Kumar: Pranam Guruji, Guruji from the last few days I am having negative thoughts and I am not able to stop them anyhow, they crop up any time and I feel highly demotivated and demoralized. Please suggest what should I do.
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you. Negative thoughts are not good to be harboured. It destroys the life. In this connection, I paste my article as under-
Positive Thinking – Why and How
Do you tend to see the glass as half full or half empty? Your answer to this age old question
relates directly to the concept of positive thinking and whether you have positive or negative outlook of life. We have a lot of choices in life .We can choose to look at things the negative way and always see the dark side of situations, or can choose to be positive and live a happy and fulfilling life. The main reason for unhappiness is not really about a situation but thoughts about it . If we can separate the thoughts from the situations, we will never be unhappy. Thoughts are always under our control and can be changed. Negative thoughts reap negative results and if we think positive we will get positive results.
Vedic tradition handed down to us through generations helps us to think positively and reap rewards.
Positive thinking is a mental attitude in which you expect good and favorable results. In other
words positive thinking is the process that creates and transforms energy in any situation. Positive
people tend to be convinced that moments of pain are only temporary set backs and that these set
backs occur in order to learn from and become stronger. Negative and pessimistic people tend to
believe that unfortunate events influence everything they do in life .The positive thinkers see the
invisible, feel the intangible and achieve the impossible. A person who faces life with a positive attitude will always be more successful in life both professionally and personally than a person who cannot take control of his thoughts.
The following verse from Brihadarannyakopnishad illustrates the point.
“Kaamamaya Evayum Purusha iti,
Sa yathakamo bhavati tatkraturbhavati,
Yatkraturbhavati tatkarma kurutey,
Yatkarma kurutey tadbhisampadyatey.”
i.e; You are what your deep, driving desire is,
As your desire is, so is your will,
As your will is, so is your deed,
As your deed is, so is your destiny.
Bhagvad Gita also says – “For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends, but for one who has failed to do so his mind will remain the greatest enemy,” .We all have dreams and we all face challenges, life is all about how effectively we face those challenges to achieve our dreams. And the strength to achieve these challenges is within us- In our minds.
Even if positive Thinking does not naturally comes to us , there are plenty of great reasons to start
cultivating affirmative thoughts and minimize negative self talk. Positive mental attitude can improve our health, enhance our relationships, increase our chances of success and add years to our life. Positive thinking helps an individual to cope better with stressful situations and makes us resilient. In recent years researchers have also found that there is direct correlation between a positive attitude and superior health. According to a research from Mayo clinic, there are a number of health benefits associated with optimism, including stronger immunity, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular problems, less depression and an increased life span.
The way of our thinking whether positive or negative, is a habit and habits can be changed. We
consciously have to cultivate positive thoughts in order to be happy and successful. To develop a positive attitude one has to focus on the below listed parameters:
Be positive: We need to focus on the positive in our life and should look for what is right in a person or situation instead of looking for what is wrong. Always remember to think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. We have to forget the mistakes of the past and press on the greater achievement of the future i.e.; “Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.”
Turn challenges into opportunities- Instead of letting challenges overwhelm us, we have to turn them into opportunities i.e.; learn to turn the lemons into lemonade. Winston Churchill has rightly said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Build a positive self esteem- Self esteem is the way we feel about ourselves. When we feel good within, our performance goes up and our relationships improve both at home and at work. This is because there is direct correlation between our feelings and behavior.
Consciously resist negative thinking- We have to learn to master our thoughts and be cognizant of and mentally avoid negative thinking.
Set the Priorities- Life is all about prioritizing the things that matter most in our life and focusing our efforts in these areas. Thus trivial things that go wrong every day shouldn’t get us down. We have to learn to address or ignore small issues and move on.
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude- Count on your blessings and not your troubles We should be grateful and give thanks for the special things in our life rather than taking them for granted .
In a nutshell to develop a positive attitude and to achieve our dreams we should always remember
A— Avoid negative sources, people, places,things and habits
B— Believe in yourself
C— Consider the things from every angle.
