About three years ago, a new building of 6,000 square feet was taken on rent. With deep devotion, interiors were done. Today, it is a very special space for thousands of people. People refer to it as the ‘Temple Of Transformation’.
For most of those who have stepped into this hall, it is a very sacred place — as reverential as any place of worship. I have heard from so many of them that just stepping into this hall cleanses and purifies them — something about them is transformed without any effort of theirs.
Many of them have said that the vibrations they have experienced inside this hall are more profound than what they have experienced anywhere else.
What was this space 36 months ago? Just a building! What has caused this transformation? Same bricks, same 6,000 square feet of space, same location, same architecture…
Is it the interior decoration? Certainly not!
For the last 30 months, ever since the ‘Temple of Transformation’ was initiated, ‘group meditation’ has been a regular practice in the hall; celestial music has been echoing periodically; weekly satsangs have been conducted; psycho-spiritual classes have been conducted; spiritual discourses have been delivered; and above all, the hall had housed several spiritually aligned and evolved beings for hours and days together.
The hall has not changed; but the CONTENT of the hall has changed. Add love to a house and it becomes a home. Add spiritual vibrations to a brick building and it becomes a temple. It’s the same vessel — yesterday it had poison and hence served a different purpose; today it has nectar and thereby serves a different purpose.
If this is possible with a building, which is a material creation of man, then what is not possible for a human being — a living divine manifestation of that Infinite Intelligence?
Change the content of a thief and you have a Valmiki. A sinner is transformed into a saint by changing the content of the being. Change the content of ‘Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’ and you have Mahatma Gandhi. An atma is transformed into a mahatma when the content of the being is changed.
Over the last few decades man’s primary focus has been improving and refining his DOING capabilities. All his training, learning and education have been towards enhancing his ‘doing’ capabilities.
True, we’ve got to DO before we can have; and we’ve got to HAVE before we can give. But what man has forgotten is that we’ve got to BE before we can DO. The sequential order is: To be, to do, to have, and to give. Our focus has been lopsided towards ‘what we do’ rather than ‘who we are’.
The tragedy of this generation is that it has overlooked the BEING. We have become more of a ‘Human Doing’ rather than a ‘Human Being’.
Academic qualifications, be it Masters or Doctorates, may enhance the doing capabilities of an individual but never the quality of his being. A school principal who survived a Nazi camp, wrote, “I am a survivor of a concentration camp.
My eyes saw what no person should witness. Gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot and killed by high school and college graduates. So, I’m suspicious of education.
My request is, help your students to be humans. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, or educated maniacs. Reading and writing and spelling and history and arithmetic are only important if they serve to make our students more humane.”
Atomic energy is potent power but whether it will be used as a creative force or as a destructive force depends on the ‘being’ who’d be using it. A chisel in the hands of a sculptor will serve a different purpose, but the same in the hands of a burglar is a cause of concern.
Criminals are people with great ‘doing’ capabilities, but unfortunately the content of their ‘being’ is misdirecting their ‘doing’ capabilities. Legends are also people with great ‘doing’ capabilities, but fortunately the content of their ‘being’ is directing them through the right channels. So what is the fundamental difference between Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse? What is it that constitutes the content of a BEING?
Haven’t we heard and read:
- “As you sow, so you reap.”
- “As you think so you become.”
- “The man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”
- “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”
- “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven of hell, a Hell of heaven.”
Thoughts constitute the mind, and the mind constitutes the content of the Being. As are the thoughts, so will be the mind; as is the mind, so will be the man. The mind of each man is the man himself. We build our future thought by thought.
Thought is another name for fate. We are what we are because of what has gone into our mind. What we will become will depend on what continues to go into our mind.
The computer acronym GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out, applies to the human mind too; the contrary also is true: Good In Good Out.
The mind governs everything in our world, and yet this potent force has been sadly neglected. The possibilities of ‘Thought Training’ are infinite, but we have not taken the necessary steps to direct our thinking into channels that will author the right life for us.
Instead, we have left it to chance; to the myriad circumstances and at the mercy of “We don’t know how” consequences.
The story goes…
An illiterate but rich man bought a ship. He knew nothing of the sea, nothing of navigation, but he was seized by the notion of taking a voyage and commanding his own ship. The ship set sail; the self-appointed captain allowing the crew to go about their usual duties, as the multiplicity of operations confused the amateur navigator.
Once headed out to sea, however, the work grew simpler, and the captain had time to observe what was going on. As he strolled on the forward deck, he saw a man turning a big wheel, now this way and then that way.
“What in the world is that man doing?” he asked. “That’s the helmsman. He is steering the ship.” “Well, I don’t see any use in his fiddling with that all the time.
