Swami Mukundananda is a world-renowned spiritual teacher from India. He is the founder of the yogic system called Jagadguru Kripaluji Yog, widely known as JKYog. Swamiji is a unique sanyasi (monk), who has a distinguished technical and management background, from highly esteemed Indian institutions, which complements his profound spiritual knowledge.
Most of his time is spent in serving people and helping them lead healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives. His lectures and teaches yoga and meditation almost every day of the year. In between his hectic schedule, he writes books and commentaries, speaks at prestigious places, and guides a worldwide congregation of devotees. His presence radiates love for the divine and for all souls who approach him for guidance.
Swamiji’s lectures are humorous, his arguments are logical and well laid-out, and most of all, his advice is practical. His lectures are much sought after and include various topics such as Art of Mind Management, Good Health Through Yoga, Meditation, and Spirituality, Developing our Relationship with God, Bhagavad Gita for Everyday Living, Patanjali Yog Sutras.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 284
Swami Mukundananda 0:00
We may be doing so many things. But the mind keeps inside and says, What is your intent? Are you doing it for material reward? Are you doing it because of the claim that you hope you will receive? Are you doing it for self fulfillment? Or are you doing it for my pleasure? So, on the spiritual journey if we have to keep on refining our intention.
Alex Ferrari 0:42
I like to welcome to the show, Swami Mukundananda. How're you doing Swami?
Swami Mukundananda 0:49
Namaste Alex, delighted to join you today. And looking forward! How did you find me?
Alex Ferrari 0:57
I found you on the thing called YouTube. I've been I've been I've been admiring your work from a distance for a while. And I reached out to you because I thought that your voice and your energy and what you're trying to do for the world, would help my audience, and hopefully in my small way, extend what you're doing to possibly a different audience than you usually get. So I hope I can be of service
Swami Mukundananda 1:23
Yeah, no, but actually, you made a mistake. Here, no choice Well, next level soul and today, you've got a Old level of soul out here.
Alex Ferrari 1:24
Hopefully the old level soul will help us new level souls to get up. So, Swami, my first question to you is, how would you define spirituality in today's modern world?
Swami Mukundananda 1:49
I define spirituality is having four aspects to it. First is self awareness skills, where we understand who we are, what my values are, and what my higher goal is, that's the first dimension of spirituality. And the second dimension is universal awareness skills. Where I understand my input connected with all interconnectedness with all of the Asian and the laws of the universe that apply to me and to others, and my relevance to all of creation. And the third dimension of spirituality is self mastery skills, your ability, keep your lower self in tech, and govern your life with your higher self. And the fourth dimension is professional mastery skills. Were whatever your talents, your educator, nor your qualifications, you can utilize them to make a difference in this world, to serve others with spirituality is an inner journey, and it is at the essence of all the religious traditions of the world.
Alex Ferrari 3:25
Let me ask you, because this is a question I get asked quite often. Is there a reason why we must walk the spiritual journey alone, meaning at the end of the day, we have to discover our own path and not be with anyone else. So you know, because you hear the stories of the yogi's sitting in a cave for 40 years by themselves or these great masters who walked the path. They walk them very often, by themselves, and then they bring in groups of people to help and teach. Just curious.
Swami Mukundananda 3:59
That's right, that sternal pain, Stan, help us in this theory. But truly, spirituality is a journey within ourselves. So it is utilizing our inner resources, which is the mind and the intellect, to go within. To ornament our personality with word use to contemplate deeply on the meaning of things and to focus on elevating the state of our mind. To achieve all these various spiritualists Yogi sages, they went into isolation to that the Omraam of the external world could be blocked out and they could achieve the intensity that would bring about success in the spiritual path.
Alex Ferrari 5:00
Interesting, okay, well then let me ask you this, how can one balance, material success with spiritual success, it seems to be counterintuitive in many ways.
