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Sri Swami Sivananda
First digital edition 2016 by Anna Ruggieri
chapter one. thought power—its physics and its philosophy
chapter two. thought power—its laws and its dynamics
chapter three. value and uses of thought power
chapter four. the functions of thought power
chapter five. the development of thought power
chapter six. thoughts—their varieties and their conquest
chapter seven. positive methods for thought-control
chapter eight. the patterns of thought-culture
chapter nine. from thoughts to thought-transcendence
chapter ten. the metaphysics of thought power
chapter eleven. thought power for god-realization
chapter twelve. thought power for a new civilization
This instructive book carries in itself a life-transforming value. None who reads it, with the needed interest and attention, will ever feel inclined to remain unchanged in personal nature and untransformed in conduct and character. A good deal of careful judgment and confidence would assist us in asserting that no one who reads this work, will fail to resist the readiness to make of his own will a Power that alters and exalts his own life and destiny. The work is fraught with implicit guidance for turning our personalities into forces of compelling influence and charm, and for rendering our lives into so many grand stories of the epic unfoldment of the Divine Truth we enshrine, the Divine Light we bear, and the Divine perfection we hold in our inner being.
This, then, is a simple, straightforward, inspiring book that holds out many methods for the culture and nurture of thought power. It is also a work that presents us with many useful suggestions which enable us to reach a region beyond the terrain of thought and its power, a realm of transcendental Experience and God-consciousness.
Helped by his own illimitable Love for all humanity, and dictated by the logic of his untiring energies for the service of every man, Sivananda has made himself extremely useful to all kinds of people, to men in all walks of life, and has written books on a rich diversity of themes in his own illuminating and spiritual way. Embodying in himself the very spirit of the whole of Indian spiritual culture, Sivananda has poured out on mankind hundreds of gifts of the books that enshrine Wisdom of Life. The present work will commend itself, and will yield many rewards, to both the lay public and the community of spiritual individuals. It will be found very valuable more particularly by persons who, while not believing in any religion, not given over to love any God, not subscribing to any article of faith, are yet eager to live a life of power, purity, peace, prosperity, progress, happiness and fulfilment, right in the environs of their work-a-day world.
Sivananda has attempted implicitly to present in this work, a dynamic knowledge of thought power at these three distinct fields:—
1. The field of higher applied psychology: Here Sivananda speaks of thoughts as forces that chisel countenance, fashion character, change destiny, and make of life an all-round success.
2. The field of a full-fledged parapsychology: This field is covered by those widely scattered passages and chapters in this work, which throw illumination on the fact that human Mind is the seat and centre of a number of supernormal powers and factors. Sivananda urges the readers to tap these powers, and to make operative in their own outer life, the various higher faculties they command.
3. The field of transcendental realization: Wherever Sivananda prescribes a method for, or speaks of thought-transcendence, he is attempting to lead us into the domains of Divine Realization in which thought ceases to be thought, and blazes into infinite Consciousness.
This work, then, represents Sivananda to the readers, in a way, as a practical psychologist, a physicist and chemist in the world of the phenomena of thought, a parapsychologist, a Yogi, and thus helps them build their future, gain their success in life, and acquire the power to manipulate thought and wrest from it the extraordinary powers it holds. The book will also help them to attain refinement and culture by thought-discipline, use their capacity for releasing wholesome, constructive and inspiring thought-vibrations, obtain by accomplishing something great and grand, peace, happiness, and gain God-realization which is the meaning, aim, and ultimate destiny of all human life on earth.
Thought Excels Light in Speed
While light travels at the rate of 1,86,000 miles per second, thoughts virtually travel in no time.
Thought is finer than ether, the medium of electricity. In broadcasting, a singer sings beautiful songs at Calcutta. You can hear them nicely through the radio set in your own house at Delhi. All messages are received through the wireless.
