By Arun Goel
Thought is the Master of us all - a good thought is a good
master and a bad thought is a bad master.
Good thought uplifts, makes the mood brighter, and makes us
feel on 'top of the world'.
Bad thoughts are like a sack full of stones tied to us,
pulling us down at every stage, overcoming us with lethargy,
disinterest and even violent aggression. Hostile thoughts
are deeply destructive even if contained within -
they 'eat' us up by sapping our energy and vitality.
We are continuously guided by our thoughts at every
moment of our existence. Even when we are asleep a good
thought (dream) can bring the faintest of smile on our lips
while a bad one can make us break into a cold sweat. Our
mind is endlessly enslaved by our thoughts.
This much we know and have individually experienced.
But is good thought really 'good'? Not so, as long as it
is our Master.
The hard reality of life is that a Master-Slave
relationship always results in the exploitation of the
slave. This is a practical reality and our relationship
with our thoughts is no different.
As long as 'Thought' remains the Master, it will continue
to exploit our mind and through that - us.
Quite humorous actually - and in fact humbling, to
realize that we are nothing but a product of our thought -
our actions, behavior and all what we are is just a
consequence of the hold that 'thought' has upon us.
We are merely the vehicle and Thought is our driver.
Now what if our driver has had a bad hair day! He decides
to take his anger out on his lovely vehicle (us). As he
transforms from good to bad, the vehicle starts getting
shaky, is tossed around to its limits and experiences
exorbitant wear and tear.
Oh dear, if only the good thought had remained good - why
did it have to become bad ;)
So, what is good today can become bad tomorrow totally on
its own whims and fancy without 'you' having a say.
Just imagine that our entire life is dictated by our
thoughts. We do - action or inaction - in the hope that it
will stimulate our thought (please our master) who, in turn,
will gratify our senses. But we only hope and, in fact, have
no control on how our Master interprets what we do.
As slaves, can we really enjoy the beauty of life
without any control? In fact, none of us even know what
this 'beauty of life' is and honestly, these will remain
hollow words so long as we remain slaves.
Now, imagine if the role was reversed; if you could
change the nature of your thoughts like a switch. If you
could be 'genuinely' rejoicing from within, at will, even in
the face of the worst adversity - if somehow you could
'disconnect' your thought from the situation at hand and
manipulate your thought to feel totally free and blissful.
In other words, becoming a Master of your thought.
Wouldn't such a person be the most powerful one on earth,
where no situations could be created to disturb him? If WE
could create thoughts at will to gratify our senses,
wouldn't we be the most blissful persons on this earth?
Perhaps such a feeling MUST be experienced to know its
power. Perhaps such a feeling cannot be put into words and
that is why we do not know what we are missing.
The point is that can it be done? Can this relation
between Slave and Master be altered?
That precisely is the path of Yoga & Meditation.
Meditation helps us achieve it - that is what the Great
Masters and Scriptures claim.
One truth that I have realized is that Meditation need
not be a journey where the finish line is Utopia while the
path is full of thorns. No sir, it need not be. In fact, I
have begun to see the truth behind the statement that
meditation is both a process and a goal.
As you delve into the meditation process, you will start
seeing situations with a new perspective and more as a
'witness'. You will start 'feeling' the control slowly
flowing into you as you set out to realize this with a true
spiritual purpose. Every small step taken serves to alter
your thinking just that bit AND makes the experience of
living that much lighter and fuller.
Issues that would normally agitate you, become
surprisingly fewer in number while an aura of peace starts
overcoming you. You can start switching off from
disturbing situations more easily than you could ever do in
Isn't that a reason good enough to be on the meditative
path without the need to 'achieve' any goal?
How do we get into the meditative path?
For different mindsets, there are different techniques -
one really has to find out for oneself what works best,
perhaps, under the guidance of a spiritual Guru. In
subsequent issues, I may touch upon certain techniques that
help you practice effective meditation.
But at this point, I'll leave you to ponder whether you
would like to experience meditation for the broader reason
of - 'freedom from the bondage of thought'?
It is my belief that unless you really make that a
reason, the lesser by-products of stress-relief, relaxation,
vitality etc. will only be illusory.
In Yoga, as a fellow traveler,