Swami Mukundananda 5:11
Material success, if it is in devoid of spiritual success, it can be a formula for disaster. Because we get so much, and it does not fulfill the quest with is the kind of happiness that our soul is seeking is never satiated by materials themselves, no matter how much fee one may get, how much well one may get. Just yesterday, I was speaking to a billionaire. And he was telling me, calamity, I got it all. And I found no happiness. And that is what put me on the spiritual path to spirituality. What's it all in perspective, that ultimately, what do I truly want? And is this success that I'm looking for? What is what is the meaning and purpose of it in my life? Spirituality enables us to handle the visit you today, one may get a lot of success and acclaim. The very next day, one may overcome may encounter, adversities, and maybe even defeat, to be able to take all these in stride, and carry on. For you may notice our spiritual personalities, that they are able to retain their inspiration. At the same level, irrespective of circumstances, excuse, take a look at the lives of great sages in history, they did not have it easy. They had their lenses any difficulties. And yet, they had the mind control, to remain completely inspired. And to not allow their happiness to be affected. What allowed it was their ability to disconnect from the outside. Which means that no matter what the circumstances, my mind is in my hands. And I can harbor in it, the parts that I choose. Those who mustered this ability, needed no keys from the outside. So spiritual success is the one that really counts in life. Because material sets successful all we left behind one day, ritual success is an eternal one. However, by both these together, once we start succeeding to some extent, spiritually, then we want to carry those successes with others. And when we don't find satisfaction, merely in our own journey, we want to use whatever we have discovered to make a difference in other's lives. And that is where the material, talents, abilities, position or eminence, can all be utilized in an attitude of service
Alex Ferrari 8:57
Beautiful answer my friend, that's a beautiful answer. I hope that does get into somebody's mind, if you will, it's plant that seed if you will. Now, what are there some practical methods or techniques you can run to recommend for individuals beginning their spiritual journey.
Swami Mukundananda 9:16
One of the ways to practice spirituality in the beginning is what you just mentioned, which is go into isolation. It doesn't require withdrawing into a cave or reciting in the mountains. But let's say for you build some time in your daily routine, where you start off the entire words and then use it to go into yourself. So the first thing to do is to develop self awareness. Watch your thoughts. What is it that troubles me? Bring perspective You are lies, where am I? Today, I've been running, running, running. And where do I really wish to go to self awareness enables us to realize our shortcomings and the gap between where we are and where we wish to be. The second I would suggest is gather wisdom. In the earlier days, people would refer to sacred books to Holy tech, to gather wisdom, if they had a spiritual mentors, they would reach out to them. Nowadays we have a guru called YouTube feed your intellect with wisdom. And a third tool, which of course is so popular is a tool called meditation, which brains helps us train our mind helps us develop self discipline helps us practice to keep the higher self in charge. Via beyond all these three is a tool which I consider to be more powerful. And that is, in my prediction, we call it in synthon is on emulation is up take one piece of wisdom and content we need you over it. That just creates a bond formation. Now, for example, we all know anger is a bad thing. When the provocation thumbs, we find ourselves succumbing to it. And then later on, there's a great for it and I say that is 20 years, my elder, why didn't I have more tolerance to him the moment we forgot our knowledge. And the moment knowledge was forgotten, it became useless. So benefit from wisdom, we need to keep it in our conscious awareness. Always. In fact, there's a verse in Sanskrit which says that service marinara eikaiwa the moment that human being forgets the distinction between right and wrong, the human falls to the level of an animal. The mistakes are made to the constant awareness of that knowledge requires practice. All that the talents and abilities we develop physically was consequence of physical practice. But mental practice is 100x more beneficial. And most people are not tapping into mental practice, mental practices to bring that art to yourself again and again and again, until the neural networks get developed and becomes natural and automatic.
Alex Ferrari 13:28
Beautiful. And what advice would you give to those struggling with self doubt, or with lack of purpose in our life?
