Yoga Lessons for Developing Spiritual Consciousness, by A.P. Mukerji, , at sacred-texts.com
The right exercise of thought-power is an act of creation. "Each thought is a soul," says Lytton. "What you think that you are, what you shall think that you shall be," are the words of Buddha. "We live in that state of development our thoughts create for us." "A drop of ink makes millions think"and one might pile one saying above another to the same effect.
The action of thought manifests itself continually. The power of suggestion and auto-suggestion, reigns supreme here, there and everywhere. Nations are caught up by an idea and their destiny is shaped thereby. A thought becomes the ruling passion of a man's life, and monomania or perfection in a certain direction is the natural sequence. One man meets another, and the latter's inner consciousness rises in response to the idea held in the former's mind and vice versa. No words have yet passed between them and yet the thought of each is known to the other. "Hide your thoughts?" says Emerson, "you may as well try to hide the suns and the stars."
Every one, who watches his thoughts, realizes that ideas as they enter our minds are accompanied by corresponding
forces in their train. As soon as a thought comes in, there is an inrush of force in correspondence with it. This may be due to the calling up of other mental images lying dormant within the deeps of our mind, but which wake up as soon as they recognize an associate and hasten to combine with it. Different waves are thus stirred up in the mind. A peaceful thought is akin to the fragrant breeze of fresh air; a hateful thought is loaded with corroding influences. Let us illustrate the point:
My soul is filled with love or compassion for some one, man or beast, and my whole heart goes out thereto. I quite forget myself. A poor, stricken beggar, with tottering limbs and feeble form, catches my eye. Instantly a train of thought is started. I feel for him and with him. Pity and sympathy make me feel for him. Introspection makes me feel with him. I transfer my soul into his and feel the acuteness of his feelings. I live his life for the moment. And what is the good of having so lived his life? ThisI have expanded. Something of the grosser side of my nature has been shaken out of me. Again some one has perhaps outstripped me in my mad hunt after money, or crossed me in a love affair. My whole being is a-quiver with rage and mortification. There is fire in my veins. "O, if I could catch the rascal on the hip! Ye gods, how I hate the fellow." I stamp my feet, gnash my teeth, and clench my fists. I am angry. I hate. OhYes, decidedly. I know it. I have lived. But to what
end? ThisI have contracted, I have passed through two distinct moods, the one was creative, the other exhaustive. Which shall I choose?
All life is a flux of moods. The mind of man is continually vibrating. External impacts impinge upon it and galvanize it into activity. Impulses initiated from within act upon it. This ceaseless activity of the mind, if controlled and toned up to an exalted level, will at last lead us to that by knowing which man knows everything; if left alone, will knock us about here and there, from pillar to post, till, weakened and exhausted, we fall within the iron grips of King Death to be taught perhaps harder lessons hereafter.
The mind is like a wild, unbroken colt and requires to be broken in. So long as the waves of this mind are not stilled, the path to peace may not be trodden.
The law of action and reaction holds good everywhere. Between man and man, between brain and body, between the physical and supra-physical, between atom and atom, a constant interaction of energies is in full swing. Nothing goes out from us but must complete the circuit of its influence and come back to us. From within, outwards and then back againthat is the law of "Shristi:" projection.
We cannot stir up different conditions in the world of thought or of action, and yet escape free from the influences thereof. We cannot commit violence without having the causes which motived the act react upon us. Take an India rubber ball and throw it with force
against a wall. The ball returns to your hand with exactly the same force which drove it through space to the wall. This is very simple.
The human brain may fitly be compared to a galvanic battery, generating currents of electric force, weak or strong, according to the nature of its structure and power. We generate a thought-current, bring it up to a high pitch of vibration, project it over our nerves and then off at the extremities, into physical manifestation; an act, a word, or something else. That is how I understand it.
The brain, which is a concentration of fine nerve matter, commanding an area of upwards of 300 square inches, when stimulated by a thought, generates force in the brain-cells, which number about 50,000 to the square inch; and currents of this force run down the nerves, which in turn are attached to these cellsthe "brain" battery cells, we may well call them. Indeed physiology teaches us that attached to each cell are nerves, never less than two in number and sometimes as many as four. Minute nerve fibres proceed in bundles and cords from the microscopical centres, the cellsI mean,all over the physique. These fibres are very fine, I may say, superfine, in structure, since their ultimate ends are not perceptible even under the lenses of a microscope. You may imagine how fine they are when I tell you that the smallest part of them, the microscopically visible part, "is calculated to measure in size not more than 1-15,000 part of an inch," and it is considered
by advanced physiologists that even these minute nerves may after all be bundles of fine nerves. Now you may well conceive of the effects produced by an intense emotion, a powerful suggestion from outside, or a strong thought vibrated upon from within, upon the nerves which concentrate themselves mostly in the intricacies of the nervous system and generally all over the system.