Even so your mind is like a wireless machine. A saint with peace, poise, harmony and spiritual waves sends out into the world thoughts of harmony and peace. They travel with lightning speed in all directions and enter the minds of persons and produce in them also similar thoughts of harmony and peace. Whereas a worldly man whose mind is full of jealousy, revenge and hatred sends out discordant thoughts which enter the minds of thousands and stir in them similar thoughts of hatred and discord.
The Medium Through Which Thoughts Travel
If we throw a piece of stone in a tank or a pool of water, it will produce a succession of concentric waves travelling all around from the affected place.
The light of a candle will similarly give rise to waves of ethereal vibrations travelling in all directions from the candle.
In the same manner, when a thought, whether good or evil, crosses the mind of a person, it gives rise to vibrations in the Manas or mental atmosphere, which travel far and wide in all directions.
What is the possible medium through which thoughts can travel from one mind to another? The best possible explanation is that Manas or mind-substance fills all space like ether and it serves as the vehicle for thoughts, as Prana is the vehicle for feeling, as ether is the vehicle for heat, light and electricity and as air is the vehicle for sound.
The Ether of Space Registers Thoughts
You can move the world through thought-force. Thought has great power. It can be transmitted from one man to another man. The powerful thoughts of great sages and Rishis of yore are still recorded in the Akasa (Akasic records).
Yogins who have clairvoyant vision can perceive those thought-images. They can read them.
You are surrounded by an ocean of thought. You are floating in the ocean of thought. You are absorbing certain thoughts and repelling some in the thought-world.
Everyone has his own thought-world.
Thoughts Are Living Things
Thoughts are living things. A thought is as much solid as a piece of stone. We may cease to be, but our thoughts can never die.
Every change in thought is accompanied by vibration of its matter (mental). Thought as force needs a special kind of subtle matter in its working.
The stronger the thoughts, the earlier the fructification. Thought is focussed and given a particular direction and, in the degree that thought is thus focussed and given direction, it is effective in the work it is sent out to accomplish.
Thoughts Are Finer Forces
Thought is a finer force. This is supplied to us by food. If you read Chhandogya Upanishad—the dialogue between Uddalaka and Svetaketu—you will understand this point well.
If the food is pure, thought also becomes pure. He who has pure thoughts speaks very powerfully and produces deep impression on the minds of the hearers by his speech. He influences thousands of persons through his pure thoughts.
A pure thought is sharper than the edge of a razor. Entertain always pure, sublime thoughts. Thought-culture is an exact science.
Thoughts As Wireless Messages
Those who harbour thoughts of hatred, jealousy, revenge and malice are verily very dangerous persons. They cause unrest and ill-will amongst men. Their thoughts and feelings are like wireless messages broadcast in ether, and are received by those whose minds respond to such vibrations.
Thought moves with tremendous velocity. Those who entertain sublime and pious thoughts help others, who are in their vicinity and at a distance also.
Thoughts Are Tremendous Powers
Thought has got tremendous power. Thought can heal diseases. Thoughts can transform the mentality of persons. Thought can do anything. It can work wonders. The velocity of thought is unimaginable.
Thought is a dynamic force. It is caused by the vibrations of psychic Prana or Sukshma Prana on the mental substance. It is a force like gravitation, cohesion or repulsion. Thought travels or moves.
Thought-waves and Thought-transference
What is this world, after all? It is nothing but the materialization of the thought-forms of Hiranyagarbha or God.
You have got waves of heat and light and electricity in science. There are also thought-waves in Yoga. Thought has tremendous power. Everybody is experiencing the power of thought unconsciously to a greater or lesser degree.
Great Yogins like Jnanadev, Bhartrihari and Patanjali used to send and receive messages to and from distant persons through mind-telepathy (mental radio) and thought-transference. Telepathy was the first wireless telegraph and telephone service ever known to the world.
Just as you take physical exercises, play games such as tennis and cricket in order to maintain physical health, you will have to maintain mental health by radiating the right thought-waves, by taking Sattvic food, mental recreation of an innocent and harmless nature, change of mood, relaxation of mind by entertaining good, ennobling and sublime thoughts and by cultivating the habit of cheerfulness.