We all should remember that what we live today is the result of our yesterday’s Thoughts, and what
we will live tomorrow is the result of our todays thoughts. So lets pray to God Almighty as in Rigveda-
“ Aa no bhadrah kratavo yantu vishvatah” Let noble thoughts come from everywhere in the world.
The authoress has very well explained about the concept of positive and negative thoughts.
Nowadays, the ill-effect of negative thoughts is increasing day by day, which is a bad sign, as ultimately it ruins the life of effected person. We must know that the source of generating positive and negative thoughts is our previous lives’ good and bad deeds as well as present life’s good and bad society respectively. While the positive thoughts inspire to do hard work and give strength to face every problem happily and bravely; negative thoughts create laziness, poverty and several other bad evils.
Positive thoughts lead to victory whereas negative thoughts force us to face defeat and even death. It is pertinent to mention here that negative thoughts are our hidden foe.
So, question arises as to how to overcome this hidden foe? We have to hold the advise of
eternal Vedic culture, that a person if is not aware of the spiritual path then the person will not become aware of his shortcomings, sins, harms/sufferings, in his materialistic progress and ultimately he will get indulged in illusion and will ruin his life. It is only the spiritual power which alerts the person to save himself from his shortcomings and sins. Let us pay our attention towards eternal, Vedic spiritual preach.
Yajurved mantra 25/14 preaches as to which is the most supreme pious desire to be harboured by a person. In this connection, the mantra states that a person must make contact with learned Acharya of Vedas in Yajyen to get pure and benevolent intellect. Because, only the pure intellect inspires a person to do pious deeds, to destroy sorrows, negative thinking and to discharge one’s moral duties faithfully. We will have to pay our attention to the above mantra which states to make contact with learned acharya in Yajyen. It means, the learned will preach in Yajyen about pious deeds, worldly
matters and worship of God which the devotee will hold in his life. As a result, the devotee will be able to attain pure intellect. Such intellect will possess only pious desires and not negative thinking.
Yajurved mantra 25/21 states that we must listen “Bhadram” i.e., pure/auspicious voice. Mantra inspires human beings to do pious deeds and also preaches to make contact with learned of Vedas to get wisdom so that one always listens and sees the truth which is auspicious for human beings. This preach destroys illusion and totally blocks the negative thinking, as a result person gets progress in worldly pious matters and enjoys long, happy life. So, we must never listen to falsehood, never see inauspicious things and should never get indulged in illusion, to do sins/vices.
The supreme power is called Almighty God. He is omnipresent. Similarly, the knowledge of Vedas
which emanates from Almighty God is also supreme like God Himself. Therefore, it is the duty of every soul to get Vedic knowledge when he attains human body to destroy sorrows and get long, happy life.
We (human-beings) all are souls and not bodies. Vedas tell us the form and nature of soul (ourselves) failing which every person is indulged in illusion causing several problems, sorrows, sins and negative thoughts, etc.
Based on Vedas, here authoress gives the reference of Brihadarannyakopnishad shloka 4/5
wherein the ignorant form of soul is mentioned. The shloka is-
“Sa va ayamatma brahma vigyanmayo manomayaha
prannamyashchakshurmayaha shrotramayaha prithivimaya aapomayo vayumaya
sarvamayastadyadetadidamayoadomaya iti yathakari yathachari
tatha bhavati sadhukari sadhurbhavati paapkari paapo bhavati
punnyaha punnyein karmanna bhavati paapaha paapein atho
khalvahuhu Kaamamaya Evayum Purusha iti Sa yathakamo bhavati
tatkraturbhavati Yatkraturbhavati tatkarma kurutey Yatkarma
Vedas, Shastras and all Upnishads explain the original form of soul that soul is the purest, learned,
immortal, alive matter etc. But due to lack of Vedas knowledge and further not worshipping God
accordingly, the people mostly get indulged in gathering materialistic articles, pomp and show and to avail luxury life etc. Due to the effect of illusion, soul is ignorant of his original form. Instead, mostly the souls (persons) are seen to be in opposite form i.e., impure/impious, duly indulged in vices like sensuality, anger etc., ignorant, considering themselves to die one day, etc.
