We are what we think.
All that we are arises from our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
— Gautama Siddhartha
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
— Lao Tzu
Thoughts are powerful. In particular directed thought towards a person, thing, or goal. Like positive thought (like positive thinking, love, healing, peace,..) or negative thought (anger, hatred, jealousy, envy, anxiety,…).
The Water Crystal Experiment
There’s a famous well known experiment by a scientist in Japan that shows the effect of consciousness on matter.
The scientist took take two glasses of water, and expose one glass to positive thoughts (like happiness, love, etc) and the other to negative thoughts (like hatred, anger, etc)… the one exposed to good thoughts form beautiful snow-flake like patterns when the water was crystalized. The other formed harsh/noisy patterns. This happens when the bottles were labelled (like “happy” and “sad”), and also when they were exposed to different types of music (like classical instrumental and heavy-metal rock).
The same has been reproduced by others in creative ways by people across the globe. One video shows taking steamed rice and enclosing it in two jars, closing them airtight, and labelling them “happy” and “sad”. Every day you said something happy to the happy jar, and something upsetting/angry to the sad jar. The rice in the happy jar remained without getting spoiled more than twice as long compared with the sad jar.
So… you can see the powerful effect thought has on inducing healing or disease. Not to mention happy when you cook :-). If you are angry, upset (or god forbid curse your food) when you cook then you are introducing toxicity into the body. Those weakened atoms will become part of you and will manifest as some sort of disease.
The word “intent” is emphasized in many spiritual traditions across the world. It is what gives material form to thought energy. It is about harnessing and directing your thought. If you do it with effort then it is your ego, not your Self, and it will have no effect. This works only when when you have zero expectations. The moment you have expectations, you form a schism between you and the cosmic consciousness. Intent is different from having expectations. So the best way to do this is to connect with your Self/God/Cosmic-Consiousness, and then your intent will be effortless. Spiritual tools like bhakti, meditation, japa, tantra, etc. are useful in establishing this god-centeredness.
The fruits of of intent is in proportion to the degree to which one is connected with the Cosmic Consciousnes. I’ve underlined “in proportion to“, as people tend to think in extremes. People’s expectations are more about magic and miracles (in contrast the yogis themselves are very empirical/scientific in their approach). Yogis range from novice to expert to enlightened. A fully enlightened yogi, would be able to even tame a tiger into a sheep — but only one in a million are like that (i.e. reach such full enlightenment and still inhabit the body — like a class of yogis known as avadhutas, oddiyas, etc.).
Positive thoughts are powerful. Even a few positive thoughts can neutralize years of negative thoughts. This is because the very act of building up positive thoughts or positive energy takes effort and puts you on a higher operating plane. Negative thoughts are instantaneous and operate on a much lower plane. Just as light from single candle can light up the darkness of whole room, so also positive thoughts can dispel years of negative thoughts or negative energy from the body and mind.
Since we are all part of one cosmic body, any thought (negative or positive) outwards has an impact on you as well, following the law of karma, the universal law of nature – of action and reaction. So be careful of what you think.
But what about negative thoughts (out of say irrational anger, envy, jealousy, politics, gossip, insecurity, etc) created by people around you? Won’t all that negative energy effect you — just like the crystals were effected in the above experiment? What do you do about that? If you keep yourself cheerful and positive nothing should touch you. Fear, uncertainty, doubt, insecurity, etc. will attract negative energy. There is a saying, if you can be messed with, people will mess with you. Same applies to energy. If you find it hard to be cheerful and positive (for whatever reasons, stress, etc.) then take up some form of yoga on a dedicated and regular bases. By being cheerful and positive you will be able to focus on anything with efficiency and productivity. This will give good character and recognition — and people will listen to you (not to the noise creators around you).
Rishis and Cursing…
The more spiritually-centered or god-centered a person is, the more they are like a mirror. If someone messes with them, or curses or gets angry at a yogi, it will reflect right back on the antagonist (and even amplified in effect) — in proportion to the level of spiritual advancement of the yogi (or level of disconnectedness of the antagonist).
So, then why do Rishis even bother uttering curses? This is something that used to always puzzle me. If a passer-by as much as disturbs the habitat of Risihi, he is likely to incur the wrath of the Rishi, like the Rishi will condemn the poor guy to a life of suffering or turn him into stone or toad. If Rishis are such highly evolved monks, why are they short-tempered?
Here’s my reasoning. First of all, there are numerous types of yogis in India: rishis, aghoris, sadhus, siddhars, munis, samanars, nagas, etc. Until the yogi has reached full enlightenment/self-realization, he is still human and subject to human vices — like getting irked. Depending on what their predominant temperament is (bhakti, jnana, raja, karma, tantra, etc), they will manifest their talents and weaknesses accordingly.
I believe Rishis are so advanced in their level of spirituality that they can change the fabric of the universe with their thoughts. It is not that Rishis intentionally curse (except for a few like Durvasas rishi), but given the high level of spiritual advancement, even the slightest agitation from their minds can instantly materialize (from thought to matter). From the Rishis perspective, it is just the universe reacting to his thoughts, and he moves on. To the outsider it would look like a curse. The Rishi himself will suffer karmic setbacks. Like for every lapse-of-control of his thoughts, he’ll be depleting years of hard penance and will have to build it up again — in proportion to whether he did it with intent or if it was just a thought that got amplified by the cosmic consciousness (in which case it would have happened independent of the Rishi, according the dharma, or the cosmic order of the universe).