One may ask if a man is accountable for the thoughts he thinks, especially if there are violent or reactionary ones, or is he accountable only for the thoughts that he puts into action. It is true that it is difficult to control our thoughts. This is because thoughts are produced by inclination, and inclination is produced by karma. If there is no karma to smoke cigarettes, one will not have an inclination for cigarettes. If one does not have an inclination for cigarettes, one will not even have the thought to smoke. If one does not have a thought, one will not have a word about it. One will not even say to another, ”I want to have a cigarette.”
Thus if one does not have a word, there is no further action. Word in the sense of a particular activity, or transaction, not just speaking. Word which leads to actual activity, to actual smoking. So, what is in the beginning karma, in the end is fulfillment. Karma takes a course and it gets fulfilled. If it is not fulfilled, it becomes another desire. For example, ”I have smoked this particular brand and I want to smoke another brand.” That is desire which is pending. The next movement is towards that desire. Like this, we are going in circles continuously.
Thoughts which invade our mind come uninvited. The reason for this is that thoughts are created by inclination or vasanas. They happen only as per linear time. Our life goes from the first birthday till the last birthday. We travel through time and all our experiences are according to time. Thus a particular thought can happen only at a particular time, like an experience for example. One cannot experience what it is like to be a mother at the age of five. One has to attain a particular age to be a mother. So, each thought will happen or each activity will happen only as per the right timing.
Thoughts are happening without our knowledge because that is the right thought at that time. If a 90-year-old man decides, “I want to go to college and get educated, or play football,” all the things which a twenty-year-old would do, it is impossible. This is because time has already passed. Likewise, everything is linear to time. A particular thought is happening at a particular time because the time induces the thought, and the vasana will become a thought only at that time. It cannot happen before or after. However, these thoughts are uninvited because they come as per one’s destiny, the path of destiny called prarabda karma.
Thought is the first level of creation. Energy is released with thoughts. So, the more positive thoughts one has, the more positive results and realities one will have. A man’s karma is accountable for his thoughts. The base of thoughts is karma, then it becomes an inclination, or vasana, and next it becomes a thought. Definitely the base is karma. Karma is accountable, and thoughts are the first level of creation. Thought has potential. When we bless people, it reaches them. It has potential. It’s a positive thing. Thought plus emotion is equal to karma. Thought minus emotion has no value. Thought has a particular value if there is emotion attached to it.
The question is then, if the thought stays as a thought, is the person accountable? It depends on whether there is emotion in it. If there is an emotion, it can become a reality, sooner or later. If one is watching television and becomes very angry or upset, that can happen in one’s life. One may attract that emotion. It need not be what one is doing in life, but what one sees, hears, and gathers from other people. These are all inputs in one’s system. All the things people talk about, one may think this is innocent gossip, but it is not so. One is gathering the essence of it, and one is keeping it inside. Someday it will become a reality, and one will probably suffer because of that. That it is why it is very important to shed bad company before one goes to good company. Bad means somebody who pulls one down, only talks gossip or says “this will not work, that will not work…” They only add oil to the fire of insecurity. There are many people like that. It is important to segregate into the positive. If one can help them and bring them it’s ok, good. However, one should not jump and be drowned while rescuing somebody who is drowning in the water. This should not happen in life.
To those who have worked with me, I always say, ”Don’t tell me things which you cannot do. Tell me things which you can do. Let’s start working from there.” People always come back and say, ”I cannot do this, I cannot do that…”. When one observes society, there are more NOs than YESes. Where is this coming from? Insecurity. Inertia. Lack of energy. Lack of fire. So, this becomes their destiny. Who can help them? Nobody can. Because if one chooses to bring the fire back, definitely a lot of people will help. However if one chooses to be in that inertia mode, it’s very difficult for anybody to help. How many deep, dense and negative people does one handle every day? Remember, one can stay uncontaminated. One can stay pure. This is one’s choice. The right choice helps.
If there are violent and reactionary thoughts, is the person responsible for them? Yes. Because violent and reactionary thoughts are expressions of emotion. If the person is peaceful, there will be no violence inside. They will never hurt anybody. They will only love. All the violence inside is an expression of emotions from the past. One has kept the violence inside. At some point in time it is coming as anger, coming as insecurity, coming as hatred. All these things are happening because there is a seed already in the system.
Adapted from Serbian retreat with Mohanji, May 2013
Transcribed by Biljana Vozarevic
Proof-read by Caroline Moscato