This unclarity is due to lack of Vedic knowledge and worship, resulting in indulgence in illusion. This state of every soul is called ignorant state. When soul gets Vedic knowledge and follows it, under the guidance of learned acharya then one day the soul becomes capable to know himself i.e., he gets to know his above quoted original qualities. Then, all sorrows and negative thinking gets over forever. Yet the guidance, as mentioned by the authoress, if is strictly adhered to in life with firm decision and in addition the person makes contact with learned acharya and tries to get Vedic knowledge from him, then also very soon, the negative thoughts at least can be overcome by a person without knowing the original form of soul because to know original form of soul requires a long, hard practice of Yajyen and Ashtang Yog philosophy.
In this connection, Yajurved mantra 7/4 regarding practice of Ashtang Yog philosophy and Yog shastra sutra 1/2, 3, 4 refer, wherein it is stated that if a devotee does hard practice of Ashtang Yog then the soul realizes himself i.e., he gets to know his original form. Otherwise, the soul acts according to his Chitta Vritti (faculty which receives knowledge from five senses and passes the same to intellect is called Chitta and Chitta stores the effect of various karmas to be faced by soul in future at a proper time).
The ignorant state of soul, as quoted above, is unstable i.e., takes the shape of situation i.e., if
attached with happiness then he is happy otherwise unhappy etc. It means if the soul desires to change his attitude, he can do so. Hence, his negative thoughts can be changed into positive ones.
If the soul is connected to a particular matter, it turns into that shape. For example- When soul is
connected with intellect then he becomes scientific; when connected with mind then he becomes
spiritual like mind. When he is connected with pranns (vital airs), eyes and ears, it takes the same shape, etc. If is attracted by the string of desire, it becomes the same. When he dissociates himself then becomes “Akaammaye” i.e., desireless. If immersed in anger, then becomes like anger otherwise remains without anger, when immersed in religion (righteousness) then becomes righteous otherwise non-religious. Soul becomes like the work he does. If he does pious deeds then seems pious otherwise impious.
It concludes that the soul has desire because whatever desire is there, similar efforts will be done.
Whatever effort is there, similarly action will take place and whatever deed one does, the same type of result will accrue in return. That is why, there is saying-
‘As you sow, so shall you reap.’
So, this is the stage of a soul. Soul has to do pious deeds himself. He has to make contact with learned acharya to get wisdom, to be away from anger, lust, irreligious, impious activities etc. Here we must remember that when the soul by making contact with learned acharya, gets eternal Vedic knowledge and attains salvation, then he (soul) never turns into impious form but always remain liberated soul. I mean to say, negative thinking is due to not following Vedic preach.
Study of only two mantras reveals that positive thinking to do pious deeds is based on making
contact with learned acharya in daily Yajyen. Therefore, it is clear that negative thinking takes place in the mind when person is away from learned acharya and is unable to listen and adopt his Vedic preach.
So, in this world, every human being must get progress in both ways, that is, worldly pious matters and spiritualism, simultaneously.
Rigved states that mere worldly preach, bookish knowledge and prayer will be of no use until a
person holds the preach in daily life. This kind of pious action is the panacea to all types of worries,
problems, diseases, tensions, illusions, sins, etc.
When the devotee holds the good preach in his daily life then his prayer will be fulfilled by God.
Such prayer is advised in Yajurved mantra 34/1, that Oh! God, may my mind/intellect always possess auspicious thoughts and not negative thoughts.
In addition, I would advice you that you should obtain blessings of God, to destroy negative thoughts. In this connection, I paste my articles as under-
Hard working, devotion, dedication, honesty, services to the parents and elders to follow eternal religion mentioned in Vedas, practice of Ashtang Yoga, discharging moral duties to get progress in education, science simultaneously with spiritualism like, daily havan, to be in contact with the learned Acharya, to get his advice, are some of the pious deeds which make the future bright and obliterate the sorrows, problems, diseases, etc.
