Character is formed from the repeated choice of thoughts and actions. Make the right choice; then we shall have noble character. – Chinmaya
In the Bhagawad Geeta, the Lord says that we are our best friend and also our worst enemy.
Every thought entertained in the mind cuts as though, a groove or a channel in the brain and repeatedly when that thought is entertained, the channel becomes deeper. Once such a deep channel has been made, the thoughts flow through the channel effortlessly, making the channel even deeper with the passage of time.
Therefore utmost care has to be taken as to what kind of thoughts are flowing through the mind – noble, ignoble or useless. Now and then attention should be withdrawn from the external world and must be directed within. When this practice of watching the contents of the mind is done regularly, over a period of time, we find a remarkable change in ourselves in terms of the peace, happiness, cheerfulness, clarity in thinking etc.
No doubt, the task is easier said than done. For innumerable births, we have left our mind unattended. To clean up such a mind filled with all sorts of garbage is not an easy task. Therefore our scriptures have suggested the path of action (Karma Yoga) before taking up the path of meditation (Dhyana Yoga). This is because directing our grosser actions in the right direction is easier than disciplining the subtler thoughts. For example, to sit for one minute not doing anything physically is easy, but not to think of anything for the same duration is very difficult!
It is an observed fact that every noble thought entertained adds to the peace of the mind. Therefore the quietude of the mind is directly related to the nobility of the thoughts. Quieter the mind, the more sensitive and subtle it becomes. With the increasing subtlety, the mind then becomes more and more alert, and thus capable of detecting even those thoughts which are in their budding stages. Such an alert and vigilant mind is the greatest possession one can ever have in this otherwise ephemeral world.
The high price to be paid for this attainment is the merciless eradication of all vices, conscious cultivation of the noble virtues, and all the time being aware of the various states of the mind.
Let us remember that every negative thought entertained 1) disturbs the mind 2) brings in undesirable reactions from the world 3)adversely affects everyone 4) leads to suffering after death in the form of various painful experiences in the lower worlds and 5) brings us back in this world to the lower wombs in the future births. Therefore, it becomes clear that the little gains or pleasures derived after compromising with our ideals are no gains at all. Knowing this the wise ever stick to the path of righteousness.
As a student the great saint Sadhu Vaswani was brilliant. He stood first in almost every examination. At one such examination, he topped the class with 73 per cent while the second rank holder had got only 65 per cent. The answer sheets were returned to the student. When Vaswani tallied his marks he found that he scored only 63 per cent and not 73. Immediately he went to the teacher and pointed out the mistake and requested the teacher to declare the second rank holder to be the first. The teacher was amazed seeing the truthfulness of the child.
May we keep the sanctum sanctorum of our heart ever pure and holy through goodness practised in thought, word and deed. This alone is the right choice to have a noble character.
O M T A T S A T