Swami Mukundananda 13:36
I would keep these two things separate. self doubt, should I address that one first. self doubt is coming because of lack of self knowledge. Most people don't have the self knowledge, they are identifying the self with the body, the body is a bag of chemical and with all the benefits of modern sign with danger is of reductionist thinking, which science has failed to avoid. And that is why the scientific temper makes us think on this set of organs in a bag of flesh, blood and bones called the body that's all I am. So the consequence of thinking like that is that I am so tiny, I'm limited I have got all these infirmities and there is self doubt and if we could not understand our spiritual nature, it is the sole nature and we will discover that oh my god, I have got this huge power house within me that is waiting to be back in. So awareness at To us, I have heard this humorous story of Native American in Oklahoma, who won, Rolls Royce. And he brought it to his village. And when he would drive in the village, he was a very friendly soul. So he would turn to the left and speak to people on the main road and then turn to the right and sometimes turn all the way around. And yet Wistar, never had an accident. And the reason for this was that he never actually turned the ignition key. He had two horses pulling his roll lights, it had a 98 horsepower engine inside, when he was unaware of it. Lack of awareness is leading the setback,
Alex Ferrari 16:05
Then then the other aspect of it with lack of purpose in life,
Swami Mukundananda 16:09
Lack of purpose, Alex is, I think, very boring. Your real happiness and life comes from discovering a higher purpose beyond ourselves. And unhygienic living. It is the happiness that means nothing from the people are chasing pleasures in material. They get the objects that gratify their senses. But first continues, if it is like a fire that is burning, and you're seeking to quench it by putting fuel onto it. In Sanskrit, we have a code in our jar to karma Tama na Maputo again, me a T, V is a desires will never be fulfilled by their safety ah, and they will only get further inflamed. So this is the pursuit of happiness and material Thank you where as happiness lies within us. And one key to discovering it is finding that higher purpose in your life in the Western culture, Martin Luther King, Jr. Put it so well, when he said, If you have not found a purpose, you are willing to die for your life is not worth living. So, to somebody who's looking for purpose and life, I would say, Well, if we faith in the benevolence of the universe, this universe is so astonishing from the tiniest inch bolts on to the biggest gallon. Hi and every there's a miracle in every atom of creation. So let's have faith that I have come into being as a prospect of creation for our higher purpose doesn't discover my purpose. Let me keep on enhancing my knowledge. Let me ponder over the bigger questions in life. Who am I? What is Why is all this in this world. And it's possible that we ask for knowledge will lead us to the higher purpose
Alex Ferrari 19:01
Beautiful my friend now I wanted to dive into your book The Power of thoughts, because it is something that it is something that really touches me because, as I've discovered in my path, the power of thoughts are very, very powerful. So from your, from your point of view, can you explain the concept of the power of thoughts from a spiritual perspective and how it influences our lives?
Swami Mukundananda 19:28
We still in those circumstances, only a small aspect of them are under our control. What we have complete control over is our thoughts. Now this is an internally generated resource. We are mass producing 60,000 of them every day. The only problem is that quality is appalling and the quantity is uncontrolled. These thoughts are making us unhappy. So many people have problem of compulsive negative thinking, where they have these thoughts that come uninvited, that robbed them of their happiness, that are unproductive. And they realize that they aren't the kind of victims to these negative thoughts. So in the book I have started off by explaining that look, bots are directly linked to your happiness. If you want to be a happier person, just change your thoughts. That's all that's needed. Now, for example, one person came back home, a newly married husband and told his wife, today is the best day in my life. And why it said what happened. He said, I had like, a road accident, and my BMW has got smashed. He said, what I do how attached you were your BMW, it's got smashed and use, it's the best day in your life. He said, You know, I am alive, I only had a little scratch on my small finger. So word of the BMW it will get replaced. Now, it's a question of the thoughts that he left in his mind. He could have as well kept negative thoughts and said this is the worst day, but merely by choosing the right thoughts is a happy person. A light place, hearts determine our effect activity at work. And they also impact the environment. We don't realize it. Now again, with respect to the scientific perspective, there's a huge debate going on and the nature of parts itself a one our thoughts. And most scientists has reached the conclusion that they are merely electro chemical impulses in the neurons of our brain. So they have reduced them to electrical chemical, enter liver, spiritualists all the different fields. And they say that arts are subtler forms of energy. The Atkins going on in our brain, I won't leave the slip of the tongue. But to conclude that parts are merely this is like hearing the roar of a lion and saying that lion is the roar. The lion is the source of the roar. So there are subtler forms of energy. And thought energy is material energy, but certain paths once if we can tap into it, we just get access to a completely wonderful dimension of our life. So it starts off by realizing that I am not my thoughts. Now, the problem is that this so many people are so enmeshed in that arts, that when the thoughts are negative, they think of negatives. When the thoughts are depressed, they think I'm in a bad moods. Whereas this they could create a gap. They would see that, oh, my mind is playing Miss chess. My mind is creating negative parts. I will choose not to associate with that. This is style mindfulness. In the Western tradition, you use that watching your talk. And it's the witness consciousness in my tradition, where you become a witness to your thoughts and they immediately lose their cold venom. And then you can decide okay, I'll now do intentional thinking. I will not let thinking happen to me. I will make a Can cat, then the open up that potential? Yes.