One must wake up early in the morning for early morning walk and exercises, must sit on meditation and chant holy name of God, must be away from any addiction and non-vegetarian. Such pious actions lead to long, happy life and bright future.
The Gayatri mantra is as follows —
OM BHURBHUVAHA SWAHA TATA SAVITUR VARENYAM BHARGODEVASYA
DHIMAHI DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODYAT
Meaning of Gayatri mantra stating each word is as follows. Its meaning is based on
Vedas and Sanskrit grammar. Grammatical hints are in short please.
Om has three Hindi words. Aa, Uu AND Ma. Aa is meant for Aakaar from which three
names of God are built, Viraat, Agni, and Vishwadi. From Uu = uukar from which
Hirannyagarbha, Vayu and Tejas names occur and Ma = makaar from which Ishwar,
Aditya and Praajyan aadi, holy names of God occur. Rigveda mantra 1/164/46 says
God is one but His names are several. But here OM the holy name of God is only
VIRAAT = Viraat word is made from dhatu ‘Rajrideeptau’ i.e., manifest. Therefore
Viraat means He who manifests the universe. As God manifests the universe, thus
Viraat is the name of God. Rigveda mandal 10, sukta 129 states that like potter
makes pot from clay, similarly God creates universe from non-alive matter prakriti.
Prakriti is unseen matter. From unseen matter, the whole universe is created in the
visible form. Science also says that matter is never destroyed but changes its form.
Suppose a paper is burnt, paper changes its form into ashes. Then ashes are crushed
and thrown in air. At this moment, the paper changed into ashes becomes invisible
but was never destroyed. Similarly the whole universe at the time of final destruction
is turned into prakriti i.e., into unseen form.
AGNI = From dhatu, “ANCHU GATI POOJANAYOHO” the word “AGNI is made. Its
meaning is: He who is a form of wisdom. “SARVAJAYEN” i.e., Omniscient. That is,
knows each and every atom of universe and even beyond universe. He who is to be
known, to be gained and is worshipful. So Agni is the name of God.
VISHWA = Vishwa word is made from dhatu, “VISHPRAVESHANE”. Its meaning is He
in whom the universe is entering or He who is entering the universe. So being
omnipresent, Vishwa is the name of God.
HIRANNYAGARBHA = i.e., ” JYOTIRVAYIHIRANYAM”. Its meaning is, who is the base
of all sun, etc., luminous lokas or He who is the living place of all luminous lokas.
VAYU = from dhatu, “VA GATIGANDHANYOHO”, vayu word is made. Its meaning is
He who holds, gives life and destroys and is the mightiest amongst all. So the name
of God is Vayu.
TEJ = from dhatu, “TIJA NISHANE”, the word Tej is made meaning He who is self
made and self-enlightened and gives light to sun, moon, stars etc. God does not take
light from anywhere but gives light to sun, moon, stars, etc. so the unbroken,
unobstructed/unproduced and eternal form of light is Almighty God and not sun,
moon etc. So the name of God is Tej.
ISHWAR = from dhatu, “ISH ASHWERIYE”, the word Ishwar is made. Its meaning is
whose knowledge is thoughtful and true and He who has unlimited wealth, fortune
and glory etc. Therefore the name of God is Ishwar. Here it is not out of place to
mention that soul (man/woman) has limited qualities and are dependent whereas
God is independent and has unlimited qualities that is why He is God.
ADITYA = from dhatu, “DO AVAKHANDANE”, Aditya word is made. Its meaning is the
one who cannot be broken into pieces and thus cannot be destroyed. So God’s name
PRAJAYEN (PRAGYA) = from dhatu, “JYEN AVABODHANE”, Prajayen word is made
meaning whose wisdom is totally without any misunderstanding and thus he who
knows every matter and behavior of whole universe without misunderstanding. So
God’s name is Prajayen. So here also it is not out of place to mention that illusion
can never attack on God and God is totally free from illusion.
BHUHU = “BHUHU ITI VAYEE PRANAHA” i.e., He who is the base of lives of universe,
is most beloved, even more than Prann i.e., breath. So Bhuhu is the name of God.
