Swami ji said …
All things that live need nourishment to live and grow. Plants need air, water and sunlight. Some animals need flora, while others need to hunt for their intake of meat. And the type and kind of nourishment dictates the future of all. A sapling can grow into a hundred year old tree with uncountable leaves and branches if exposed to clean air, water, regular sunshine and fertile soil. But a sapling put in the desert will not last a day.
The same goes for our bodies – light and nutritious meals, lots of water make us look lean and feel good. Oily and fatty foods make us unhealthy. And we all are highly aware of this. Some of us even go on diets, take extreme precaution in our eating habits and even starve ourselves just to lose a few kilos and ‘look’ better and more attractive to others. For the sake of our physical well being we are willing to follow the most disciplined of lifestyles. The fact that we are willing to expend such energy and effort just for the sake of our physical appearance then begs the question – how committed are we to mainitaining the health of the mind ?
The mind is in a constant state of motion – ticking away all the time. It could be bursting with positivity one moment – only to find itself deflated with negativity the very next moment. If it is upbeat, motivated and enthused to achieve wonders one minute – it could be plagued with doubt, suspicion and lack of confidence the very next.
Thoughts are food for the mind, and who we are, how we experience life, our moods and attitude – all are guided by the kinds of thoughts we allow into our mind.
Thoughts of a negative connotation – such as those of anger, fear or jealousy make the mind unhealthy. As a result our perception of the world narrows down to one – that is filled with hate mistrust and deception. A mind filled with thoughts of anger makes us irritable. We constantly find fault with the world around us as we need some reason to blow off steam. Similarly, a mind filled with fear will never seize any opportunity – as it is convinced of a bad ending in all scenarios. It is thus important to monitor at all times what thoughts – conscious and subconscious – are going through the mind. Let there be no room for unkind, dishonest and hateful thoughts in our mind but instead we need to strengthen it with the bonds of self – belief ; faith in our abilities , honesty and love for all.
The world, the ‘sansaar’ around us itself was borne of a ‘thought’ – a curiosity in Brahma to know who or what He was. We should thus never underestimate the power of even a single thought. It is said that ascetics meditate for long periods of time just to regain control over the mind – so that they think only of God at the time of death – and are able to escape from the cycle of rebirth. For any action to take place, there has to, first , be a thought. Even a mindless act is one caused by subconscious thoughts in the mind. Thus, if we plan to have any control over our lives, it first becomes important to control our thoughts.
It is only through meditation, focussing on God, and introspection – that we can begin to control the avalanche of thoughts that trigger through the mind. With practice, we can begin to see as a spectator – the thoughts in the mind, and, gradually we can learn to turn those thoughts off and on as we find suitable. We are then no longer enslaved by the outside world. Instead of simply being puppets in the world, we are able to first observe , understand and then act, instead of merely reacting to the world around us.
And just like fruits and vegetables make our bodies strong and provide us with immunity and strength – love and thoughts filled with kindness make us feel better. We develop congenial personalities and people enjoy our company. We are hopeful about life and make others around us also feel so. Good thoughts lead to even better action. If we learn to put ourselves in others shoes and appreciate their struggles and challenges, we develop compassion. Compassion in turn drives us to help others selfllessly. We then become free of jealousy and envy. Happiness in our brethren becomes the reward we seek. In such a scenario, we can do no wrong.