The Background of Sattvic Thought
The vast majority of people will always want something concrete to hold on, something around which, as it were, to place their ideas, sometimes which will be the centre of all thought-forms in their minds. That is mind’s very nature. A background of thought is needed for fixing the mind.
Have a Sattvic background of thought of mental image. The mind assumes the shape of any object it intensely thinks upon. If it thinks of an orange, it assumes the shape of an orange. If it thinks of Lord Krishna with flute in hand, it assumes the shape of Lord Krishna. You must train the mind properly and give it proper Sattvic food for assimilation.
You must have Sattvic background of thought to take you to the goal (salvation). If you are a devotee of Lord Krishna, have a background of thought of His picture and the repetition of His famous Mantra ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya’ and His qualities (Form-formless-qualities). A Nirguna Upasaka (Vedanti) should have a background of thought of ‘OM’ and its meaning (Infinite Ocean of Light, Satchidananda, Vyapaka, Paripurna-Atman). Work in the world and, the moment the mind is free, begin to think of the background of thought—either Saguna or Nirguna background according to taste, temperament and capacity for Sadhana. By constant thinking, a habit in the mind will be formed and, without effort, the mind will run towards the background of thought.
It is a pity that the vast majority of persons have no ideal, no programme of life at all and no Sattvic background of thought. They are doomed to failure. The background of thought of a young married lady is usually lustful. The background of thought of an old mother is the affection towards her sons and grandsons. The background of thought of the vast majority of persons is hatred and jealousy. Even the so-called educated persons with many university qualifications and academic knowledge which is only husk when compared with spiritual knowledge, have no ideal, no programme of life and no background of thought. A deputy collector, after getting pension, marries a third wife and goes on as a Dewan of a State.
A worldly minded person is a prey to sexual thoughts and thoughts of hatred, anger and revenge. These two types of thoughts actually take possession of his mind. He is a slave to these two sets of thoughts. He does not know how to divert his mind and fix it on some other good, noble thought. He does not know the laws of thought. He is quite unaware of the nature and suitable workings of the mind. His position is extremely deplorable despite his earthly possessions and bookish knowledge obtained in universities. Viveka has not awakened in him. He has no Sraddha in saints, Sastras and God. He is unable to resist an evil desire, craving or temptation on account of his weak will. The only potent remedy to remove his world-intoxication, world-charm, world-delusion is constant Satsanga or association with Sadhus, Sannyasins and Mahatmas.
After retirement, everybody should have a background of thought and should spend his time in philosophical studies and divine contemplation. Old habits of loose thinking must be replaced by cultivating fresh habits of good thoughts. At first, a tendency to think of good thoughts will be formed. By continued practice, a positive, definite habit of thinking of virtuous, helping thoughts will be developed. You will have to struggle very hard.
The old habits will try to recur again and again. Till you are firmly established in the habit of thinking of good thoughts only, you will have to fill the mind again and again with Sattvic thoughts, divine thoughts, thoughts of the Gita, Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Upanishads, etc. New grooves and avenues will be formed now. Just as a gramophone-needle cuts a small groove in the plate, Sattvic thinking will cut new healthy grooves in the mind and brain. New Samskaras will be formed.
You will have concentration without much effort. He who has subdued his mind beholds in his own Self by the help of his own pure intellect the Immortal, Eternal Brahman which is subtler than the subtlest, which is an embodiment of bliss, peace and wisdom. It is the contact of the sense with the sense-object that gives rise to a mental perception. But if the senses are withdrawn and the mind is stilled there comes a stage where there is no touch with any sense-object.
It is the state of bliss and pure consciousness or Nirvikalpa Samadhi which burns all Samskaras that give rise to birth and death. Attachment is death. You are attached to body, action, wife, children, property, house, place and articles that give you pleasure. Wherever there is attachment there are anger, fear and Vasanas. Attachment leads to bondage. If you want to attain God-realization you must get rid of all sorts of attachment.
The first step in detachment is to be detached from the body with which you feel so much identified. The Sanskrit word for the Self is Atman. Atman is derived from the root ‘At’ which means to go always. Atman thus means that which evolves itself always into names and forms of the universe in order to realize His real, essential nature which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute.
Through constant and intense practice of Yoga and Jnana Sadhana, you can become waveless, thought-free. The waveless Yogi helps the world more than the man on the platform. Ordinary people can hardly grasp this point. When you are waveless you actually permeate and pervade every atom of the universe, purify and elevate the whole world.
The names of waveless Jnanis such as Jada Bharata and Vamadeva are even now remembered. They never published books. They never made disciples. Yet, what a tremendous influence these waveless Jnanis had produced on the minds of the people!
You can attain Jnana only if you are free from sensuous desires and immoral mental states. Aloofness of body from sensuous objects and aloofness of mind from immoral states of mind are needed for the attainment of Jnana. Then only will Divine Light descend. Just as a bungalow is cleaned of cobwebs and the garden, of all its weeds for the reception of the viceroy, the mental palace should be cleansed of all vices, desires and immoral states for the reception of the Holy Brahman, the Viceroy of viceroys.
When a desire arises in the mind, a worldling welcomes it and tries to fulfil it; but an aspirant renounces it immediately through Viveka. Wise people consider even spark of desire as a very great evil. Therefore they will not entertain any kind of desire. They will be ever delightful in Atman only.
Thinking starts the process of creation. Thinking means externalization or objectification. Thinking means differentiation, quality and multiplicity. Thinking is Samsara. Thinking causes identification with the body. Thinking causes ‘I-ness’ and ‘mine-ness’.
Thinking causes time, space, etc. Stop this thinking through Vairagya and Abhyasa, and merge yourself in the Pure Consciousness. Where there is no thinking or Sankalpa, there is Absolution or Jivanmukti.
When all kinds of useless thoughts and emotions trouble you much, be indifferent (Udasina). Say to yourself: “Who am I?” Feel: “I am not the mind. I am the Atman, the all-pervading Spirit, Suddha Satchidananda. How can emotions affect me? I am Nirlipta, unattached; I am Sakshi, witness of these emotions. Nothing can disturb me.” When you repeat these suggestions of Vichara or Vedantic reflection, the thoughts and emotions will die by themselves.
This is the Jnana-method of driving out thoughts and emotions and the struggling with the mind.
When any thought arises in the mind, enquire: Why has this Vritti (modification) arisen? Whom it concerns? Who am I? All the thoughts will die eventually. All mental activities will cease. The mind will turn inward. It will rest in Atman. This is Vedantic Sadhana. You will have to persist constantly in the Sadhana.
Whatever stray thoughts arise, the one thought ‘Who am I’ will destroy all other thoughts of worldly nature. That thought will die by itself. Ego will vanish. Balance left is Kevala Asti; Chinmatra; Kevala Suddha Chaitanya; Chidakasamatra which is Nama-rupa-rahita (free from all names and forms), Vyavahara-rahita, Malavasana-rahita, Nishkriya, Niravayava, which is Santa-Siva-Advaita of the Mandukya Upanishad. That is Atman. That is to be known.
Extrract from the book: THOUGHT POWER