Consider the grand Epic Mahabharata. These were some main events that occurred in the Mahabharata:
- Yudishtra succumbs to Shakuni and Duryodhana's taunts and loses game after game in dice, thereby giving up the kingdom, the brothers and even the wife.
- Pandavas now have to face war against Duryodhana and 99 other Kauravas. Not only that the teacher of Arjuna Dhronacharya, the great undefeatable Bhishma, the invincible Karna, the great warriors are present in the opposite side.
- Arjuna now goes and seeks Krishna for help, but what are the events that ensue. Sri Krishna says that He will not fight at all in this battle. The entire Krishna's army goes to Duryodhana whereas Lord Krishna comes to Pandavas side as a mere 'charioteer'.
Now we all know what happened at the end, Sri Krishna, by being the 'charioteer' guided and ensured that Pandavas and 'Dharma' came out trumps.
This is definitely an actual historical event. But there are also subtle messages that Sri Krishna wanted to convey. Here are some useful analogy:
- Pandavas refer to the FIVE SENSES.
- Duryodhana and Shakuni refers to the temptations and negative thoughts of the Mind.
- Sri Krishna refers to God in Man, the In Dweller!
With these in Mind let us go over the events in Mahabharata again:
- The five senses (Pandavas) are constantly being tempted by the Mind's thoughts and fetters (Shakuni and Duryodhana) to indulge in activities (game of dice) that surely lead to trouble (loss of kingdom, etc.)
- Thus in order to obtain peace, it is necessary to indulge in this Holy War against the six enemies of kama, krodha, loba, moha, madha and matsarya. But alas, the entire army of the delusive nature of the Mind is on the other side, including great warriors like Bhishma and Karna.
- So how to win? Let Sri krishna be your charioteer. Though He will not fight Himself the war for you, He will ensure victory. In some way or the other, although He does not fight physically, it is actually He who fights the war and wins it.
- No matter if Krishna's own army is on the other side, when He is on your side, how can you LOSE?
- Start fighting, do not misdirect your senses towards unnecessary thoughts which are nothing but your Mind's delusive army. Instead let your senses by directed by God, or Sri Krishna. In other words, turn your senses inward. Listen to your Self.
References: Adapted from teachings of Sri Sai Baba, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Sri Ramana Maharishi and other saints/avatars/mahatmas.
So how to not be mislead by senses:
- By chanting God's name. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says (Sri Siksastakam - Text 2):
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names
- By focusing on one thought and making it single-pointed. Swami Vivekananda says (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, "Six Lessons on Raja Yoga" part, Fourth Lesson):
The easiest way to get hold of the mind is to sit quiet and let it drift where it will for a while. Hold fast to the idea, "I am the witness watching my mind drifting. The mind is not I." Then see it think as if it were a thing entirely apart from yourself. Identify yourself with God, never with matter or with the mind. Picture the mind as a calm lake stretched before you and the thoughts that come and go as bubbles rising and breaking on its surface. Make no effort to control the thoughts, but watch them and follow them in imagination as they float away. This will gradually lessen the circles. For the mind ranges over wide circles of thought and those circles widen out into ever increasing circles, as in a pond when we throw a stone into it. We want to reverse the process and starting with a huge circle make it narrower until at last we can fix the mind on one point and make it stay there. Hold to the idea, "I am not the mind, I see that I am thinking, I am watching my mind act', and each day the identification of yourself with thought and feeling will grow less, until at last you can entirely separate yourself from the mind and actually know it to be apart from yourself. When this is done, the mind is your servant to control as you will. The first stage of being a yogi is to go beyond the senses. When the mind is conquered, he has reached the highest stage.
- By rendering selfless and unconditional love and service to all beings as manifestations of God. Swami Sivananda says (Essence of Divine Life by Sri Swami Sivananda, taken from the book Students, Spiritual Literature and Sivananda by Sri Swami Chidananda):
The secret of Divine Life lies in the spirit of service and sacrifice.
This is just one possible meaning that can be inferred. There may be others.
Basically saying when sitting in meditation, do not worry about negative thoughts (or any thoughts for that matter), believe that you are being guided by Lord Krishna (Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva or Your own Conscience or God) and always focus your attention on God, ignoring all else.
Initially it may seem like you are going to lose everything because you are not paying attention. But indeed His grace will save you from even the worst of calamities as illustrated.