The Power of Words to Change our Life

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(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed)
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I have studied many alternative healing methods, yet I feel our healing power is also transmitted through the written or spoken word, through which I personally share my struggles, and successes on my spiritual journey. Our words increase in potency by our purity, sincerity, and surrender along with spiritual backing from our gurus and the merciful Lord. As important as hearing scriptural stories and spiritual philosophy are for helping awaken our sleeping spiritual self, I feel it is important to do so in a very personal way—to put a face on the path of devotion, not one with angel wings, but with warts, shortcomings, and injuries. Learning to be real, or honest with ourselves, and with others, is essential to call our spiritual progress. If we can’t uncover and face our darkness, how can we ask for help, or pray to overcome it? While socially we may feel pressure to look good, we have to actually be good. We may not be good in every way, but at least we can pray to gradually become better human beings, and better spiritual people. Divine life should always inform and guide our humanity, since the perfection of human life is to realize our nature as souls, and our loving relationship with God, who we Gaudiya Vaishnavas recognize as Krishna (in His original, most loving aspect).

Sound vibrations of all kinds including spoken words and the thoughts we think (self-talk), greatly affect our consciousness. Our words and thoughts are based on our attitude and conscious awareness, which are influenced by the modes or qualities of nature we are predominantly influenced by. The Gita teaches us to see the effect of the energy of goodness, passion, and ignorance in our and other people’s lives. Chinese philosophers of yore saw the world in terms of the dual influence of yin and yang, while Vedic philosophers understood three major influences, like the colors of yellow, red, and blue, which are the basis of all colors.
The energy of ignorance for a human being is practically animal life, while passion is all about doing, exploiting, and accomplishing with little higher knowledge, and goodness gives us knowledge or insights about life and is the door to spirituality. Thus, goodness is recommended for those interested in spiritual cultivation. Under the influence of the energy of goodness we will be receptive to the spiritual knowledge of the Vedas and understand the process of spiritual elevation, and what we should be primarily focusing on, or the vibrations, words, and thoughts best suited for uncovering our soul.

I am endeavoring to walk a spiritual journey, and am hopefully at least religious, and ideally have some spiritual standing. I am using words to convey meaning to you, and words are also everywhere online and in varieties of print medium. Scriptures or racy novels also communicate in words. My point here is that all words are not the same—they may use the same grammar, but they have different effects on us. Words and thoughts are energy that carries power, and we need to choose them with care, if we want to progress in bhakti or in any spiritual path.
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If ordinary words and thoughts have power, just imagine the words of scriptures spoken by God, or written by spiritual adepts. Consecrated forms of God, food blessed by God and saints, and the holy name of God, are also considered potent manifestation of Divinity with great power to elevate us. How these aspects of God affect us will depend on our receptivity and state of consciousness. If we become convinced of their power, and do our best to approach them in the proper receptive spirit, we will make spiritual progress despite our shortcomings. We have to begin somewhere, and wherever we begin our spiritual journey is a good place.

Although I have spoken about my attempt at sharing my words or written thoughts about spirituality, this blog is really about you, and your divine potential as a soul. My words are infused with my intention and prayers to encourage you on your progressive spiritual journey. By the mercy of my gurus and Krishna, there may be blessings, and inspiration for you, as the words travel through your eyes to your heart. Some of you are long time practitioners of bhakti, while others are newcomers. In either case, this endeavor is to remind us or introduce you to the power of our words, thoughts, and intentions on our life, and that we can be a force of spiritual upliftment by our purpose to please Krishna, and to help others on their spiritual journey. If we want mercy in our life, we can extend help to others who are struggling more than we are on the physical or spiritual plane. Helping others puts our problems into perspective and can reveal much about life.
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To gain the strength to live fully, realize our divine potential, and help others, we have to make time daily to devote to God (sadhana), and understand our relationship with Him. Although our devotion should ideally be performed to please Krishna without material calculations, such endeavor isn’t without tangible benefits to our ordinary life in terms of peace, happiness, and fulfillment. However, spiritual work is not meant to be like a hobby or a Sunday, one day affair, but our main preoccupation. This attitude doesn’t occur overnight, but happens by becoming convinced that our essential primal nature is spiritual, and any platform which doesn’t take into consideration our relationship with God will not be a lasting one.

Visiting a temple or place of worship, associating with saintly persons, reading scripture, praying, and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra are meant to facilitate this conviction and transformation. This is why we are advised to make as the basis of all our spiritual practices the maxim to always remember Krishna and never forget Him, and to thus always chant Krishna’s holy name. We are speaking of changing our consciousness and future by changing what we allow to influence us. In particular I am speaking of the words we say, think, hear, or read. Make an experiment for 30 days to restrict your intake of words to Krishna conscious lectures, music, scriptures, writings, and also chant the Hare Krishna mantra on beads every day. See how this changes your life. To serve this purpose, meditate on the following Gita verse: “Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.” [Bg 17.15]
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Wonder of words

A very nice blog indeed; a wonderful reminder of the importance and power that words carry. It can be so easy to forget the magnitude of the impact a single word can have on our lives, both material and spiritual. It can be so easy to overlook this importance when engaging in various activities, which, funnily enough, are also based around words. It is also easy to overlook how our words may affect others: in both good ways and bad ways. Sometimes, words that are spoken without any intention of offense, may cause offense and hurt someone; whilst other words may sometimes create a lot of positive energy for others. Yes, words certainly do carry lots of energy and power, I fully agree.

Hearing, speaking, singing the Mahamantra can be so pleasing, so uplifting.. However, it's amazing how, even though one may have tasted the nectar of Krsna's words, or words that glorify Him, one may sometimes choose not to engage in them and choose mundane words or activities instead. Of course, since we are conditioned, this happens; in which case we must continue our endeavour in wanting to hear pleasing words of Krsna, about Krsna and saying these words ourselves, with full determination. I like your suggestion of undertaking a 30 day experiment in trying to engage in words associated with Krsna. A wonderful idea!

Our choice

Thanks for your insightful comments, Roma. What could be more ubiquitous than words,as we are surrounded by them and are always either thinking, listening, reading, or speaking, yet they are a double edged sword, bringing elevation or degradation (materially and spiritually). I think it is important to really examine our lives and uncover the real basics of our spiritual life, like words, sounds, faith etc. and see that if we are serious about spiritual advancement we have to make a concerted effort to improve in all these areas in a way that fosters spiritual growth. Unless we experience the difference between spiritual, uplifting sounds and words, and material vibrations, even if we are a long standing devotee, we may not be very careful what we take it. That is why I suggested making an experiment to limit our material sounds and words, as much as people do when they go on a diet: they refrain from certain foods and those high in bad cholesterol. We should think of material words, including unkind, negative ones, like high cholesterol, or fried foods: if we eat them we will get fat, even obese and have a higher risk for heart disease etc. So our material conditioning is like a heart condition that needs expert treatment so we don't die prematurely. Our gurus have given us that treatment of the holy name, sastra (Vedic scriptures), and sadhu sanga (saintly company), that will build up our spiritual heart muscles, and a spiritual body fit for devotional service to Radha Krishna.

Thanks

Thanks a lot for your message, Karnamrita Prabhu. You see, your blog made me think very deeply about this. I also thought that sometimes it's not just words directly that have the power or energy to change our lives or to impact us, or others, in any way, be it good or bad, but sometimes words that aren't even spoken or written or heard can have just as much of an impact. Even silence can carry a lot of energy. However, one may say that silence is also a word, in a way.
Thanks for helping me reflect on this blog.

Roma