BHUVAHA= “BHUVAHA ITI APANAHA” i.e., He who is totally free from any sorrow,
and the soul removes his own all sorrows after coming in contact with Him. So the
name of God is Bhuvaha.
SWAHA = i.e., “SWAHA ITI VYANAHE” who is omnipresent in the universe and is
holding the same. So the name of God is Swaha.
SAVITUHU = He who creates the universe. So the name of God is Savituhu.
DEVSYA= who gives all pleasure/merriment, so the name of God is Dev.
VARENNYAM = He who is the most supreme and acceptable. God is most supreme
and acceptable for worship.
BHARGAHA = the purest entity (though God is formless, but finding no suitable
English word of Sanskrit word, “SHUDH SWARUPAM” the word entity has been used.)
TAT = i.e., the God i.e., of the purest entity.
DHIMAHI = i.e., we must hold (sort of meditation) because
YAHA = the God
NAHA = our,
DHIYAHA = mind(i.e., in our minds)
PRACHODYAT = by inspiration (fulfil the mind with wisdom)
“We meditate the God who is the base of lives’ of universe, totally free from any sorrow, omnipresent, creates the universe, gives all pleasure/merriment, most supreme and acceptable, purest entity; May the God enlighten our minds with wisdom by His inspiration”.
Here it is not out of place to mention that idea of a (one) Ved mantra is based on ideas of several Ved mantras. So in the above Gayatri mantra, there are three things —-
Bhuhu, Bhuvaha, Swaha, Savituhu, Bhargaha, Devsya are some qualities amongst unlimited qualities of God. These are called Stuti i.e., to say about God with His real qualities and not self made etc.
Secondly Dhimahi means meditation i.e., one should always sit in meditation and do hard and pious deeds for which he will have to study Vedas in full, while discharging moral duties towards family and nation.
Third and last is DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODYAT. It is a prayer to God explanation of which is cited above.
HOW TO DO HAVAN
Please sit in the morning to perform havan. Havan must be in sunlight then it is more beneficial. Then half a bowl of fresh water with a tablespoon must be with you with small twigs especially of mango tree if possible, havan samagri, ghee, camphor and match box must be there with you. Please sit on sukh asan on four times folded blanket and blanket must be on mat.
Sukh asan i.e., sit on duly folded feet in comfortable position. Then first close your eyes and concentrate between two eyebrows and chant Gayatri mantra three times within heart and not by mouth. Then open your eyes.
Take one spoon of water in right palm. Chant this mantra, OM AMRITO UPASTRANMASI SWAHA and drink the water which you have put in your palm. Then again take the spoon of water in right palm then chant the next mantra, OM AMRITA APIDHANMASI SWAHA, and drink the water. Then again take the water in right palm and chant the mantra, OM SATYAM YASHAH SHRI MAYI SHRI SHRAYTAAM SWAHA, and drink the water. Then wash the right palm while sitting, with the same water kept in bowl.
Then put the twigs into havan kund with one piece of camphor and burn it. During this process chant the Gayatri mantra again and again till such time the fire is lighted sufficiently. Then chant the Gayatri mantra and at the last add the word Swaha and offer ghee with tablespoon, quantity equivalent to 4 to 5 drops. And if you are alone then also offer in fire pinch of havan samagri from your right hand’s finger and thumb avoiding forefinger. So this offering may be of 11 times, 21 times or 51 times as the time suits. It is the simplest way and I have not quoted the complete method of Yajna. The havan with Ved mantras are always offered as the best worship of God only please. Do havan daily and both times.
Procedure of Chanting
Please, start the day by chanting Gayatri mantra in the early morning sitting on suitable asan like Sukhasan, Siddhasan or Padmasan etc. concentrate on the point between two eyebrows which is called “Agyachakra”. The Gayatri mantra should be chanted along with its meaning both times. Also, please try to perform daily hawan even with Gayatri mantra. Then try to study any of my books daily and put up question if any. After 15 days chant the Gayatri mantra only thrice thereafter do the name jaap of Almighty God-“Om”. The jaap must be done daily by heart and not orally.