"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Query from a Seeker:

Please clarify my doubt. If you have a bad quality and you know it is bad. But still something prevents you from removing it. Because you feel nice when you have it and no hurting of others in the process. But afterwards you understand that it is not desirable.

How to remove such bad traits?

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha’s Response:

23 July 2012

Harih OM Tat Sat. Jai Guru. First of all, you have to make your choice. You are saying it is bad and you want to get rid of it, and at the same time you like it. This means, although it gives some sensory or mental pleasure, the indulgence makes you feel bad, weak, and small within.

So, compare and try to have a proper evaluation: “Do I want this short-lived enjoyment that makes me feel weak inside, makes me a slave to my indulgence? Or, do I want to win over this trait so that I feel an expansion and strength within?”

This evaluation is very important. Don’t think: “Yes, I know it is so, but I am not able to get over it.” Although you may know and understand, you have to spend enough time thinking in the right manner. If you can discriminate between good and bad, and still follow the bad, that discrimination is no discrimination at all. The more time you spend evaluating the various aspects, cause and consequence of your indulgence, the stronger will become your mind in listening to the guidance of your inner voice of righteousness.

Once you are clear about your decision, it is a question of how to deal with the trait when it tries to overpower you. Never fight with it. Ask it in a friendly manner to leave you, and strive to be more and more sincere in your disapproval. Spend time in good thoughts that are opposite to the bad trait. If you are able to win over its onslaught even once, the joy of that victory will help you win the next time. After a few times you will find that you would no longer like the indulgence.

Never should you think repeatedly about any negative trait that has to be eliminated. Instead, think of the opposite positive trait. Appreciate and admire those who have that positive trait. After some time you will find that naturally you have got rid of the negative trait.

Only this much I can say for the time being. To discuss more we have to know further details. Have faith: Our mind has got unimaginable potential. Anything can be done provided we sincerely aspire for it.

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