Marvels of Thought-vibrations
Every thought that you send out is a vibration which never perishes. It goes on vibrating every particle of the universe and if your thoughts are noble, holy and forcible, they set in vibration every sympathetic mind.
Unconsciously all people who are like you take the thought you have projected and in accordance with the capacity that they have, they send out similar thoughts. The result is that, without your knowledge of the consequences of your own work, you will be setting in motion great forces which will work together and put down the lowly and mean thoughts generated by the selfish and the wicked.
Diversity of Thought-vibrations
Every man has his own mental world, his own mode of thinking, his own ways of understanding things and his own ways of acting.
Just as the face and voice of every man differ from those of another man, the mode of thinking and understanding also differs. That is the reason why misunderstanding easily occurs between friends.
One is not able to understand rightly the views of another. Hence friction, rupture and quarrel occur within a minute even amongst fast friends. The friendship does not last long.
One should be in tune with the mental vibrations or thought-vibrations of another. Then only can one easily understand another.
Lustful thoughts, thoughts of hatred, jealousy and selfishness produce distorted images in the mind and cause clouding of understanding, perversion of intellect, loss of memory and confusion in the mind.
Conservation of Thought-energy
In physics you have the term ‘power of orientation’. Though the mass of energy is there, the current will not flow. It must be connected to the magnet and then the electric current will flow through the power of orientation.
Even so, the mental energy which is dissipated and misdirected in various worthless worldly thoughts should be well directed in proper spiritual channels.
Do not store in your brain useless information. Learn to unmind the mind. Unlearn whatever has been of no use to you. Then only can you fill your mind with divine thoughts. You will gain new mental strength as the dissipated mental rays are collected now.
The Cell-theory and the Thoughts
A cell is a mass of protoplasm with a nucleus. It is endowed with intelligence. Some cells secrete, while some cells excrete. The cells of the testes secrete semen; the cells of the kidneys excrete urine. Some cells act the part of a soldier. They defend the body from the inroads or attacks of foreign poisonous matter and germs. They digest and throw them out. Some cells carry food materials to the tissues and organs.
The cells perform their work without your conscious volition. Their activities are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. They are in direct communion with the mind in the brain.
Every impulse of the mind, every thought, is conveyed to the cells. They are greatly influenced by the varying conditions or states of the mind. If there are confusion, depression and other negative emotions and thoughts in the mind, they are telegraphically transmitted through the nerves to every cell in the body. The soldier-cells become panic-stricken. They are weakened. They are not able to perform their function properly. They become inefficient.
Some people are extremely body-conscious, and possess no idea of the Self. They live irregular, indisciplined lives and fill their stomachs with sweets, pastries, and so on. There is no rest for the digestive and the eliminating organs. They suffer from physical weakness and diseases. The atoms, molecules and cells in their bodies produce discordant or inharmonious vibrations. They have no hope, confidence, faith, serenity and cheerfulness. They are unhappy. The life-force is not operating properly. Their vitality is at a low ebb. Their mind is filled with fear, despair, worry and anxiety.
Primal Thought and Modern Science
Thought is the greatest force on earth. Thought is the most powerful weapon in the armour of a Yogi. Constructive thought transforms, renews and builds.
The far-reaching possibilities of this force were most accurately developed to perfection by the ancients and put to the highest possible use.
For, thought is the primal force at the origin and back of all creation; the genesis of the entire phenomenal creation is given as a single thought that arose in the Cosmic Mind.
The world is the Primal Idea made manifest. This First Thought became manifest as a vibration issuing from the Eternal Stillness of the Divine Essence. This is the reference in classic terminology to the Ichha, desire of the Hiranyagarbha, Cosmic Soul, that originates as a Spandana or vibration.
This vibration is nothing like the rapid oscillation to and fro of physical particles, but is some thing infinitely subtle, so subtle as to be even inconceivable to the normal mind.