Alex Ferrari 25:04
So, so that's all beautiful. I love everything you've said. Can you explain the concept of negative bias? Because in many ways, aren't we as human beings, programmed from generational to think negatively as a survival mechanism? Why we always look at the negative that could be 1000 negatives or 1000 positives, if you get 1000, great reviews. But the negative reviews the when you look at it's, it's kind of pre built in us unless you do many of the things that you're saying, which is become conscious of it and aware of it. Is that fair to say?
Swami Mukundananda 25:44
Very correct. Alex, negativity bias is the vulnerability of all of us in the human body. It's the way we have been physiologically program, like you said, that it is coming from generations. Now take a look at a fish in the sea. It has the positive stimuli food that it believed. And it's that negative stimulus, the big fish coming to eat it. If it misses the negatives, life is over. Pretty much as a mystery. It misses the pontiff rarely met your chances to nature program that you have this negativity bias. You know, Phil Lake, for example, I have noticed this as myself that as well when I take a walk, and all of a sudden I cross house very dog barks unexpectedly. And I see this physiological response arising, which has to put it down a response of fear, you know, but that is the physic the way we've been hardwired, that you have to suppress it. So the negativity bias comes naturally to us. But work against it, is the freedom that we possess. As human beings, we have our feet on the earth, and the head in the heavens, we are the only creatures who are able to hold our spine erect. And so we have this lower instinct, and we have the higher aspirations that tell us you know, you need to be better. So that freedom of thought needs to be exercised. Initially, it may be a little difficult, as the mind wants to poke, keep its grip, which once we start denying the mind, we realize that all we need to do is a little positive reframing the glass, maybe half empty, but it's also half full. And when we do it again and again and again, then that neural pathway gets a test where from a negative thinker we become faster think that in every situation, the positivity then comes the second nature.
Alex Ferrari 28:21
Now, you mentioned new neural pathways. Can you talk a little bit about neuroplasticity, which I think is really relevant to what you're talking about.
Swami Mukundananda 28:29
Neural plasticity is the facilities we have, where we can retrain our brain. So, the brain is endowed with this ability, that when a certain pattern is repeated or certain pattern of parts are repeated, the neurons are fired up to facilitate that thought or that action and repeating the pattern breams the brain to create networks or circuits that make that work easier and future. So if for example, I kept on thinking, what will happen in the future what will happen in the future? I became a compulsive worrier. Now somebody comes and says, I am a compulsive worrier, vomit FI want to like to say you know, that's because you practiced it so much. So the fact is locked in those circuits. But neuroplasticity gives us the ability that you look, there is infinite potential, if we are willing to have to put in The right practice, we have the freedom to change our circuitry completely. So I was reading about William James, he was the father of American philosophy. And he struggled with depression for a major portion of his life. And that put him in touch with his ability to gain strength. And one of his strongest principles he enunciated was that no matter what the condition, we have this freedom to choose our hearts and be utilized that freedom is very important.
Alex Ferrari 30:46
Now, how does the process how does the law of attraction or manifestation relate to the power of thought? Because it is, those are two words that are thrown around those two concepts of the law of attraction and manifestation. What how does that relate to the power of thought and creating our own reality?
Swami Mukundananda 31:05
The universe is designed to bring the soul to the next level. That next level soul
Alex Ferrari 31:15
No pun intended.
Swami Mukundananda 31:18
It's everything in the universe is encouraging the souls to move ahead. And our growth is directly correlated to the nature of our thoughts. For which means that I am, where my thoughts are. If my thoughts are dismal and abject, that means spiritually I'm still bogged down. And if my hearts has become noble and sublime and selfless, that means I have achieved a measure of success. So our hearts elevation of our hearts is reflective of the elevation of our soul, and the whole universe is conniving. So then, in our hearts, we start harboring positive aspirations, that are in accordance with what the universe wants. Our own unfoldment it's like the universe responds, by creating conditions, providing opportunities, where we can find fulfillment, or our aspirations for the service. The work that we seek to do, are for opportunities of growth. These things come about and unlocking happens when we create those as firing carts. And then the universe response, but law of attraction becomes misunderstood when we see okay, I just thought I should have a car I should have a car and the universe responded with it. The universe could as well respond with the way you answer these desires.