The nervo-vital force, the psychoplasm, as some have wisely termed it, is in a state of exchange between the brain and the body. Each thought is of atomic origin, otherwise its transmission through the ether would be quite impossible. Each atom draws upon another atom for momentum, and therefore the energy of thought-atoms is vibrant in its nature. The finer the atoms which go to compose a thought, the more tremendous the rapidity with which they are whirled into action from within outside, and reaction from outside within. The nobler and more intense the thought, the greater its vibrant fineness and the wider its field of activity.
A calm ascension of the mind is perfectly compatible with a strong, sensitive, and glandular organization capable of standing immense strain, and registering on its sensitive nerve-wires the feelings and thoughts of those who come into contact with it. It can exercise the projective functions of the mind with a serene power. It can re-polarize the minds of weak, worried, suffering mortals by its mere presence. It can receive beams of
spiritual light that flash downwards into it in the form of intuition, genius, and inspirational messages from the unseen. Remember, please, all this means everything and nothing for us just as we watch and control each mental tremor and quiver caused within us by our thoughts or drift along aimlessly cycle after cycle of our existence.
The human body is a channel for the influx and efflux of various forces and the degree of its purification shall determine whether much shall manifest in it or little. We live in the state of development achieved by the mind and the bodynot muscular development necessarily. The body which is built up of the gross constituents of animal flesh and alcohol is hardly fit for employment in lofty thought and the spiritual evocatorhe who calls the sacred spirits of the finer planessits stark naked and specially purifies his body that nothing impure should cling to him within or outside, lest he should, by the coarsened nature of his body or garment attract maleficent beings to himself. The mind cannot be tampered with without injury to the body and vice versa. Remember your entire physical organ is a thought-form, coarse or fine according to the quality of your thoughts.
Certain thoughts exhaust the life-force, others create it. Injurious thought-currents can be suppressed by raising an opposition wave. Hatred should be replaced by love, worry by hopefulness, hesitation by decision,
anger by calmness and so forth: the finer always suppresses the grosser, mark you.
Training is necessary. Knowledge must be gained. Strength of the will-power must be developed. Now for a glance at the practical side of the question. For we have to acquire knowledge and then patiently see to the practical application of it in life. Mere intellectual contemplation of an idea is not the proper way to success in Occultism.
The mind is capable of existing in two statesPositive and Negative. Both are necessary for the up-keep of mental and physical equipoise. We must be able to call up either state at will and without the least of friction and strenuous effort. The positive state is a state of tension, alertness, centrality. The negative state is an attitude of receptivity, relaxation and non-resistance. The former if sustained all through the day would mean exhaustion and nervous breakdown. The latter, unless self-induced, would render us a victim to the "world, the flesh, and the devil." The former calls for an increase of nerve-force. The latter conserves this force and replenishes the store house.
We must attune ourselves to both these states. Thought is the fine cause of action; control the one and you have controlled the other. Evil, health-destroying and will-weakening thoughts must be faced by a calm and positive attitude. A position of strength should be taken up. "I am strong. I am pure. I have nought to do with evil thoughts and practices. I command my
brain. My body is my slave. I am master within my own house. No thought here remains without my permission. No thought grips me and holds me its slave. I am master." By a calm positive attitude I mean that you should not allow yourself to be flurried and disturbed when faced by an Evil thought, but should face it as if already sure of conquest.
Simultaneously with these auto-suggestions, the attention should be turned to something lofty and noble. We must go on encouraging the inflow of noble ideas, till, at last, the evil thought is cut off from our mental vision and drops off altogether. The mind can think of one thing at a time. Think nobly and loftily and the evil thoughts will soon "take the hint" and cease to disturb you.
Whilst we repeat mental suggestions, we must feel their action. We must take long, caressing breaths and breathe life upon them. Thus they will become permanent in our constitution. With each successful effort, automatism will be hastened, till at last in a very short time we shall become so strongly grounded in our principles that bad thoughts will be thrown off automatically and nothing evil shall touch us. Express the Good the Pure, the Powerful in yourself and you can easily repress the Evil, the Impure and the Weak.