There’s nothing but water ahead, and I guess the sails can push her forward. When there’s land in sight, or a ship coming head on, there’ll be time enough to do the steering. Put up all the sails and let her go.”
The order was obeyed, and the few survivors of the wreck that followed had cause to remember the fool captain who thought a ship steered herself.
You are right! No such fool ever existed. However, such foolishness goes on…
Are we in command of something more delicate, more precious than any ship — our own mind, and hence our own life?
How much attention are we giving to steering our mind?
Don’t we let it go at its own will? Don’t day-to-day happenings blow it hither and thither?Don’t we let a chance friendship, chance reading, and aimless amusement sway our life into ways we never would have deliberately chosen?
Are we really the captain of our ship, steering it to our chosen harbour?
Our destiny is shaped by our character; our character is shaped by our habits; our habits are shaped by our actions. But what shapes our actions?
It is our thoughts. So, if we shape our thoughts, we will shape our destiny. So how do we shape our thoughts? How do we steer our thoughts from discord to harmony, from hatred to love, from disease to health, from negative to positive, from animalism to spiritualism, from darkness to light, from slavery to Mastery?
A three-pronged approach is needed.
- Reduce the quantity of our thoughts.
- Improve the quality of our thoughts.
- Provide the right direction to our thoughts.
Firstly, you need to reduce your thought traffic. Too much of thought congestion will incapacitate you from working upon them. You have to move from being a chaotic thinker to one who has clarity in thinking.
Every day, without absenteeism, hold your mind in concentration on any object of your choice for a few minutes. It could be watching your breathing (vipasana), regulating your breath (pranayama), chanting a mantra (japam), focussing on your chosen deity (bakthi) or just watching a glowing lamp or the waves in the sea.
Hold your mind single pointed for a few minutes every day. If you want to train a wild elephant, first it has to be tamed. Practicing ‘concentration of mind’ will progressively tame your mind. Mind control is the only self-control.
Without absenteeism, every day, whenever you can, for just a couple of minutes, withdraw yourself from the outside world, turn your attention to your inner world and just observe the parade of your thoughts. Do not judge or negate or fight. Without identifying yourself with any of the thoughts, just watch your thoughts come and go.
With sincerity and regularity to the above two processes, you will begin to experience a greater clarity in thoughts (reduction in the quantity of thoughts) and a different rhythm in your thought flow, with every passing day.
Secondly, you need to nurture your mind with quality thoughts. Where do you source quality thoughts from? By reading self-help books (knowledge authored by great people), scriptures (wisdom of the messiahs) or listening to discourses (thoughts of realised beings).
From the time you wake up to the time you go back to sleep, people who themselves are lost, confused and have made a mess of their lives, keep influencing your mind. They just barge into your mind. This unsolicited trespassing has to be countered by investing a few minutes of consciously getting influenced by the legends of our time. Without absenteeism, invest a few minutes every day on this intellectual treat of reading the thoughts and listening to the words of great people.
How often will you invite a characterless rogue to your house, if you have teenage children? Probably never! Similarly, shun the company of all those people who you know are casting their negative influence on you. No relationship is worth it if you are going to be destroyed in the process.
How privileged will you feel, to find a chaste teacher who is willing to mentor your teenage children? Similarly, seek the company of all those people, who you know will cast their positive influence on you. Just being in the presence of those operating from higher planes of consciousness will transform you. Gift yourself these special moments regularly.
Finally and most importantly, without absenteeism, analyse your experiences at the end of every day to provide a moral direction to your thoughts. At the end of every day, just before you go to sleep, order a mental march-past of all the experiences that you had during the day. Recall each one of them. Mentally pat yourself wherever you think you were right.
Attempt a self-analysis wherever you think you were wrong. In your own judgement, wherever you think you were wrong, weak or at fault, ask yourself what else could you have done instead; with what virtue could you have countered this weakness; what can be done to correct that fault?
Within days, you will be amazed to realise that you are not repeating the same mistakes (though there is always scope for new mistakes). You’ll also experience a newfound motivation to do what is right, again and again.
This is the process of introspection — looking into your actions and thereby gaining insight into your thoughts. In any study, it is normally the mind that studies the subject; the beauty of introspection is that the mind itself becomes the object of study.
Introspection will help you to eventually negate all traces of evil in your thoughts and add a moral touch to your thinking. Introspection awakens your inner voice. If you give life to your inner voice, in return, your inner voice will give life to you.
“To him that hath, shall be given,” is the law. The more we process the thoughts of health, wealth, love, bliss and enlightenment, the more powerful will be the attraction for kindred things. Let us be such a Master of our thoughts that we shall attract only those things that will enhance our lives.
Did you hear what your mind whispered? “Your best is yet to be…”