Alex Ferrari 33:21
So then, can you explain then what the law of attraction truly is? And what is the misunderstanding of it?
Swami Mukundananda 33:28
Law of attraction needs to be understood in its position with respect to the purpose of whole of creation. So when he has that perspective, that this is a venerable and cuni word, and it's five which go to the next level, the universe definitely respond with opportunity. So, let me hold the flame of aspiration strongly within myself. Now, the misunderstanding is that I use this law who attracts worldly things to myself. Literally, it is possible the universe may respond, there is a thing called beginner's luck. Where you know the universities have a you are trying to lead to greater fine management. Let me encourage you on the path by giving you a lolly path, so that you practice it further. And then the same practice of law of attraction you reach a dead end, you realize there's more to it. I need to wake my sense of purpose and and look at things from a bigger perspective. And then the journey will become more fulfilling And so those questions are then left to the universe, which desires it will fulfill as per the law of attraction and which it will not?
Alex Ferrari 35:10
Well, let me ask you this, what the power of thought do we have the ability to control our own reality, based on our thoughts, if we believe that the reality that we're in is the Dharma is the elude the great delusion, as the Aborigines call it the dream, that we are constantly almost being able to manipulate our own reality based on the power of our own thoughts.
Swami Mukundananda 35:39
The bed is an object reality, and that is a subjective reality. The objective reality is the world as it is. If there is a flower, let's say in my hand, that is a flower, I cannot transform it into a butterfly merely by thinking, correct. But I can paint my subjective reality. I can choose to see it as an obnoxious object, I can choose to see it as the king of flowers, I can choose to see it as a dimension of the Divine, who, as we progress on the spiritual path, our subjective reality just keeps on blowing. It's like it goes to higher and higher levels. And realize, fears are those who actually see the divine everywhere. That is where the journey would take us where our subjective reality would say, the whole world is one with the Divine.
Alex Ferrari 36:55
Well, maybe I will rephrase it to do our thoughts. Bring us what we think about. So if we think of negative, negative, negative, negative things are attracted to us. If we think positive, positive, positive, positive things are attracted to us. Is that a fair statement?
Swami Mukundananda 37:13
That is a fair statement. We are when we are, let's say, when I am harboring sinful part that attracts a bad destiny to me. Now, people may say this person became a victim of circumstances. But actually, he or he attracted those circumstances, because of the same footpath, that the knee, nature gave a rope to hang ourselves because of the thoughts that we had. So it is true, that our by parts we do at practice circumstances to ourselves, not on a one to one correspondence, because that's not the purpose of creation, but in a manner that would be instructive to us. Sometimes creation, wants us allows us to make mistakes so that we learn.
Alex Ferrari 38:18
So then what part does karma play in that because if karmic situations are brought into our lives for our lessons, or are part of our quote unquote soul plan, then how to have our power of thought, interact with that we're getting deeper now we're getting a little bit more complicated.
Swami Mukundananda 38:39
Yes, karma is the way we used the, our, our freedom to think and to tap in the past to karma was not created from for us out of nothing. It is the way we used our freewill in the past. And we are responsible for it. If I got myself into a hole. I am responsible for getting out of the hole and then moving ahead.
Alex Ferrari 39:10
So that doesn't interact with the thought the power of thought because if something negative comes to us karmically and we're thinking positive thoughts, those are two separate things correct?
Swami Mukundananda 39:20
Right. So if you want to go into greater detail here, Alex, let me take you a little deeper out here. Dharma has got three parts to it. So every soul has got three karma attacks. The technical terms and I'll give the explanations is sonship karma, karma and clear mind karma. So what is Sunkiss karma? It is the stockpile of our karma of endless lifetimes that has Are you telling me that you can say I don't remember. But creatine says you do it, you are actually are responsible for it, it is there in your account. And every time we are sending to the world, one aspect of the sunset karma is taken out and given to us. This portion of your doings you have to bear with the best light. But that becomes our destiny or problem 30 That is fixed you cannot change that is one determine which part is the word will be born and who our parents will be. Let's say Christ say that every moment we have a free will. And actions that we perform with our freewill are called Three Amman karma. So what we get in life is a mix of our our destiny and our freewill actions. It's like you're dealt a hand of cards now you have to play with that hat. But how you play is all up to you. And those three what was the third? So the see the first was your stockpile of endless lifetimes? And then what you got four out of it in this life that became your destiny? That is the second one.
