Assessing the Quality of Our Thoughts: A Simple-n-Silly Experiment

meditation

कलि कर एक पुनीत प्रतापा |मानस पुण्य होई नहीं पापा ||

Tulsidas astutely defines the character of Kali Yuga in Uttarkand in Ramcharitmanas. In this age of Kali, mental righteousness bears good while mental sins don’t bear evil. It is an amazing blessing of this yuga. Saints from Chaitanya to Prabhupada, Kabir to Raidas realized this and used nama-japa as the means to redeem themselves and many others.

Yet, if we dig a little deeper – we find that for all acts of impropriety (sins), the seeds are first sown in the mind. The seeds of war are already sown in the minds of men much before they fight the most ravaging wars on physical plane. Ma Devpriya writes in her book “Tattva Shakti Vigyaan”, “It thus becomes an endless circular activity; mind controls the physical body and then physical body controls the state of mind…” This manomaya kosha is so powerful that, if left to itself, can lead to ultimate ruin.

All the evil designs that ultimately lead to ruin does indeed start off as a ripple of thought in mind. We have a definite thought pattern which we carry as samskaras of previous lives. This makes it very imperative to assess the quality of one’s thoughts. The first step to improvement starts from knowing oneself intimately – and thereafter keeping a check on one’s destructive tendencies and reinforcing the constructive ones.

Here is a simple and practical experiment which might reveal a little about us:

Take a relatively routine and uneventful day to do this experiment. This is because on extraordinary days, the impressions of the day can substantially shift the normal thought process pattern of a human mind.

  • Sit down in any meditative asana with a piece of paper and pencil in front
  • Close your eyes and begin watching your thoughts for a brief period of time
  • As you watch these thoughts, stay aware of what you are thinking
  • Once your mind has raced through a few thoughts, open your eyes every few minutes and take notes of what you thought. This interval of taking notes depends upon how fast your mind is hopping one. Once you have 4-5 thoughts, write it down lest you forget them
  • After taking notes, close your eyes again and start watching your thoughts
  • Repeat the process unless you have a long list of thoughts
  • Over a period of 60 minutes of watching, you will have a string of thoughts written on paper
  • Next, get out of your meditative posture and start classifying these based on the quality. We are all aware of the three gunas – here are some broad observations:

o   Sattvik – Feelings of love, compassion, joy, piety, rendering someone help etc.

o   Rajasik – Thoughts of activity – workplace, assignments, pending work, approaching deadlines, home chores. Impulses to engage in sense pleasures etc.

o   Tamasik – Impulses to hurt or cause harm, anger, apathy, deceit etc.

o   Any moments of thoughtlessness

When we repeat this experiment a few times, we will have a deeper understanding of mind. Based on what our prominent thoughts are, our mind is either predominantly sattvik, rajasik or tamasik. Vivekananda said that what comes out of our mind during such meditative phases could be so vile that it might surprise us! Mind works in myriad ways and there are many demons of previous samskaras sitting to bounce back.

When we understand this mind, we will be able to control its vagaries more accurately. Awareness is the key!

Shivoham!

Niraj Mohan*

Niraj Mohan is a seasoned Tattva Shakti Vigyaan practitioner under the guidance and initiation of our beloved Masters, Ma Shakti and Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath ji. He has been engaged successfully in many volunteering projects of Sacred Association and carries out the role of senior editor in The Shakti Multiversity’s publication wing.

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