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Watch Your Thoughts

By Sacinandana Swami

Thoughts are like guests. Special guests. Even after they have left, their aura remains and it can have an impact on others. It is best to watch which thoughts you allow in and entertain, and which ones you show the door the moment they turn up.

Let me share an ancient short story with you about the power of thoughts – you will be amazed.

In the capital city of a small kingdom in India, there once lived a Vanika (merchant) who was a very close friend of the King.

On one occasion, the King rode in his chariot followed by his royal entourage, and the regal ensemble headed for the street where the merchant lived. As the royal procession was passing by, the merchant rushed out of his house to greet his friend the King. Their eyes met and they courteously exchanged smiles; but within the King’s mind, a little hatred manifested itself.

Upon arriving at His palace, the King immediately called for his very trusted and faithful minister who was also highly intelligent.

The King sadly revealed to the minister about the momentary ill feelings he experienced towards His friend the merchant.

He then commissioned His minister to find the reason why.

So on the next day, the minister set out to pay the merchant a visit during the midday lunch break. The merchant was delighted to receive the minister and since it was lunchtime, he fittingly asked the minister to join him for a meal, as it was tradition to welcome an “atithi”(an uninvited guest).

After having lunch, the minister went to the back yard of the merchant’s house to wash his hands and mouth. Whilst performing his ablutions, he caught sight of a huge pile of expensive sandalwood. Returning back into the house, the minister enquired from the merchant about the sandalwood, upon which the merchant expressed his disappointment.

It had been an enormous capital investment, which on account of its high price, the merchant had not found a customer and so the costly item of investment remained untouched for a long time.

It could only be sold when the King dies, for it would be used to cremate His body.

The intelligent minister said, “have no fear, I shall relieve you of your burden immediately by buying it all.” He then quickly took away all the sandalwood and subsequently ordered the Royal Treasury to pay the merchant in full.

The explanation being that when the merchant saw his friend the King during the royal procession, he thought of his precious sandalwood and for an instant, he unintentionally wished for the untimely death of the King. It was for this reason that the King felt ill will towards His dear friend the merchant.

It was a simple exchange of bad vibrations – unwanted bad thoughts which almost ruined a valuable friendship.

Therefore the saying goes: Watch your thoughts for they can make or break relationships.

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