Alex Ferrari 41:26
Okay, got it. And the third one is your and then what's the third one?
Swami Mukundananda 41:30
The third one is with your free will whatever you're doing.
Alex Ferrari 41:35
I've never heard it explained like that that as really is good. So then the power of your thoughts kind of are the freewill aspect of it is the power and freedom.
Swami Mukundananda 41:45
See my why your destiny you may be a compulsive pessimist are hardcore optimist. Hardcore us optimist by Free Will could mess it all up in the present by repeatedly choosing to bring negative thoughts in so we could whatever we have done within this world, we could build on it, we could bring ourselves down. That's the choice that we make with our parts of the destiny, we'll put those arts in our mind. But we can always twist it and then we become negative or positive thinkers.
Alex Ferrari 42:26
And just just to dive in a little deeper into karma, because I find it so fascinating. And it is a concept that is discussed so often leads many times incorrectly. When the soul decides to incarnate, this is their bank account of karma that they have to deal with and you don't deal with all the part all of the karma in one lifetime. It could be split apart, depending on what that is. Now, you don't have to reincarnate is I've been told before, if you choose to come down here again, because there is free will. This is what you want to actually clean up in your bank account as a sole for your own evolution. Is that correct?
Swami Mukundananda 43:06
Oh, to some extent? Well, the thing is, I am not convinced that the dice is in our hands. And I am not convinced that we have the freedom what we choose and what did not pick us. If if I had the guys why would I vote come in this world? You know with all the mess. This choice is made by the universe that you need to go down there you are not there as yet. You need to work more on your evolutionary journey. And likewise what we need to work on in this life is also not determined by the souls. It is determined by creation, that these are the lessons because the soul is in ignorance the soul is unaware if the soul had to decide me make wrong decisions. I need to have a great destiny in Las Vegas. Creation.
Alex Ferrari 44:11
Yes, it was a miracle people would say that they would want that kind of. So how do you utilize the power of thought to have a deeper connection with the Divine to enhance our spiritual experience and journey?
Swami Mukundananda 44:27
The connection with the Divine is always with the mind. We could be in a holy place. We could be in a house of worship. We could be putting on sacred marks and holy loads and be no closer to the divine. And ultimately it is the mind and the mind alone which counts. That is why all the great sages He always said that, look, it's not a matter of what you say with your mouth, the prayers that you are agreeing they are all helpful, but what really counts is the mind. So, the closer our mind we connect with the divine, the closer we find ourselves to the divine. And there are tools and techniques to bring our mind closer for example, we have various forms of yoga. So, yoga in the Western world has become understood as a form of physical postures for good health. But clearly, that is a superficial understanding. It was the third limb of an eight fold system called Ashtanga Yoga. And then there is Yan yoga, the yoga half knowledge and this Dharma yoga, the yoga of words, and then there's bad yoga, the yoga is love, that is the one that I practice, where you use this emotion of love, within a divine uniform.
Alex Ferrari 46:28
Now, can you discuss the concept of and please forgive me, sankalpa, sanklapa, or the intention setting related to the power of thought,
Swami Mukundananda 46:39
The intention is like spirituality is about. We may be doing so many things. But the divine keeps inside and says, What is your intention? Are you doing it for material reward? Are you doing it because of the claim that you hope you will receive? Are you doing it for self fulfillment? Or are you doing it for my pleasure? So, on the spiritual journey, we have to keep on refining our intention, which initially it was all about self seeking, maybe ratification of the senses, and then maybe security and so on. Right? So the extent to which we can purify our intention, to that extent we have become spiritual, it would apply to every activity that we do. Now we have a technique called Karma Yoga. It's very interesting. Karma Yoga means that you do your work. You do your actions, and still remain in union with the Divine. So yoga means union with the divine, that union of the individual consciousness with divine supreme consciousness, that union is yoga. And there are systems of achieving that union. And one of them is karma yoga. It says, Here, do your works. But you stay in union with the Divine. And how would that be? It would happen when the intention behind every word becomes one of offering the fruits to the divine. Whatever I'm doing is for the pleasure of the Divine, when that intention becomes constant and incessant, then one would be called Dharma yogi is one V spiritual, one doesn't have to withdraw into a monastery. The Sacred Book of my tradition, the Bhagavad Gita. It says, to tell you with all your works, you may be an administrator or you may be a king you may be a business person or whatever you carry on with Alia works with keep on changing the intention. Until alongside with working, your mind is constantly in remembrance of the Divine, then the intention would be selfless.
