With the wind, fragrance comes and so does foul smell.In reality there is neither fragrance with the wind nor foul smell.Now let us observe an example of a real situation-A lot of good thoughts are coming in someone’s mind. He is happy, thinking what a good day today, such good thoughts my way.In the evening the same man is experiencing a rush of bad thoughts in his mind, making him feel sad. He wonders whose face did he encounter that such thoughts are coming his way.
The fact is that a thought is neither good nor bad. It is like the wind. The function of wind is just to send out. A thought is an informer. It informs us of the emotions within. Just as the fragrance of flower or the foul smell of garbage is spread through the wind, similarly bad or good emotions within ourselves are carried through thoughts. It is just a messenger who sends us the message.
A thought is also an informer of external influences. The effect of planets influences minds. Without a reason one may experience despair or anger.Feelings of lack and egoism may also come up. Effect of environment , planets, things and people influence the mind.The mind has to bear the burden of the external as well as the internal (ie the emotional reactions which come from within).To bear burdens has become mind’s job.
A Messenger/Informer Cannot Be Killed
If we hold onto a thought, we won’t be able to solve the problem of having to bear burdens. The Acharyas of spirituality understood this long ago.Therefore, they said “Do not put excessive burden on thoughts. Nothing will come out of doing so.”Keep peeling the layers of an onion and nothing will be left. Neither be angry nor be happy at the informer. Just understand that it is simply doing the work of transmission. In Sanskrit literature, it is clearly said – a messenger cannot be killed. In ancient times, a king used to send his message to another king through messengers. That was the only medium of communication, then. Even if a messenger said something terrible, he could not be punished. He was always forgiven. Nobody could break this rule, despite the king having to face insults from the informer belonging to the other side.
A thought is also a messenger.If we we get angry or happy at a thought, we unconsciously start holding it, giving rise to delusions (ie bhranti). Neither get stuck in the world of thoughts and neither wander in it.Just know that you have been given a message through a thought and now, you must become alert.If you have been given a good message in the form of a good thought, then resolve to go ahead with it.If a bad thought comes up, resolve to refine it.
How to Change Thoughts?
The question would be how to make such resolutions possible?For this we need to focus on a principle-‘Learn to change your thoughts.’Meditation helps us in this.A principle purpose of meditation is to change thoughts.We have already discussed that thoughts come from within and are like the wind.How can we change the smell, a wind carries?We can never change the result.In this condition how can we change our thoughts?
The implication of changing thoughts is changing emotions.Emotions are like the smell, a wind carries.If an emotion is like a fragrance then the thought must be developed and if an emotion is like a foul smell, then it must be refined.
Search for the Truth
The acharyas of meditation have suggested that searching for the truth is the way towards changing emotions.Let us not get stuck at the gross and instead, go deeper.A person living in the gross world and regarding it as the only reality cannot change his life.Only one who ponders upon the subtle level of existence, can change his concepts, thought process and life.
I’m reminded of an old and poignant story.2500 years ago, there lived the king Shrainik who one day, sat in his court.All courtiers were present.A discussion was being held.The subject of the discussion was “What is the most valuable thing?”Somebody stated diamonds are the most valuable thing.Someone said emerald.Someone said gold. Everybody presented an answer in accordance with their concepts.In the end, the noble courtier Abhaykumar presented his stand.Preceding with a silence of two minutes, he replied “the most valuable thing is meat.”Listening to this, courtiers in the court laughed within themselves, thinking how can something costing a quarter be the most valuable.The king also could not accept this answer and therefore asked him to prove his statement or take it back. Abhaykumar replied that he will definitely prove his point.The king gave him a time of one week.The assembly dispersed.
Three days passed away.On the fourth day, Abhaykumar made an announcement to the public- the king is diseased and the doctors have said that the medicine to be given to him must be given along with a piece of flesh of a human heart.Therefore, anyone giving a pound of flesh of their heart will be given one lakh gold coins.The members of the court, hearing this immediately rejected the proposal.Who would accept death in exchange of gold coins?
On the eighth day, the announcement of the king becoming healthy without needing human flesh, was made.Meanwhile the king was unaware of the sequence of announcements or even his own health requiring someone’s flesh. Abhaykumar told the king about the events and the king’s own requirement of flesh for his wellbeing.He told him despite best efforts and a hefty amount being promised, nobody was ready to give a pound of flesh of their heart.The king was a bit surprised and asked “even at such a hefty amount, nobody was ready to give a piece of flesh?”
Abhaykumar replied -“My lord! how could have been this possible?I already told you that the most valuable thing on this planet is flesh”
He went on to say “it is so uncanny that all our high-ranking courtiers are consumers of meat but do not have the strength to take out a pound of meat from their own bodies.They cannot even think of the pain which innocent animals have to go through.”
Hearing this, everybody in the assembly had their heads bent in shame.
The Sequence of Finding the Truth
When a person moves in the direction of searching the truth and goes within its depth, then the secret which he finds, changes emotions.It is important to understand that thoughts are not the root.The root is emotions and going towards the truth can gradually change emotions and associated patterns.It is difficult to purify thoughts of people who talk a lot at the surface.This is because of apparent lack of opportunity to purify one’s emotions.
Meditation is a prelude to the search of truth.The truth starts showing up for the one who meditates.Emotions, thoughts, concepts and life all change for the better .The one who goes into the depths of existence, his life changes.