Sunday, March 22, 2015

How to ward off negative thoughts?

Wishing you Happy Gudi Padwa

To ward off negative thoughts, there are two solutions which I can recall:

1. Short term
2. Long term

1. Short term:

Devotional method:

Do what is right at that time. Suppose if there is bursting of anger, then you cant control it. But after the incident is over, forget and forgive all those involved. Pray to God, 'Oh God please take away my anger'. Pray to God to forgive you and and also pray to God to give you strength to forgive those who hurt you. Say, " Oh God, take away all the negative energies, all negative emotions and fill me with divine qualities. Where there is hatred, let there be love, where there is violence, let there be peace.

If you stay too much with negative emotions, you will feel that God is far far away from you. Can you afford it? What do you want, God or world?

Yogic method:

Sit on chair, relax. Have couple of deep breaths. Relax. Be aware of breathing. and let go, just let go. Let yourself loose, you jaws may drop. Recall the person with whom you had a quarrel, 'visualize his face in front of you. Raise your hands to chest level with palms facing outwards (in blessings posture). The face is say 1 ft away from your palms. Visualize divine white light (brilliant white light) coming from above your head (into sahasrahAra chakra) passing through neck, shoulders, hands, palms and then reaching the face of person. Also be aware of anAhata chakra if possible. Let the energy flow for 1 minute. Repeat for other persons involved.

Repeat it 2-3 times in the beginning. If you sincerely surrender to God with full force, then you will immediately feel peace in your heart. You will immediately feel light.

It is necessary to activate anAhat chakra. If it is not activated. Touch the centre of chest with fingers, recall any good incident in your life. For spiritual person, recall name of God, chant it a few times.

Always remember that what has happened, has happened. One cannot continue to live in guilt. So the best is to surrender to ISTa-devatA.

GYAni's approach:

Let the negative thoughts come, do not entertain, be aware of them, soon, thoughts will loose their power. Always remember that you are different from thoughts and mind. Mind gets it's power from Soul, Atman, Brahman. So you, i.e. 'I' can exist without thoughts, but thoughts cannot exist independently without the power of Brahman.

Be aware, stay de-focused (thats what is awareness), do not let yourself get dragged into the incident. Right now you are not fighting with anyone, but you are sitting in your room. What has happened is past, just let go. Right everything is happening in your own mind, so it is entirely your own mental construct. It is like a person shouting on mountain peak hears his own voice as echo. Right now, everything is happening in mind. So be aware. Soon, OM will pop up automatically (or start chanting it) and silently and smoothly shift the focus on OM, surrender to OM, be aware of origin of the sound 'OM'. If you can manage to be aware from where OM originates (and terminates), then thoughts will look to have little power. Brahman is all peaceful, SAntam Sivam advaitam, OM

Honestly, everything is just a construct of mind, it is not what it looks like

2. Long term method

Prevention is better than cure

Daily practice japa. Give more importance to God then world. Always be ready to sacrifice world for God. It is in japa that mind becomes still, one pointed. For sAkAra upAsanA, it gets fixed in one form of God. Later when you can be aware of full form of God, be aware of a part. bhAgavat purANa says, be aware of face (as face has all 5 senses). I am more comfortable with gazing at the holy feet. For advaitins, one can be aware of Guru's feet or even any form of God to felicitate the mind to turn introvert and dive deep within.

After your mind is absorbed in the lotus feet of Lord, the little 'I' does not remain. It is only God. This is bhAva samAdhi. One can feel the image of the Lord in the heart, but at times, the image can disappear and one begins to feel the lord as antaryAmI. Sri Abhinava vidyAtirtha (shringeri SankarAcArya and guru of current SankarAcArya Sri bhArti tirtha ) had this experience when he was meditating on narasimh bhagavAn.

So, when you daily practice japa, you realize that thoughts disturb you and the incident pops up breaking your meditation (japa). This is because you have given too much importance to the incidence. But now you have awareness that you should not have engaged in futile verbal fighting. after regular practice, japa mantra continues even when you are working, you are always aware that a part of mind is always chanting it. As soon as you stop your work, immediately, without any effort to recall God, the mantra pops-up automatically.

This awareness of mantra increases the 6th sense. When any incident happen, a inner voice will whisper, 'Do not hit back, Do not reply'. Just trust it. Or japa mantra will pop up. For a moment there will be no thoughts and you will become conscious and still. This is an indication that should be aware of mantra and only have faint awareness of the incidence (i.e. someone shouting at you) . If you manage to have this experience, then you will stay aloof and after react only that is necessary, else you will have the strength to gulp down the humiliation, as mind is more concerned with staying with God then keep pondering over worldly issue.

Once a person has awareness of japa mantra or the image of God in heart, then such a person will not much care about what the world thinks. s/he can easily reboot and caste away lower emotions. This can happen if one gives less importance to world and more importance to God.

Staying more and more with God like chanting mantra, stutis, bhajans, etc is very effective or do atma chintan (self enquiry). Plese do not be awre of a chakra specially AGYA (ajna) chakra, it may cause headache. Being aware of anAhat for some time is fine, sometimes, one feels too heavy if one is aware of sahasrahAra chakra. You may even have a headache.

Always begin any spiritual procedure with prayer. Pray to God to accept you as his refuge. You can even pray to AmbA or kundalini devi (for yogi-s). Always pray to guide you and show you the correct path. Always end any spiritual procedure with a thanks giving prayer and with a feeling of gratitude for God. There is no harm in accepting that there is a higher authority and that you do not feel ashamed to surrender to almighty.


Also note that since we live in this society, hence you cannot live like a saint. There are times and situations in which you got to react, as it is necessary. Do not worry too much, just do what is necessary. But dont just keep living with negative mindset and move on with life.
Hari OM

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