Understand the thought-wave under the thought
On the spiritual path, we strive to lead a pure life and to cultivate pure thoughts. But nasty thoughts sometimes come in our mind. We may try to reject such thoughts, but they may keep recurring, leaving us disheartened.
Rather than getting discouraged by impure thoughts, we need to understand the thought-habits that gave rise to those thoughts. The Bhagavad-gita explains that our thought-habits arise from subtle forces known as modes that shape the interaction between matter and consciousness. Trying to fight individual thoughts without correcting the thought-patterns is like trying to throw out water from a flooded house, one mug at a time, without closing the flood-causing tap.
More than tackling individual thoughts, we need to focus on changing our thought-waves, that is, changing our modes. The Bhagavad-gita (14.22) urges us to observe our thought-waves, without getting emotionally involved in them.
The best way to stay uninvolved is activating a better thought-wave. The Gita (14.26) recommends the thought-wave of devotion. This most empowering thought-wave floods us with positive, pure thoughts. We can open our heart to this devotional thought-wave by our service attitude: asking ourselves in all situations, “How can I serve Krishna?” Without this service attitude, even if we expose ourselves to devotional stimuli such as reading spiritual books and seeing sacred images, the resulting devotional thoughts will not last; they will be swept away by non-devotional thought-waves. How can we cultivate service attitude? By associating with those having a strong service attitude, as our association shapes our attitudes.
Moreover, service attitude attracts Krishna’s mercy. And he reveals his greatness and sweetness within and without, thereby strengthening the devotional thought-waves that fill our consciousness with thoughts about him.
If we cultivate devotional intention and cherish spiritual association, then pure thought-waves will flood our consciousness, crowding out impure thoughts even if they intrude.
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