Alex Ferrari 49:36
And you discuss the role of affirmations and visualizations in regards to harnessing the power of thought.
Swami Mukundananda 49:43
These are powerful tools. So, I first let me start off with affirmations. Affirmations is a tool that programs our subconscious So, the thoughts are arising from the mind, which means the mind is like the factory of the top. Now, if we want to have better thoughts, we want to have a better mind, this mind has got two aspects, one is the conscious aspect of conscious mind. And the second is the subconscious mind, which is a major portion of it, but of which we are not aware, as most of our attitudes or habitual patterns are all coming from the subconscious. When we wish to improve our thoughts, we'd like to make the subconscious, our friend. And we'll do that we use this for maintenance, which means that our conscious mind we keep on repeating a message which goes into the subconscious and thereby programs. So for example, as a, as a schooler, in school, when I had to go before the audience and speed is to start experiencing nervousness. And then I would speak to myself and get nervous and get nervous, like, everything's fine. And I'd find a mind or get set to do it. Then now when I studied mind management, I realized what I was doing was, I was using this tool called affirmation that programs are subconscious. And the second one is visualization. This is even more powerful, because a picture is for housing. And that is why the pictures will impact our subconscious, very deeply. This these two tools are very useful in our spiritual journals. That is why spiritual seekers worldwide have used affirmations in the form of prayer or in the farmer chants in the form of mantras, or simply taking Holy Names, Sacred Names. But even more, it's the visualization. And that is why the form of meditation which I teach is called Root behind meditation. room behind meditation is a technique where we use the power of visualization. do pray in our mind to connect with the divine. So we have the five senses. These senses reside in the mind in the subtle form. That is why in your dream with your eyes closed, you're still seeing and still hearing and still smelling. So the mind contains the five grass senses and the subtle form. And in this technique of visualization, meditation, you use the subtle senses to create imagery and progress.
Alex Ferrari 53:24
Now the one thing that we all have problems with we've talked about a little bit in this conversation is negative thoughts and the the monkey brain, the inner critic, any techniques or advice that you could give people to silence that transform that into something that would be helpful on their journey as opposed to something that brings them down?
Swami Mukundananda 53:47
Ah, yes Alex in the book, I have referred to three step formula. The first is to become aware of this dilution, the second is substituting and the third is sublimation. What is dilution when you find these negative thoughts done you will become aware that these these negative thoughts because certain characteristic first is they come uninvited you know somebody said My mind is just doesn't like to take breaks and the weekend it goes into overtime. The second is that these hearts are they rob us of our happiness. They don't do anything good to us. And the third is that they are compulsive that we don't want them and yet we find they're coming. So when we find that such thoughts are coming. The first step now is to discipline see ourselves from the heart. So realize that I am not part my mind has created this, the mind, it's the monkey mind, it's going to create good thoughts and bad thoughts and everything. So I, I have no obligation to accept every part which my mind also has to dilute to distance yourself from the path. And the moment we do that, we find that it loses its venom. know, it's like birds like in the air. Okay, they're going by, but moment we adopted all I thought like this, oh, my God, how come I thought this? I'm such a bad guy. And why can't it better? Now the Todd has become stronger and stronger and stronger. So dilution is the first step. And the second is substituted the islands the basis of the thought, for example, if it is a thought of fear, or if let's say it's a target of unhappiness, I have got don't have it going well, in my life, you challenge the basis of it. Why am I thinking like this, I've got this, this is going well in my life. So then replace the negative thought with a positive one. That we have to do it work for us. And then the third step is sublimation. Where you make it a repeated process, until the neuroplasticity kicks in. And it becomes part of the flow of the mind.
Alex Ferrari 56:54
Just like you have it because you just exert such happiness in the way you speak. The neuroplasticity has been working on you for many years. I see.
Swami Mukundananda 57:06
I don't know about that.
Alex Ferrari 57:09
Now, my friend, I'm going to ask you a few questions ask all of my guests. What is your definition of living a fulfilled life?
