmind the mind. Unlearn whatever you have learnt. They are now useless for you. Then only you can fill your mind with divine thoughts. You will gain new mental strength as all the dissipated mental rays are collected now.
Drive away from your mind all unnecessary, useless and obnoxious thoughts. Useless thoughts impede your spiritual growth; obnoxious thoughts are stumbling blocks to spiritual advancement. You are away from God when you are entertaining useless thoughts. Entertain only thoughts that are helpful and useful. Do not allow the mind to run into the old grooves and to have its own ways and habits. Be on the careful watch.
You must eradicate through introspection all sorts of mean thoughts, useless thoughts, unworthy thoughts, impure thoughts, thoghts of jeasousy, hatred and selfishness. You must annihilate all destructive thoughts of disharmony and discord. You must develop good, loving, sublime thoughts. Every thought must be of a constructive nature. It must be strong, positive and must be of a constructive nature. It must be strong, positive and definite. Develop right thinking. Every thought must bring peace and solace to others. It should not bring even the least pain and unhappiness to anyone. Then you are a blessed soul on the earth. You are a mighty power on the earth. You can help many, heal thousands.
Generally, in untrained persons, four or five kinds of thoughts occupy the mind at a time. Household thoughts, business thoughts, thoughts of office, thoughts of food and drink, hope and anticipation, some kind of planning to get money, some kinds of thoughts of revenge, etc., occupy the mind at a time. When you are studying a book with interest at 3.30 p.m., the idea of pleasure of witnessing a cricket match at 4 p.m. disturbs your study every now and then. It is only a Yogi with concentrated mind, who can have only one thought at a time and can keep it as long as he likes.
If you watch the mind carefully, you will find that many thoughts are inconsistent. The mind wanders at random aimlessly. There will be some thoughts of the body and its wants, some thoughts of friends, some thoughts of acquiring money, some thoughts of eating and drinking, etc. If you can study the mind and if you have consistent thoughts of one subject or one kind only to the exclusion of all other thoughts, this itself is a very great achievement, is a great step in advancement in thought-control.
Haunting Thoughts of sin
Thoughts of sin haunt the minds of some persons. One person always thinks, “I have committed a very heinous sin. I do not know what to do.” Again and again, this one idea haunts his mind. This is a bad habit. These people do not know how to divert their minds. They become pray to these ‘haunting thoughts’. Virtue and sin are relative terms. They are creations of the mind. Sin is nothing but a mistake. Remembering God’s name, charity and fasting will destroy at one any amount of sin. Even the worst sinner can attain salvation, can become holy of holies.
Techniques of Thought-control
If you think again and again on impure things, an evil thought gains new strength by repetition. It gets the force of momentum. Drive them immediately. If you find it difficult to do so, entertain counter-thoughts of God. A noble thoght is a potent antidote to counteract an evil thought. By repetition of God’s name thousand of times daily, good thoughts gain new strength by each repetition.
If you are not able to control any evil thought, control the body and speech first. Slowly you will gain mental strength and will-force and will be able to control the thoughts gradually. If, for a moment you think you will not succeed in vanquishing an evil thought, at once get up and set about some work involving physical labour. One effort after another will make gradually the task easy and, in a few weeks, you will obtain a complete control over your thoughts.
Control the physical body and speech first. Then slowly proceed to control thoughts. Do not speak ill of others. You can control your actions only when you have become moral. When you speak ill of a man, you poison the mind of several people. Just comment without hatred or malice is permissible occasionally.
Do not allow useless or evil thoughts to develop themselves into words. Curb the speech. Divert the mind at once to something good.
When the mind is vacant, evil thoughts try to enter. Evil thinking is the beginning or starting point of adultery. Mental actions are the real actions. God judges a man by his motives; worldly people judge a man by his external physical actions. You will have to look to the motive of the man. Then you will not be mistaken. Keep the mind fully occupied. Then evil thoughts will not enter. An idle brain is the devil’s workshop.