Karma Mind

Do our thoughts decide our action and attract good or bad by the way we think?

Romapada swami on - do our thoughts decide our action and attract good or bad by the way we think
Written by Romapada Swami

Question. How is the law of attraction related to the teachings of Krishna Consciousness? Do our thoughts decide our action and attract good or bad by the way we think? Is everything derived from our thinking? How is that related to Krishna Consciousness? I came across a book that says that “Do you believe your life experience is in your hands and that only all GOOD can come into your life if that is the way you think? You have a choice and whatever you choose to think WILL become your life experience..” etc. We are always blaming karma and bad luck if something happened to us. I trust that we can change the particular action or circumstances or karma by praying to Krishna and believing in Him. Please advise. I felt what I read on the above is so powerful, in other words, we have the right to choose how we want to live because BAD things happen all the time.

Romapada swami answers: What you have expressed about the power of thoughts in shaping our destiny is true – but I would qualify it.

It is true in this sense — that matter has no independence to move on its own; matter moves by the will of superior energy or Consciousness. We, the conscious living entities, have very tiny control over the inferior material energy by our thoughts, desires and efforts — yet only when sanctioned by Supersoul. But both the living entity and material energy are ultimately under the supreme control of God. Our will is subservient to His will. Under Krishna’s direction, material energy moves to fulfill the desires of the individual living entity. (See BG 9.10 and 7.5)

What this implies is that nothing is happening randomly or by chance. Good or bad things don’t come upon people due to blind luck, but based on their own state of consciousness, *AS WELL AS* under the influence of the results of their past deeds *AND* as orchestrated by superior arrangement. *karmana daiva netrena*: the living entity, the soul, is made to assume a particular type of body (or a particular situation in life) “according to the result of his work under the supervision of the Supreme Lord.” (SB 3.31.1) The quote you have presented has completely missed out on this most important factor, namely Krishna’s superintendence.

A person’s feeling/willing/thinking, or their mental vibrations, can certainly exert much influence over the way matter moves around them, bringing about either a bright or dark future accordingly. Indeed, thoughts have such a powerful influence, that whatever one thinks of at the moment of death, one attains the next body accordingly. (BG 8.6) Our thoughts shape our subtle body, and the physical body is fashioned after the subtle body. For example, if a person is overly prone to very unhappy or angry thoughts, it can deteriorate their physical health considerably.

Thinking matures into feeling and willing, and finally culminates in action and their consequent reactions. For example, thinking critically about others persistently will soon manifest in undesirable speech and action towards others, which lead to a chain of undesirable consequences.  For this reason also it is important to change one’s thoughts or consciousness, and not merely try to adjust external circumstances.

But merely by wishful thinking alone one cannot attain ultimate well-being. Our thoughts as well as actions must be scientifically guided by bona fide scriptures. I may intensely desire and wish wellness for myself and others dear to me, but if I am inflicting violence or exploiting some other living entities (knowingly or unknowingly), surely I must reap the negative consequences for that! Likewise, if one is indulging in lowly, ignorant or forbidden activities such as uncleanliness, overindulgence, intoxication, illicit sex etc, these will have a degrading, detrimental effect on one’s life, despite one’s best efforts to “think” positively. Indeed, it is not possible to foster and sustain “good” thoughts without leading a mode-of-goodness life, or a scripturally regulated life. Unless this aspect of how to conduct one’s life is emphasized, or in other words, unless there is systematic spiritual education, it is quite misleading to state that simply by good thoughts one can have a perfect life.

Over and above all, as mentioned earlier, we must recognize clearly that we are not supremely independent, but always under the control of the Lord. By praying to depending upon the Lord, as you have stated, or more precisely by surrendering to Krishna, following His instructions and co-operating with His desires, we can actually be free from all bad influence and stay fully protected, since everything is under Krishna’s control. But if we act independent of Krishna’s will and His laws, then all artificial attempts towards good deeds and good thoughts will be just like blowing over a boil, they cannot bring lasting good.

2 Comments

  • Excellent understanding of karma given by Guru Maharaj from various aspects! I liked these parts very much ..
    “Thinking matures into feeling and willing, and finally culminates in action and their consequent reactions. ”

    “But merely by wishful thinking alone one cannot attain ultimate well-being. Our thoughts as well as actions must be scientifically guided by bona fide scriptures. ”

    And

    “we must recognize clearly that we are not supremely independent, but always under the control of the Lord. By praying to depending upon the Lord, as you have stated, or more precisely by surrendering to Krishna, following His instructions and co-operating with His desires, we can actually be free from all bad influence and stay fully protected, since everything is under Krishna’s control.”

    Thank you so much Guru Maharaj!

  • Maharaj’s depth and covering of an issue from so many different angles is so nice! No room for doubt. Provides inspiration to follow accordingly.

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