Human mind has amazing powers. But many of us do not realize this. Our epics and Puranas illustrate the power of mind with beautiful stories. Every person creates some kind of vibration. Some people are pleasure to be with. They seem to have a certain energy that they share with others. Then there are those who are negative and depressed; they seem to draw energy out of others. The reason for this is that there is a power contained in thought. It is very subtle, yet it does exist and is extremely powerful. “Every thought has weight, shape, size, form, colour, quality, and power. An experienced yogi can see this directly with his inner eye. Just as an apple can be given to your friend, or taken back, so also it is possible to give a useful, powerful thought to someone and take it back.” – says Swami Vishnu Devananda.
Many of us know that we are what we eat. But only a few people knew we are what we think. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita says,’’Let a man lift himself by himself: let him not degrade himself: for the self alone is the friend of the self and self alone is the enemy of the self” (Chapter VI – Sloka 5;translation by Dr S. Radhakrishnan).
The following six stories show how a man can elevate himself simply by thinking something good.
Story Number 1
Trita is a great seer of ancient times who was well versed in the Vedas. His two brothers Ekata and Dwita who were less learned, accompanied Trita to various yagnas (Yagna: A fire Ceremony to please the god) and collected a lot of cattle between them. Once while out in a forest, Ekata and Dwita decided to take all the cattle for themselves and abandon Trita. They were then attacked by a wolf and all of them ran in different directions. Trita hid in a deep well and shouted for help, but Ekata and Dwita ran away from there in spite of hearing Trita’s cries for help.
Trita being unable to get out of the well by himself, decided to perform a yagna to please the gods. By sheer mental force he imagined the availability of various sacred articles he needed and then conducted such a stupendous yagna and the gods were pleased. They then arranged for his release and gave him a boon through which the well became very holy. This story is in Mahabharata (Parva 9, Chapter 36).
Here we see one who did a great yagna mentally.
By the way, look at the names in Sanskrit Ekta, Dwita and Trita which mean number 1, number 2 and number 3.
Story Number 2
Ekalavya was the son of Hiranyadhanu, a tribal chief. Having come to know of the greatness of Drona as a teacher, Ekalavya tried to enrol himself as a pupil. But Drona declined to accept him, because he was teaching the royals-Pandavas and Kauravas.
Ekalavya then went into the forest and erected a statue of of Drona. He imagined the statue as his guru and derived inspiration from the statue. He mastered the art of archery and became a great archer.
Once the Kaurava and Pandava princes saw a dog whose mouth had been skilfully closed by a number of arrows that he could not bark. Admiring this unique feat they looked around for the archer. They found out Ekalavya was the archer. When they inquired him who his teacher was, he told that he was a pupil of Drona. It came as a surprise for them. Arjuna was upset because he was told by Drona that he was his best student. But here he saw a person who excelled him in the art of archery. When Drona was informed of all these things, he came to Ekalavya. Ekalavya was thrilled to meet his “Guru” in person. But Drona demanded his right thumb as Guru Dakshina (Fees to Guru). Ekalavya did give his thumb without any hesitation. Without his right thumb he was not able to shoot the arrows as before. Here wee see one’s devotion to Guru and a person’s mental power to obtain any thing. He just imagined an earthen statue as his Guru and attained the unachievable for a layman. This story is also in Mahabharata(Parva1, chapter132).
Story Number 3
Here is story from the Tamil book “Periya Puranam” about a saint who built a temple in mind and consecrated it mentally. Pusalar was born in a Brahmin family at Tiruvarur.
He was a great devotee of Lord Siva and he wanted to build a temple for Him. He sought every means to find the money required for this purpose but was unsuccessful. Nothing daunted, he resolved to erect a temple in his own heart. He gathered all the necessary materials to build a temple in his mind. He chose an auspicious day and laid the foundation stone and the temple rose slowly higher and higher day after day. When he finished it building mentally, he fixed a day for the great Kumbabishekam (ceremonial consecration).
About this time the all powerful Pallava king had built an actual temple at Kanchipuram-the famous Kailasanathar temple at Kanchi. He expended all his wealth on its construction. He fixed the same day for consecration of the actual temple. But Lord Siva appeared in his dream and told him that he could not come on the day because Pusalar Nayanar had built a temple and the Kumbabhishekan was on the same day. The king had to postpone his Kumbabishekam. But he became curious about the other temple built by Pusalar. The king travelled to Tiruninravur and asked the way for the temple. The people of the town told him that there was no new temple or any Kumbabhishekam in the town. The king told them that he had a dream and Lord Siva told him that there was a temple built by one Pusalar. When they brought Pusalar in front of him the whole story unfolded in full. Pusalar was thrilled to know that Lord Siva recognised his temple built in heart better than the temple built by the king in stone. Such is the greatness of thought power.