How easy to be good and pure, after all. Yet we spend years in fighting an evil and exhausting thought, when healthy mental occupation would throw its own blissful mantle of peace upon us. It is the only lesson
[paragraph continues] I have learnt:"Would you have peace? Then spiritualise yourself," and I give it to you with all the love in my heart. The more spiritually developed we are, the stronger and hence calmer we shall be. There is no doubt of this.
The Negative mental attitude is absorbent of energy only when it is given free play deliberately.
When seated at the feet of one, pure-hearted and loving; when studying the inspiring words of some great teacher; when under the influence of calm thought; after a strong and continued exercise of willpower, we ought to "relax," and receive the transmissions of energy from such sources, and breathe them in with a prayerful heart.
When praying to the Supreme Creator, let us be receptive of the currents of spiritual force that follow in the wake of devout prayer. The sun shines upon the dung-hill as well as the beautiful rose. The saint as well as the sinner can open themselves out for an inflow of divine energy by simple, earnest prayer. He who says otherwise is born blind. Science must repair the evil science has done by recognizing the efficacy of prayer. The negative state must be accompanied by an interior balance of mind.
The most important factor in the training and development of mind, in the expansion or rather the enfoldment of the soul, is Concentration.
Now concentration means the power of holding the mind to centre;to a focal point, without allowing any
other thoughts to touch you. Concentration is perfect attention. All, Yes! all possess this power of attention. We all pay attention to what we like. But the secret of strength lies in concentrating our minds upon what we do not care for. Mr. Raghavachary says in his beautiful little book, "The Magnetic Aura""Mental energy when forced into difficult and lofty channels develops Power, when allowed to run along lines of least resistance breeds weakness." I am quoting from memory, but that is the ideathe will must learn to concentrate upon what Mr. Raghavachary says if followed, would develop your mental muscles and will-power, wonderfully. All my readers should study this little book.
The element of "attraction" predominates. Let us utilize it. Suppose there is a hard bit of work a man does not like but which would be of great use to him if properly accomplished. What ought he to do? He ought to dwell on the advantages that would accrue to him if he did it. Thus at last what was dry work would become interesting, because he now knows it will make him happy. He should at first lead on the mind by gentle suggestions, then transmute the mood to a Direct Action of the will, remaining immovable and resolute.
Control of speech, control of action, control of thoughtsthat is Self-Control par excellence. Resolve to succeed in this and every morning renew your resolve and act up to it. At first you will have some failures;
but never mind; go on and you will succeed according to the strength of your Resolve.
We ought to decide upon the particular type of thoughts that should find an open door in the precincts of our minds. This particular set of thoughts must be encouraged, must be assimilated i.e., made part and parcel of our being, must be brought to bear upon our action and speech. "If you would be thoughtful speak thoughtfully," says an esteemed friend, Prof. H. E. Butler.
Each act must have a well-defined basis and should be seen complete mentally previous to being externalized. Forethought must precede action. Decision and tenacity of purpose should accompany its performance. A complete decision of the mind clears the mental field and is really the battle half won, at times, wholly won.
Each utterance must be well-grounded on a clear thought. It should be based on a strong conviction if it is to tell. Calmness and not muscular exertion of the larynx should accompany speech.
Silver-tongued men are always sweet tongued. Control speech, my friend. It is a mighty power. Let it not wound.
Each evil thought once entertained with delight sets up a magnetic centre for the attraction of similar others. It must be excluded promptly and a good thought substituted in its place. This must be done with tireless zeal till our mind will automatically repel the evil and welcome the good. For the law of automatism
reigns supreme in entire life. Serious, thought-compelling books should be studied and their teachings applied with resolution in our daily lives, if we are to be in magnetic trim with them. We should keep ourselves healthily occupied mentally and physically. We should keep ourselves well-in-hand emotionally; for emotions are a great force, but must be controlled before they can be utilized; otherwise they will lead to our destruction.
What, O Friend, is blind passion that you should be in its thrall? What is death that you should be afraid of it? Neither body nor mind, neither wife nor children, neither wealth nor worldly enjoyment;nothing will make you happy. That is what we all seek! Happiness. And that is rooted deep within ourselves minus world, riches and all such other toys.
Escape from the illusion of forms, of senses, and of selfishness. Know "Thou are Godta twam asi, O Swetaketu," and be free. Know that you are for perfection, Eternal Love and Service Free. Thus; increase your Spiritual Stature and realize God who alone exists. All is His. All is He. He is Truth, Existence and Bliss. Then let us worship Him by right action, thought and speech. The path is open to all. Every one is welcome to tread it. The sooner we do so the better for us as well as the world.