Are You A Positive Thinker?

by January 28, 2012

“The mind is such a thing that it can make heaven out of hell and hell out of heaven,” remarked William Blake. The state of our mind determines the state of our life. We live with our minds lifelong. So it is vital for us to learn to tap the power of the mind.

Central to mind management are intelligence and vigilance. All the sacred scriptures caution us to not succumb to the mind’s short­sighted urges for instant pleasure or relief. The Bhagavad­gita, the essence of all Vedic wisdom, explains that the best way to deal with the mind is to treat it as a person different from ourselves. We need to critically examine its ideas, which are often detrimental to our long­term self­interest, just as we would examine the ideas given by someone else. But the mind proposes its thoughts, desires and emo­tions so subtly and irresistibly that we unthinkingly consider them to be our own and indiscrimi­nately act on them. Only when faced with the consequences do we regret, “Why did I act so im­prudently?” Needless to say, due to the mind.

Mind management is both a science and an art. We can classify the mind’s thoughts into four categories– positive (joy, peace), negative (hatred, envy), routine (steering our vehicle through the traffic, wearing our dress) and waste (daydreaming, needless nostalgia). Most of the thoughts our mind comes up with are either waste or negative, which results in absentmindedness or depression respectively. If we carefully watch our mind, we can reject the negative and waste thoughts – or, bet­ter still, replace them with positive. Many of us may be consciously or subconsciously attempting this. But we will frequently find our­selves acutely bankrupt of positive thoughts, because often things do go wrong and people do behave unreasonably, and our mind tends to glue on the negativity around us.

Just as a substantial bank balance can help one avoid financial poverty, similarly a readymade reservoir of posi­tive thoughts can help us avoid mental poverty. Real pos­itive thinking is possible and indeed natural when we understand the posi­tive purpose of our existence. We are all souls, spiritual beings, covered tem­porarily by two material coverings – the gross visible body and the subtle invisi­ble mind. As souls, we are all beloved children of God and are meant to rejoice in eternal loving exchanges with Him. When we train our­selves to see all events in our life as expression of God’s love for us and to make all our actions as expressions of our love for Him, then we tap our latent positive spiritual energy. Hence love of God is the source and essence of all positivity. We can most easily and effec­tively experience God’s love for us and express our love for Him by chanting His Holy Names. God being omnipotent fully manifests Himself in His Names and gives us the strength to reject negative

and waste thoughts. As we practice chanting, we will find a flood of love, peace, joy and wisdom washing away all the negativity from the mind. Millions of people worldwide have found the maha­mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare especially empowering in harnessing the mind. Even scientists have confirmed that chanting increases the endorphin level and decreases the

adrenaline level, which leads to peace of mind and overall good health. We can chant any name of God – Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, Krishna – as per our choice and experience similar benefit. The ad­vice of the great saint Srila Prabhupäda, founder­acharya of ISKCON, can be our guiding light “Chant and be happy.”

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