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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

A couple of decades back, I remember to have read an article on “Powers of The Mind” written by Judd Biasiotto in a magazine called, Parade. Citing the work of a Canadian neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield, the said article tells that the brain is a highly complex computer capable of storing and recalling events it has experienced. It further states that since the brain and nervous system comprise a computer-like machine, they must obviously be treated similarly to obtain the desired responses.

In other words, he meant to say that if you accept the mind-computer analogy, one must then simply accept the fundamental principle that governs the science of cybernetics. And this principle states: computer performance is directly related to computer input. Which means, brain too will function only as well as it has been programmed. 

Now, when we look at ourselves from this perspective, it becomes clear that it is the ‘data constructs’ such as:
  •         the environment in which we function,
  •         the people with whom we interact, and
  •         the thoughts that we entertain
by which we get programmed. Therefore, it hardly needs to be stressed here that the environment in which function must be stimulating and progressive, the people with whom we interact must be of enthusiastic and positive nature, and our thoughts, words and actions must be of a positive nature if we have to be programmed for turning out good deeds.

Simply put: think positive and you will be positive; think negative and you will be negative. It is of course, necessary here to bear in mind that positive thinking doesn’t mean that no negative events happen. Nor does it mean that failures don’t exist. All that it says is: positive people simply refuse to dwell on such negative events. Instead you look for some positive element in each situation and try to build upon it further. Seeking positive is indeed a systematic process calling for sincere effort and concentration. It calls for perseverance and discipline.

It is not easy to be perfect at it. Nevertheless, positive thinking works if one works at it willingly. These arguments may sound phony, but as one constantly feeds his brain with thoughts such as: I am strong, I am powerful, I am happy—whether you feel that way or not—they are likely to become realistic over time. The believers in the ‘mind-computer’ analogy say that over a period of such practice, one tends to transform oneself from a tired, dull person into a happy, enthusiastic person with full of life and energy.

Indeed, Vedic Rishis suggest that mind can perform wonders when properly educated and hence offer a few mantras to chant for channelizing its energy in the right direction. They are:
  • “That which traverses long distances while awake as also during sleep, that which is the light of lights, may that mind of mine, be absorbed in noble thoughts.
  • That with which wise people accomplish their tasks and excel in assemblies and sacrificial duties, that mysterious spirit residing in all beings, may that mind of mine be absorbed in noble thoughts.
  • That which is knowledge and intellect, as well as strength, that which is the immortal light in the hearts, that without which no work whatsoever can be undertaken, may that mind of mine be absorbed in noble thoughts.
  • That immortal principle which comprehends both the past and the future, that which helps the accomplishment of the sacrifice performed by seven sacrifices, may that mind of mine be absorbed in noble thoughts.
  • That in which the Rig Veda, Sama Veda and Yajur Veda are established as spokes in a wheel, that which enters into every single activity of people, may that mind of mine be absorbed in noble thoughts.
  • That which guides men’s deeds as the charioteer guides the movements of his horses, that which is speedy and deathless and which inhibits the hearts, may that mind of mine be absorbed in noble thoughts” (Yajur Veda XXXIV 1-6).  
So, be it psychologists or Rishis, what in effect they are saying is: you can train the mind to stay glued to positive/noble thoughts. And for that to happen, all that one need to do is feed the brain consistently and constantly with such positive/noble thoughts. Chanting is of course the best way to effectuate such thoughts. 

And of course it is not easy, but given a sincere try, one is likely to succeed in making one’s mind happy and in turn himself/herself happy.


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