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Secret Thoughts
  • poetry
  • english
  • spirituality
Thursday, 16th August 2012

I hold it true that thoughts are things
Endowed with bodies, breath, and wings,
And that we send them forth to fill
The world with good results - or ill.

That which we call our secret thought
Speeds to the earth's remotest spot,
And leaves its blessings or its woes
Like tracks behind it as it goes.

It is God's law. Remember it
In your still chamber as you sit
With thoughts you would not dare have known,
And yet made comrades when alone.

These thoughts have life; and they will fly
And leave their impress by-and-by,
Like some marsh breeze, whose poisoned breath
Breathes into homes its fevered breath.

And after you have quite forgot
Or all outgrown some vanished thought,
Back to your mind to make its home,
A dove or raven, it will come.

Then let your secret thoughts be fair;
They have a vital part and share
In shaping worlds and moulding fate --
God's system is so intricate.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
____ § ____

Do the wicked go scottfree?

Why do the good suffer?

Is there justice in the universe? Are we in danger and unprotected when we are all alone? Do things just happen randomly?

The doctrine of karma answers these questions.

In short, what you think makes the events in your life. Sooner or later, the contents of thoughts materialize as the circumstances of your life. You can, therefore, change the outcomes by changing the habitual thinking pattern of your mind.

The Error of Judgement and Common Belief

We often think that it is hardly important what we are thinking in our minds. We can think anything. Who cares?

The unobservant one is prone to make this error of judgement that all his Karma talk is a bunch of bunk and that there is really no regulatory authority presiding over this universe. We're all left to ourselves and so we better grab what we can.

This feeds into his belief that no one is watching what we do, and much less what we think.

The Truth: Thought Sets into Motion a Cycle

All fruits of actions start from within.

Whatever you think even secretly is being noted.

We think of things we are interested in: that is, things or people that we either like or dislike. Or issues we have not yet had a closure on. The mind just wants to solve that puzzle.

Each thought leaves upon the mind an impress. This impress carries within it the tendency to reproduce that same thought again.

Thinking sets off a trend like any other habit, say alcohol, or drugs, or any other addiction.

That is what makes someone commit suicide. They seek relief from the pattern of thinking.

Verses 62 and 63 of Chapter 2 of the Bhagawad Gita also talk about this.

Thought eventually incites one to action.

Action bears fruit.

Fruits of Actions

Actions further bear fruits in three ways:

  1. Immediately, the action produces a feeling. If you do a good thing, you feel nice. If you do a bad thing, you feel horrible. You feel fearful.

  2. This feeling further buttresses the impress upon the mind. This impress or impression is of the same kind that caused this action. This impression is of the same kind that the thought that led to this action created.

    So, for example, someone does a bad thing. They feel fear. This fear strengthens the "fear tendency" or "fear impression" in the mind. As a result, the fear grows in that mind. That person will keep feeling fear more often, and with more intensity.

  3. And finally, as the third result, that action which you have done comes back to you in the form of some event in your life. So, if you stole something, for example, you will later be stolen from.

Remedy: How to Break the Cycle

We remedy it by becoming aware of what we are thinking.

Stop the bad thoughts when they arise, or simply watch them but do not entertain. Do not enjoin with them. Do not seek pleasure in them. Cut them off of their oxygen.

Cultivate and encourage good thoughts.

The Law of Karma In Brief

Thought leaves an indelible impress upon the mind. This impress is called sanskara. Each sanskara produces the same type of thought. Therefore, the sanskara represents a tendency. It shapes the mind to tend to think a certain way.

The sanskaras force the host into action.

Action bears fruit in three ways:

  1. An immediate feeling that follows the action. This feeling buttresses the sanskara.
  2. The feeling intensifies over time shaping the contours of one's face, and the body as well. It is the cause of disease in the body (or the lack thereof).
  3. It presents itself as an event in our lives. This event is similar to the one that we did earlier.

    If we react to this occurence, which we all normally do (for e.g. if someone hurts us, we at least want to or think of hurting them back) we create more sanskaras of the same nature that were at the root of this cycle. Thus, we set up an endless cycle of cause and effect. It is very difficult to break this cycle.

  1. साधना संबंधी प्रमुख सावधानियां - जगद्गुरु श्री कृपालु जी महाराज A message from Jagadguru Kripalu Maharaj ji.
  2. Good Vs Evil - Alan Watts
  3. The Thinker, a poem by Berton Braley.
  4. Waiting, a poem by John Burroughs.
  5. Raja Yoga: The Nature of the Mind An article by Swami Karunananda that illustrates this point with scientific experiments conducted on study groups.
  6. Thought Power -- Book by Swami Sivananda on the power of thoughts, available for free.
  7. Audio version of the book Thought Power by Swami Sivananda. This one is read by an automated reading software but still, it is most worth listening to.
  8. A quote from Paramahamsa Yogananda about this.
  9. Four related thoughts by Swami Vivekananda: One, two, three, and four.
  10. An excerpt from Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching echoing the same idea.
  11. Verse 1 from Chapter 1 of the Taitreya Aranyaka, Krishna Yajur Veda.
  12. A related idea found in the Dhammapad, the teachings of Gautama, the Buddha.
  13. A stanza from the Bhagawad Geeta that echoes the same idea.
  14. A related verse from the Brahmabindu Upanishad.
  15. A related thought from Rumi.
  16. Three thoughts saying the same thing in different words - One (thought #147), two (thought #319), and three (thought #338).
  17. This video will Free Your Mind from both Misery and Happiness! (Amazing Spiritual Advice) Swami Vivekananda's words once again touch on this theme in this YouTube video from the Supreme Yogi channel.
  18. Someone has really badly hurt me. I feel like they have got away with it. I’d never do anything to get revenge but it feels unfair. Will karma get them? An answer to this question that someone asked on Quora.
  19. A message to my dear Indian brothers and sisters: Please let us not forfeit the wages of our maid-servants for the lockdown period.