“Negativity is a magnet,” opined a psychiatrist, “A single negative thought can create an avalanche of all kinds of negative emotions in seconds.” So, what is the method to get rid of these negative thoughts? How can a person train himself to be free of all the negative emotions? Is there a path in Hinduism that can help us achieve a positive avalanche? Of course, there is! Our Vedas are loaded with knowledge about religion and physics, chemistry, astronomy, and medicine. They have a solution to every problem. And, as far as how to silence a negative mind is concerned, there is a foolproof solution.
Even after a person tries to stop the mind, it won’t stop blah, blah, blah. Most people feel that continuous chatter of the mind that they cannot get rid of. As a result, the productivity of the person suffers a lot. After years of negative thoughts and emotions, the mind gets so much habituated that it is difficult for a positive thought to enter the mind. Meditation is a sure shot way to quiet the mind, but the mind needs more training to stop the persistent chatter.
Ironically, I learned about this awesome technique to quiet the mind through a talk on YouTube by Anthony Metivier. An average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. So, if you can slow down your thoughts, you can actually feel the peace in your mind (chitt). This peace will ultimately direct you towards more positive thoughts, and you can achieve anand (true bliss).
In his book “Evolving Beyond Thoughts, “Gary Weber swears by the results of meditation. There are numerous scientific proofs that meditation can actually calm down the mind. Harvard Medical School and a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital conducted the Depression Clinical and Research Program. In this research, they cemented our belief that meditation gives equal benefits as depression pills in patients.
A sage called Saint Ribhu was taught by Lord Shiva himself. Saint Ribhu then wrote Shivrahasya Purana about the Shiva and Shivite or the worship of Lord Shiva. The book is divided into twelve parts with one lakh verses. In the heart of the Purana is Ribhu Gita (sixth part). It is the description of the ways to achieve Advaita or nonduality. The dialogues between Ribhu and Sage Nidagha on Supreme Brahaman are recorded here. The discussions also appear in Tejobindu Upanishad and Varahopanish (Yajurveda), Mahopnishad (Sama Veda), and Annapoornopanisha Atharva Veda.
Lord Shiva is the Sat-Chitt-anand (Sacchidanand). It is believed that Lord Shiva is the screen on which Devi Shakti is projecting her imaginations of the universe. A person who achieves Sacchidanand while he is still in his physical form is called Jivanmukta. And the one who achieves Sacchidanand after the death is called Videhmukt. In both cases, an Atma can achieve Sacchidanand form only after severe meditation. It invokes the Shakti within, and a person sees that the universe is within and not without.
The following Shlok from Ribhu Gita can help you shut the constant inner chatter in your mind. Ask yourself, “Are my thoughts useful? How do they behave?” The meaning of how they behave is whether they are a source of your sadness (they are misbehaving) or they are a source of positivity (they behave in a good way). Asking these two questions will help you think only the thoughts that matter. Chanting the mantra below can give you the long term benefits of a calm, quiet mind:
“चित्तं एव महा दोषं चित्तं एव हि बालकः
चित्तं एव महा आत्म अयं चित्तं एव महा अनसत”
cittam eva mahaa doshaM cittam eva hi baalakaH
Thought alone great folly thought alone is a small boy
cittam eva maha atma ayaM cittam eva maha anasat
Thought alone great soul this thought alone great unreality
Chanting this mantra repeatedly will help you silence your negative mind because your mind will slowly recognize that it is just a young boy who cannot sit quietly in one place. When you constantly question your thoughts about their usefulness and about their behavior, the negative, useless thoughts will dissolve. There will be time and space for the newer, constructive thoughts. Your productivity will increase along with your spirituality. A quieter mind can be a source of Sacchidanand in the time to come.