When our thoughts start becoming negative, how can we flip them to positive?
Transcriber: Geetanjali Nath
Question: When our thoughts start becoming negative, how can we flip them to positive?
Answer: If we are thinking about a situation negatively (e.g. a troubling relationship), usually it is very difficult to suddenly start seeing it as positive. What we need is some alternative object of thought which will be a reservoir of positivity for us. After that when we revisit the earlier situation we will have some positive energy within ourselves to take into that situation.
Our meditational practices in bhakti are meant to train us to connect ourselves with the ultimate positive source of energy – god or Krishna. The religious activities which we have been doing as part of our culture – e.g. going to temple or church – help us in connecting to positivity. However, we are underutilising these activities tremendously. The purpose of our devotional practices is to create an inner sanctuary within us by (i) regular chanting of the holy names (ii) regularly praying to Krishna (iii) regularly studying about Krishna’s message. These practices create an inner sanctuary to which we can retreat. Therefore, when we start to feel troubled and our thoughts turn into negative, we can withdraw our thoughts from that situation and take them towards Krishna. This can be done by hearing some kirtan, or by looking at some picture of the deities, or by reciting some verses from the scripture, or hearing some lecture with profound philosophical point.
So, we retreat or withdraw our consciousness from our present situation and focus on Krishna. By that Krishna connection we become strengthen and rejuvenated. If we do not withdraw and only look at the situation, the problem will seem to grow bigger and bigger. However, if we just withdraw our thoughts from the problem and turn to some bigger reality, we feel better. It is like – do not tell god how big your problems are, tell your problems how big god is. When we redirect our thoughts towards Krishna then we start to feel security, serenity and satisfaction by our connection.
When a sense of security comes by experiencing connection with Krishna we revisit the problem with more creativity. Our creativity gets channelled when we experience security. When we experience negativity, our creativity gets choked. When we are positive then we find various options which open positive solutions.
Krishna says if you become conscious of me you will pass over all obstacles by my grace. Krishna is not saying that you will pass over obstacles simply by finding creative solutions using your intelligence. He says that when problem starts to trouble become conscious of Krishna. When we become conscious of Krishna, he gives us the intelligence by which we can effectively deal with them the problems.
Again, it is not so easy that when we are facing problems to just turn our thoughts to Krishna. Therefore, we need to have focused practice of Krishna bhakti. Daily, if we are chanting the holy names, regularly studying scriptures, then our mind becomes habituated to connecting with Krishna. When there is trouble then we can withdraw the mind from the troubling situation and redirect it towards Krishna. The mind will easily connect with Krishna because of the habit, and once the mind is connected with Krishna, then we can easily revisit the situation and find the positivity within that situation.