Illuminations Newsletter 56
Below is a summary of this issue of the Bulletin. Often, when discussing attempts to control our mind, we pay attention only to the effect – thoughts, and not to their cause. Thus, the thoughts that we are trying to control come to our mind again and again. Therefore, a deeper study of the nature of our consciousness is required.
I wish you always think of Krishna.
The lecture is available for download at this link:
Where did this idea come from?
How can we control negative thoughts? They should be controlled at the very beginning. Thoughts are the effect of a deeper cause. The reason may be envy, jealousy, the desire to possess, control or enjoy something or someone, fear, what we want to hide from others, pride, hatred, or beliefs that no longer serve us.
In order to change our thoughts, it is important to recognize that they, even those that are largely conditioned by past actions, are rooted in the “soil” that we ourselves have created. It may seem that they come from outside, but, in this case, there must be “soil” inside us that feeds them. Otherwise, they won’t survive. If they accidentally take root and you do not feed them, they will simply disappear.
I can’t control my mind
Devotees often say, “I have a problem with my mind”, “My mind is difficult to control”, “My mind gives me trouble.” Why put all the blame on your mind? Again, we must recognize that the cause of any mental problems is self-created. Since thoughts are an effect, they only reveal their cause to us. Change or eradicate the cause and thoughts will change. This is Krsna consciousness.
We cannot control the mind unless we change the nature of our desire. Of course, we can temporarily control the mind, just as we can temporarily control the symptoms of an illness. However, if we do not eliminate the cause of the disease, the symptoms reappear.
Aligning with a higher purpose
The reason we think of envy, jealousy, pride, or hatred is that we develop these qualities. Why should we cherish them? We cherish them because we get something “desired” from them. For example, if we hate someone, we may think that hatred allows us to get back at them for what they did to us. In this case, hatred serves a purpose. At the same time, it harms us. The irony is that we ourselves create these thoughts. Our envy breeds hatred, and then we suffer from it and regret that we had these thoughts.
When we have thoughts that we don’t need or want, thoughts that don’t serve our higher spiritual aspirations, we become out of alignment. Our spiritual “I” wants one thing, but our mind often intrigues us, and as a result, we get thoughts that make it difficult or impossible for us to achieve spiritual goals.
The first step to solving this problem is acknowledging that we are allowing it to happen. Since it is we who create the problem, it is we who can create the beliefs and desires that are in line with our highest needs, goals, and aspirations. When we bring our desires into line with our spiritual goals, the practice of Krishna consciousness becomes natural and almost effortless.
Our thoughts affect others
Thoughts have the physical properties of a wave, and these waves affect others. If we think positively or negatively about a person, it affects him. We can see this in the case of children and pets. When we love and appreciate them, they feel it. If we are offended by someone, then even if we do not express resentment, they usually also feel it. If we expect or hope that someone will behave in a certain way, good or bad, our thoughts will influence him. That is why it is said that a moment of association with a sadhu can change a person’s life. The presence of a Krishna conscious sadhu can deeply affect (and positively “infect”) our heart. This means that others will feel our Krsna consciousness or our lack of it.
The development of others begins with our own development
We should work on raising the consciousness of the surrounding society, not only through our behavior but also by raising our own consciousness. When we go to the temple, we feel uplifted and happy because of the Krishna consciousness of the other devotees in the temple. Now imagine the impact that millions and millions of such devotees can have on the world. Prabhupada said that if one percent of the world’s population becomes Krishna conscious, the whole world will change.
We are the ones who can raise the consciousness of the whole world because what we think about today affects not only ourselves but also the people in the world around us