We have a question from Hari hara sudhan Lakshmanan
Even though we stay pure most of the time, sometimes our mind thinks of evil ways to do something. It keeps coming back to waver me away from what I feel is right? Can you throw some light on how to fight it and completely be free of these bad thoughts ?
I have previously discussed how one can achieve complete stillness of the mind by getting rid of “arishadvargas”. I have also explained in detail with examples that it is impossible to maintain a stable threshold of happiness living in a material world which is full of desires, illusions, maya and attachments.
But now that you have asked I will give you a step by step procedure. This is extremely hard to follow and almost impossible to practice in this Kali Yuga.
- First step is to practice Brahmacharya for 21 years without fail. This means complete abstinence from any kind of sexual thoughts, no contacts with women and living a simple life without any romantic or bodily desires. These 21 years will prepare your body, mind, heart for the next phase of your life. It is advised to spend the first 21 years in the companionship of fellow Brahmachari’s, under the supervision of a teacher “Guru”.By teacher I don’t mean you join a college or educational institute and get a degree which everyone gets these days, only to laugh at it later. By teacher, I mean you find the asylum of a Person who has real knowledge about Brahmacharya and who can show you the path towards Brahmacharya.Alas, but you will not be able to find such a man because people have forgotten these principles long back. See the plight of this country, they go to a school, then they join some college and come out like an afraid donkey, afraid to face life and the world. They never realize who they are, they never realize what they really want to do and they blindly go about a path and crib about it later all the time. They have everything – money, fame, pride, relationships but they are not happy. They are miser, cowardly, lamenting on silly things all the time.This is happening because the subject is not aware of his identity, his capacity and has missed the dwelling of a “Guru”.
Brahmacharya will teach you how to control mind, speech, senses and how to see things beyond the unseen. Brahmacharya will teach you how to control anger, greed, avarice, emotional temptation. Brahmacharya will teach you how to get rid of pride, arrogance, vanity, jealously, conceit and bitterness.
Unless your mind is trained to get rid of these weaknesses, you will never be able to master your own mind. And hence, the miseries will follow in the later years when the mind is out of control and always hankering for one thing or the other and never getting peace.
- The next step is to get rid of “Kama” (desires). If you choose to enter “Grihastha” life after “Brahmacharya”, it is not possible to get rid of “Kama”. So in this case, you will have a wife and then you will have children. And alas, you are now forever entangled in “Kaam” (desires).Now you will have to fulfill your own desires and the desires of the family. Now you will need to build a house, buy toys for your children, give them so called “education”, and keep fulfilling their needs until you die. You will take up a job or start a business. Then you will want a promotion, so you will switch jobs. See, you are getting entangled because your real objective is to fulfill the desires of your family.Hence, if you really really want to get rid of “Kaam”, first step is to abandon the concept of starting and maintaining a family. That way, you will never need to go after fulfilling the desires of your family and you can choose to live without attachments.But, you should not have any grief for choosing not to start a family. The moment there is grief or remorse, “Kaam” will find a place in your head and show you the way on how to go about that path once again, entangling you in its vicious cycle. This choice of not starting a family should come out of the knowledge that you acquire during the “Brahmacharya” phase. Without that knowledge, this step has no significance.
- Now that the mind has complete knowledge of Brahmacharya and has decided not to have any attachments, it is ready to go into the next phase – “Vanprastha”In this phase, you abandon your “world” and live like a hermit, wandering from one place to another place, keeping your needs in check, never getting attached to a person, place or subject, sleeping on the floor, not maintaining a stable home, not maintaining relationships for long and wander about. This is necessary to figure out what really matters to you, apart from all the material cravings, so that you discover who you are.
People entangled in the material world can not have a mind free from evil thoughts. It is because this Yuga itself is evil and one cannot survive in this chaos without evil. It has become a basic necessity to become evil, corrupt, greedy, selfish. Without these traits, you cannot survive in this Kali Yuga.
And the magnitude only keep increasing as you progress through life. It doesn’t end, it has no end. There is no end of desires and so long you have desires, you will never be able to remove those thoughts from your mind. It doesn’t matter what you do and how well settled you are in life, these thoughts will come after you since these thoughts are originating from the desires which your mind has failed to won.
In short, to remove these evil thoughts, you will need to let go of all your belongings which includes wealth, relationships, property and just wander about from one place to place, eating basic meals obtained through alms and sleeping wherever you find “natural” shelter. The moment you have a home, there will be a desire to “protect” the home and you will need money for that which will automatically breed desires which in turn will automatically bring evil thoughts in your mind.
There is no way anyone can escape this situation because this age of Kaliyuga is designed just like that – people with filthy thoughts and ideas will go about their business every day without achieving purity and sanity of the mind.
The example of Swami Vivekananda
Take the example of Swami Vivekananda.
He wanted to know has anyone seen god and got curious about it. Then he found a Guru (Ramakrishna Paramhansa) who gave him true knowledge of Brahmacharya. He looked into his own mind and decided not to start a family. He got rid of desires – no family, no money, no attachments, no plans, no weaknesses. Absolutely nothing.
He was broke and wasn’t bothered. He was Penniless and went to America to deliver a speech. He found a way, even though he was broke. After becoming famous, he was offered teaching positions at American university – Harvard and Columbia. He rejected and said that he doesn’t seek employment. However, he gave his teachings for Free (this is a trait of the Vanprashta phase).
He traveled the world teaching people what he had learned but he never ever got attached to comforts, and other luxuries in life. He rejected employment, fame and everything else even when the world had recognized his talent and knowledge – travelling mostly on foot and sleeping in streets. On his return to India at Rameshawaram, Tamil Nadu, he said in a speech
Oh my fellow Indian, I am not a famous monk, I am not a preacher, I am not a saint. I am just another poor, penniless Brahmin.
His only goal in life was to live life without any attachments and he succeeded in it, despite extreme conditions. He was extremely poor at some point, had nothing to eat and no proper clothes. He maintained his life in that state. And at another point, he was famous for his speech in America but he did not change his life when situations improved. He stayed the same, as if nothing had happened.
External conditions and parameters had no effect in Vivekananda and hence he was able to achieve “Akhanda Brahmacharya”, which eventually activated his “Kundalini energy” which caused a rupture in his head, leading to his death. He knew that death is coming and predicted the year of his death a decade ago. Even though he knew that his death is imminent, he never went to enjoy pleasures and desires of his life.
That is the path which will completely remove evil thoughts from your mind. We cannot follow it because we have never practiced Brahmacharya and we are not aware of our own identities, hence hankering for material pleasures and moving from one thing to another all the time. never finding peace and sustainable happiness.