Swami Mukundananda 57:17
Alex, put it very simply, I consider a fulfilled life is one in which you do good, be good, and feel good. Ultimately, it's all about feeling good. You want we have a but the happiness we are seeking is telling when you're doing good that you have good sense of purpose and you're working. So when you are doing the best that you can. And in the process, we realize they're doing the best I can, it's not so much a matter of My Eternal skills. I need to work on myself. I believe I can't be faked, I need to actually improve myself. So the urge comes to be good to be the best version of myself. When we in our life, make it our role. Do the best I can to do the best case not that much, just the best that I can and then try and be the best that I can. So then one day somebody cannot go from a sinner to a saint. If I'm trying for my delta, I'm trying to be the best I can. And that is the way when we feel the best. So that is why the slogan I tell people is do good, be good and feel good.
Alex Ferrari 58:56
Beautiful. What advice if you had an opportunity to go back to your younger self as a little boy? What advice would you give him?
Swami Mukundananda 59:04
Why did you waste so many years? Futile pleasures, wasting time man took so long to come to this wisdom. You are so foolish, but maybe you know I don't regret because it was a part of majority of us. You have to you have to make mistakes during COPPA after so I learned the art for better walking.
Alex Ferrari 59:35
Fair enough. How do you define God?
Swami Mukundananda 59:38
How do I define the ahh God is beyond on definitions because his universe is in finite. In my tradition, we have the multiverse theory and said there is not the only universe there are in finite universes, and all of them are one full aspect isn't God's create. And then there is all this universe consisting of 100 billion galaxies with each galaxy having 100 billion stars, like this, there are infinite universes, which is one for God's creation and then the brief thoughts is the spiritual dimension. The source of all creation is all in finite that all attempts at giving definitions would be like holding a torch out the sun. But when people ask me this question, I say let's keep it simple. God is He Who has created this verse now all fights begin oh my god is big. Oh God it's
Alex Ferrari 1:01:02
It's a she's not a he What are you saying?
Swami Mukundananda 1:01:07
I worship God as a he and the sheep. As Krishna and rock, as Robin see, does shoe and parodies. She's got both the dimensions.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:19
Fair enough. And lastly, my friend, what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Swami Mukundananda 1:01:25
to develop selfless divine love. Now that you've brought the word God into the conversation, develop selfless divine last for God, ritually leave God realisations moment feeling become, God realized V will tell us this in the UK, we will be illumined by right in finite divine knowledge, Divine Love, divine bliss, that contact between the individual consciousness and in finite consciousness will happen at that stage of life.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:10
And Swami where can people find out more about you your amazing work and where they can pick up this book the power of thoughts.
Swami Mukundananda 1:02:16
Alex, I divide my time. I spend six months in my native country. It is in here. And I traveled about 16 cities there. And for the rest of the six months, I traveled all over the US. And I conduct seek long yoga, meditation and spiritual programs workshop sharp in about 20 cities of the US. In fact, Morrow itself I'm starting off my career and be here for six months. If anybody's in the USA, you're welcome to meet me in person. I also conduct many weekend retreat for people who want immersive experiences. My headquarters is in Dallas. It's a beautiful Radha Krishna temple where we have a week long family camp in the month of July. And if somebody would like to reach me online, they could visit my website, which is JKYog, JKYog.org, they get more information from that.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:34
And my friend, do you have any parting messages for our audience?
Swami Mukundananda 1:03:38
Parting messages? Well, Alex, my parting message is next level. So I was so excited to see the Dufay I'd like to congratulate you on this endeavor of yours. And all those who follow you on this podcast. Great job. Keep it guy. It's a wonderful endeavor.
Alex Ferrari 1:04:08
My friend. I appreciate you Swami for this conversation and for all the amazing work you do to awaken souls around the world, my friend, thank you again.
Swami Mukundananda 1:04:17
Thank you so much, Alex, it was a pleasure meeting you online. I look forward to meeting you someday in person.
Links and Resources
- Swami Mukundananda – Official Site
- JKYog – Official Site
- Books by Swami Mukundananda
- Earthing.com: End Inflammation Today – Discover the Science-Based Healing Powers of Earthing/Grounding
- FREE Mindvalley Spiritual Masterclasses
- MUSE 2: The Brain Sensing Headband – Meditation Tracker Headset Device
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