Fortunately, by your very nature, you can have only one thought at a time. The moment a new thought comes inside your system, it means that the old thought has lost its power or influence over you. If the new thought has entered you, it means the old thought has been renounced because you can’t have two thoughts at a time. You can have only one thought at a time. If you say that the old thought is also there, it only means that for that moment, the new thought has been renounced!
There is a beautiful story by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa:
A king who was inside a huge fort, was once attacked by an army that was two million strong. The king only had two or three people around him and got very frightened. He told his advisor, ‘Two million people, and I am all alone. They will kill me!’
The royal advisor said, ‘Don’t worry, King. Open only one door. Surely through one door only one person can come in at a time. As they come in, stand on this side of the door and kill them one by one. Over! Do not try to fight with the whole crowd.’
If you think all your enemies are gathered together, you will start having unnecessary fears. You cannot have two thoughts at a time. You can only have one thought at a time. This means that every thought is replaced by the next thought.
- the first thing is that you can have only one thought at a time.
- The second thing is that unless the old thought is pushed out, the second thought cannot come.
- The third thing is that if somebody can push me out and sit here, he is surely more powerful than me! In the same way, any thought that comes in and pushes the old thought out is more powerful than the old thought. This means that any thought that is coming now is rooted in the present moment. It has more power than the thought that is being renounced, whatever that thought may be about.
By your very nature you are renouncing. You don’t need to learn renunciation. Every moment you are renouncing.
What do I mean by the word ‘renouncing’ here?
I mean that at every moment you are letting go of one thought after another. Only then is it possible to allow new thoughts to keep entering your system. Every moment your inner space is getting cleared of the old thought.
Thoughts are constantly getting renounced by themselves. The only issue is that when you create the belief your thoughts are connected, you have the problem of linked suffering, the shaft.
Your belief that you have some problem is your only problem.
Every moment your inner space is purified by the new incoming thoughts. If you allow this process to continue, it will happen by itself and clean itself also. There is no need for you to clean your mind. All you need to do is just get out of the system so that the system can proceed on its own.
One important truth you should know is that even if you want, even if you try consciously, you cannot possess or hold onto your suffering for long. Even if you try to hold it, you cannot hold your suffering because continuously, your thought that creates suffering is also replaced by newer thoughts! In fact, to hold onto suffering will require a lot of effort on your part because thoughts are continuously flowing.
Be very clear, your power to bring on a new thought itself proves you have the power to drop the old thought. The problem is, instead of just watching the new thoughts flowing through you, you try to bring back old thoughts into your system. It is like picking up your trashed emails and bringing them back to the inbox. Is there any need to bring back trashed emails? No! If you constantly look to bring back the old thoughts, you will create only suffering.
Understand that if you nurture the fact that any suffering can be replaced by a stream of fresh thoughts then that becomes reality for you. Then there is no suffering. If you are nurturing the thought, ‘No, however much I allow replacing, the suffering comes back,’ you will make that into reality.
If you mother the thought that the suffering is going to come back, it will come back. If you mother the thought that it is going to go away, it will go away.
All you need to understand is that if even once you can replace a thought in your inner space without returning to the previous thought, you will get the confidence, ‘I have replaced it once. I can do it again.’ Then you can tell yourself, ‘If the old thought comes back ten times, let me replace it ten times!’ that’s all. Soon you will see the old thought will stop coming back.
There is a very beautiful incident in Buddha’s life:
Buddha says, ‘Whenever I said in meditation, ‘I am going to get up after a few hours’ , I never became enlightened. Once I decided, ‘If I am not going to become enlightened, I am not going to get up from this seat. Let this body dry up in this very place. Until I become enlightened, I am not going to move.’ Buddha says that the moment he created that strong clarity, the authentic sankalpa, the next second, he became enlightened!
When you sit down to replace your suffering and think, ‘Today I will replace it ten times. If it comes back the eleventh time, I can try again tomorrow,’ then nothing will happen. No transformation will take place for you. Decide very clearly, ‘Until it stops coming, I am going to replace the negative thoughts.’ That is what I call courage.
source: Living Enlightenment