This is a marvellous story. It shows that our forefathers knew more about the mind than what the modern psychologists knew today.
Story Number 4
Here is a beautiful story narrated by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa:
A saffron clad sanyasin (ascetic) dwelt by the side of a temple. There was the house of a harlot in front. Seeing the constant concourse of men in the prostitute’s house, the sanyasin one day called her, saying “You are a great sinner. You sin day and night. Oh, miserable will be your lot in your next life”. The poor prostitute became extremely sorry for her misdeeds, and with genuine inward repentance she prayed to god beseeching forgiveness. But the prostitution was he profession, she could not adopt any other means of earning her livelihood. And so, whenever her flesh sinned, she always reproached herself with greater contrition of heart and prayed to god for more and more forgiveness.
The sanyasin saw that his advice had apparently produced no effect upon her and started counting the number of people visiting her every day. He did it by putting one pebble stone for every customer in front of her house. In course of years it became a big heap.
He chided her now and then showing the heap of stones/her sins. Now she started praying more intensely asking for forgiveness. The final day came. By rare co incidence both the sanyasin and the prostitute died on the same day. The messengers of Yama(God of death) took the sanyasin to hell and the prostitute to the heaven!! The sanyasin was furious to see this and demanded for explanation. The messengers laughed at him and told him’’You passed your life in external show as a sanyasin. Your heart never sincerely yearned for god. You spent more time in counting the sins of others. But this poor prostitute earnestly prayed to god day and night, though her body sinned all the while. She was pure in heart. You were not pure in mind/heart.
This story lays more emphasis on good thoughts rather than good external rituals.
Story Number 5
Once Narada (messenger in the Heaven) approached Lord Vishnu and asked who his best devotee was. He expected the answer to put him as the best. But to his surprise Lord Vishnu said that Arjuna was his best devotee. Narada was not satisfied with his answer. The Lord knew what went in Narada’s mind. Narada doubted the integrity and impartiality of the Lord. So Lord showed Narada two heaps of flowers and started explaining ‘’Look at the small heap of flowers. That is yours. What you have offered me all through your life is saved there. Look at the hill of flowers there. That is Arjuna’s. Now Narada became even more suspicious. He boldly opened his mouth to say, Well, I am Triloka Sanchari (Traveller of the three worlds). I have never seen Arjuna doing Puja (flower offering) to you. How do you explain this hill of flowers? Then Lord told him, you do the puja with your hands with great pride in your mind. But Arjuna does it in his mind. Whenever and wherever he sees beautiful flowers, he dedicates them to me saying ‘Krisna arpanam astu’ (Let all this go to Krishna). Narada realised that open rituals are far inferior to great mental purity.
Story Number 6
Here is another story from the excellent magazine called Tattvaloka (March 2004):
There was a famous astrologer in a village who mastered the art of astrology and palmistry. One day a farmer came to see him to know about his future. The astrologer examined the lines on his palm and found out that he might die in an accident that day. He did not like to reveal this to the farmer, as that would shock him. So he told the farmer to come and see him the next day. While the farmer was on his way home, there was heavy rain with thunder and lightning. The farmer took shelter in a temple of Lord Siva. When he saw the temple in ruins, he said to himself, ‘’if I was rich I would have renovated this temple.’ Then he started imagining the renovation and reconstruction of the temple. He was mentally constructing a new temple tower and a huge corridor, with carved pillars. But he was brought out of his dreamy status by the hiss of a cobra coming out of a hole in the broken wall.
His imagination of building a temple broke to pieces and he ran out of the dilapidated temple to save his life. The next moment a massive lightning struck the temple and the huge edifice, heavy stone pillars, all collapsed.. The farmer thanked the god for saving him and next day he met the astrologer. ‘’Your palm lines indicated a danger for your life yesterday. You should have accumulated great amount of punya by constructing a temple and so you are alive today. The farmer realised the mercy of god who had granted him his life for building an imaginary temple. Every good thought is considered by god as a good deed and one gets the benefit of it.
Who is Chitra Gupta?
Every thought counts. Our grandmas and grand dads say that Yama’s accountant maintain the accounts of sins and meritorious deeds of all human beings.
Yama’s accountant is Chitra Gupta. Translated in to English it means ‘’hidden picture’’.
That is our thoughts. It is like Issac Newton’s law of motion – there is an equal and opposite reaction for every action. Our thoughts are accounted. On the final day you are rewarded or punished. How scientific is Hinduism!
Let us all Think Good. Let us all Aim High.