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Sadhana: Its Techniques of Applied Psychology

by Swami Sivananda

Watch all your feelings very carefully. Suppose you get a gloomy feeling. Take a small cup of milk or tea. Sit calmly. Close your eyes. Find out the cause for the depression and try to remove the cause. The best method to overcome this feeling is thinking of the opposite. Positive overcomes negative. This is a grand effective Law of Nature. Now think strongly of the opposite of gloom. Think of cheerfulness. Feel that you are in the actual possession of this quality. Again and again repeat this formula: 'Om Cheerfulness' mentally. Feel "I am ever cheerful." Begin to smile and laugh several times. Sing; sometimes that can elevate you quickly. Singing is very beneficial to drive off gloom. Chant OM loudly several times. Run in the open air. The depression will vanish soon. This is the Pratipaksha Bhavana method of Raja Yogins. This is the easiest method. The method of driving gloom by force-by willing, by assertion, by command-taxes the 'will' very much although it is the most efficient method. It demands great strength of will. Ordinary people will not succeed. The method of displacing or dislocating the negative feeling by substituting the opposite, positive feeling, is very easy. Within a very short time, the undesirable feeling vanishes. Practise this and feel. Even if you fail several times, continue. You will be successful after some sittings and some practice.

You can treat in the same manner other negative feelings as well. If there is the feeling of anger, think of love. If there is harshness of heart, think of mercy. If there is dishonesty, think of honesty, integrity. If there is miserliness, think of generosity and generous persons. If there is Moha (infatuation), think of discrimination and ATMIC VICHARA. If there is pride, think of humility. If there is hypocrisy, think of frankness and its invaluable advantages. If there is jealousy, think of nobility and magnanimity. If there is timidity, think of courage, and so on. You will drive off the negative feelings and will be established in a positive state. Practice of a continued type is essential. Be careful in the selection of your companions. Talk very little and that, too, on useful matters.

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