But this has made it clear that all forces are ultimately resolvable into a state of pure vibration. Modern science also has newly arrived at this conclusion after its prolonged researches in external physical nature.
Radium and the Rare Yogi
Radium is a rare commodity. Yogins who have controlled their thoughts are also very rare in this world, like radium.
Just as sweet perfume continuously emanates from an incense stick, so also divine perfume and divine effulgence (magnetic, Brahmic aura) radiate from a Yogi who has controlled his thoughts and who is constantly dwelling on Brahman or the Infinite.
The effulgence and perfume of his face is Brahma-Varchas. When you hold in your hand a bouquet made of jasmine, rose and Champaka flowers, the sweet perfume pervades the whole hall and tickles all alike.
Even so the perfume or fame and reputation (Yasas and Kirti) of a Yogi who has controlled his thoughts spreads far and wide. He becomes a cosmic force.
Thought—Its Weight, Size and Shape
Every thought has got weight, shape, size, form, colour, quality and power. A Yogi can see all these thoughts directly with his inner Yogic eye.
Thoughts are like things. Just as you hand over an orange to your friend and take it back, so also you can give a useful, powerful thought to your friend and also take it back.
Thought is a great force; it moves; it creates. You can work wonders with the power of thought. You must know the right technique of handling and manipulating a thought.
Thought—Its Form, Its Name and Colour
Suppose your mind is rendered perfectly calm, entirely without thoughts. Nevertheless, as soon as thought begins to rise, it will immediately take name and form.
Every thought has a certain name and a certain form. Thus you find that every idea that man has or can have, must be connected with a certain word as its counterpart.
Form is the grosser and name the finer state of a single manifesting power called thought.
But these three are one; wherever there is one, the other two also are there. Wherever name is, there are form and thought.
A spiritual thought has yellow colour. A thought charged with anger and hatred is of a dark red colour; a selfish thought has a brown colour and so on.
Thought—Its Power, Workings and Uses
Thought is a vital, living dynamic power—the most vital, subtle and irresistible force existing in the universe.
Through the instrumentality of thought you acquire creative power. Thought passes from one man to another. It influences people; a man of powerful thought can influence readily people of weak thoughts.
There are nowadays numerous books on thought-culture, thought power, thought-dynamics. A study of them will give you a comprehensive understanding of thought, its power, its workings and usefulness.
We Live in a Boundless World of Thoughts
Thought alone is the whole world, the great pains, the old age, death and the great sin, earth, water, fire, air, ether. Thought binds a man. He who has controlled his thoughts, is a veritable God on this earth.
You live in a world of thoughts. First is thought. Then there is the expression of that thought through the organ of speech. Thought and language are intimately connected. Thoughts of anger, bitterness and malice injure others. If the mind which is the cause of all thoughts vanishes, the external objects will disappear.
Thoughts are things. Sound, touch, form, taste and odour, the five sheaths, the waking, the dreaming and deep sleep states—all these are the products of mind. Sankalpa, passion, anger, bondage, time—know them to be the result of mind. Mind is the king of the Indriyas or senses. Thought is the root of all mental process.
The thoughts that we perceive all round us are only the mind in form or substance. Thought creates, thought destroys. Bitterness and sweetness do not lie in the objects, but they are in the mind, in the subject, in thinking. They are created by thought.
Through the play of the mind or thought upon objects, proximity appears to be a great distance and vice versa. All objects in this world are unconnected; they are connected and associated together only by thought, by the imagination of your mind. It is the mind that gives colour, shape, qualities to the objects. Mind assumes the shape of any object it intensely thinks upon.
Friend and enemy, virtue and vice are in the mind only. Every man creates a world of good and evil, pleasure and pain, out of his own imagination only. Good and evil, pleasure and pain do not proceed from objects. These belong to the attitude of your mind. There is nothing good nor pleasant in this world. Your imagination makes it so.
Thoughts, Electricity and Philosophy
Thoughts are giant-powers. They are more powerful than electricity. They control your life, mould your character, and shape your destiny.