(Swami Nikhilananda Sri Ramakrishna Math:)
As we have seen, everything, before it is created on the physical plane, is at first a spiritual impulse, then a thought, then a feeling. Before we can build a house, there must be a blueprint for it, a design, an idea. Words are creative ideas spoken, made manifest into the world.
Vedanta (Hinduism) explains this process as VASANAS
VASANAS are subtle impressions which the individual soul will carry with when the soul separates itself from the physical body upon the death of a person. To understand this term VASANA, first think of ice, which is gross. It is solid and it can be touched or felt and can be cut into different shapes. Water is subtler than ice. Water cannot be cut into shape, although it will assume the shape of its container. Water is liquid and not solid like ice. Steam is subtler than water. We cannot hold steam in our hand as we can hold water. Steam is visible for a while and then it becomes invisible. Humidity in the air is subtler than steam. The presence of humidity in the air cannot be seen .The vasanas are like the humidity in the air, subtlest of all. The vasanas undergo transformation at the level of the intellect into thoughts. The thoughts in turn undergo transformation at the level of the mind into desires; and the desires undergo transformation at the level of the physical body into actions.
How to Do Affirmations
Every thought and every word – positive or negative – is an affirmation, and is creating the reality of the affirmation. The simplest way to do affirmation consciously is just to say them to yourself, either out loud or silently, whenever you feel like it. Especially say them to counteract any negative thoughts or words you find yourself thinking or saying. This is not a tool for repression – allow yourself to have any thoughts and feelings you have – don’t reject them – and yet, give yourself the time and energy to affirm a more desirable reality after you have experienced and explored your so-called ‘negative’ feelings.
For example, if you find yourself thinking, ‘This job is making me sick,’ look at what you are thinking, and see if that’s something you really want to create for yourself. If it isn’t, affirm to yourself, out loud or silently, and with emotion, ‘I am strong and healthy, when I do my work,’ or ‘I am eternally strong, healthy, and young,’ or something which feels good to you. Say it repeatedly, if necessary, and say it with emotion, until it feels like it has sunk in. By just becoming more aware of what you are saying and what you are thinking, you will find that you have plenty of material to deal with. Notice the things that aren’t working in your life, and find affirmations to correct the situations.
Of course, your feelings about your job may be a very valid reason for you to find another, healthier job. But if you choose for the present to remain in the same situation, create the most positive thoughts you can about it.
Make the affirmations in the present tense – even if it seems unrealistic. Don’t affirm, ‘I am going to create abundance in my life,’ because the results will always be waiting to happen in the future. Instead, suspend your current beliefs for a moment, and affirm, ‘I now have abundance in my life!’ – and you’ll soon find that it is true. How soon your abundance will come depends on how strongly your affirmation is repeated, and whether or not you are affirming the opposite on deeper levels of your consciousness (your subconscious negative beliefs).
Many people are unconscious of this – and they are so often saying things like, ‘This is really making me sick,’ or ‘This job is killing me,’ or ‘He is a pain in the neck,’ or ‘This is driving me crazy,’ or ‘I can’t do it.’ These words are affirmations, just like any other words. No wonder these people are getting sick, dying too young at jobs they hate, getting headaches, going crazy, and failing in life.
Look at your life – clearly and honestly. You will see what you have been affirming to yourself. Most of us have created a lot of things that we would prefer to do without. It is time to affirm, to create something better for yourself.
We have been giving ourselves affirmations all our lives. And others have been giving us affirmations all our lives. The only problem has been that we have not been consciously aware of the process and power of affirmations, and so we have affirmed a lot of things, which we could do better without.
Anything you say or think to yourself is an affirmation. Anything anyone else says to you is an affirmation, if you accept it. Our subconscious minds accept it all – whether for better or worse. Many of us grew up in environments, which may not have been totally supportive. Most of us had parents, families, friends, and other peers who may have given us a lot of terrible affirmations, which were destructive to out self-image. Children often tell each other that they are stupid or ugly or unable to do something. Brothers or sisters often say unflattering things to each other. These are unfortunate, negative affirmations.
Most people are still carrying with them, in their basic core beliefs, the non-supportive things, which their parents, teachers, friends, and families told them when they were so young that they didn’t have the awareness to question or ignore. And these affirmations have an especially powerful effect when there is a strong emotion behind them- those moments when Mommy is deeply upset, and yells: “You never do anything for me!” give the child a deep affirmation of his or her own selfishness and worthlessness.
It’s no wonder that people have affirmed themselves into neurosis, poverty, selfishness, unattractiveness, sickness, weak and limited self-images, etc. Fortunately, affirmations are so powerful that a few minutes of conscious, deep, positive ones repeated daily for a few weeks could do years of unconscious, deep, negative ones. This is especially true because the positive affirmations have the greatest power in the universe behind them: the power of truth. Because the truth is that you are a free being. You are not limited or restricted. And your life is worthwhile. And you are good person –not a bad one. And you are really loving – even though that love may be buried under years of unexpressed anger and guilt and frustration.
Therefore, we emphasize again:
Affirm what you know to be true in your heart, and you will create that reality. Affirm that you are free, and strong, and attractive, and prosperous, and loving – and you will find, often in a remarkably short time, that your outer world will begin to change as a reflection of your changing inner consciousness.
Just sit or lie comfortably. Take a few deep cleansing breaths – even take a few minutes to breathe deeply, if you get into it. Deep breathing is one of the best possible things we can do for our minds, bodies, and spirits.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and affirm, silently to yourself as you exhale, ‘My body is now relaxing’. Take another breath and affirm, as you exhale, ‘My mind is now relaxing.’ Take one last deep breath and affirm, as you exhale, ‘I am now letting everything go.’
Then choose any affirmation – any instruction you want to give your body and mind, anything you wish to create. See it happening here and now as you say your affirmations. If excitement and enthusiasm arises to support the affirmation, all the better – the stronger the feeling, the sooner the reality you wish to create manifests.
Say each one repeatedly, until it feels good to you. Try these, and see how they feel
‘I am deeply relaxed…..
‘I am strong and healthy….
‘I am open, I am free….’
Feel yourself being relaxed. See yourself strong and healthy. Feel yourself open and free. Choose any other affirmations you wish to work on, and repeat them, many times, until you feel sure that your subconscious has unquestionably gotten the message. Picture yourself as having completely fulfilled the affirmation.
Enjoy yourself – don’t work too hard at this. Have fun with your creative imagination. Take a final, deep breath at the end of your meditative affirmations, and affirm:
‘This, or something better, is now manifesting, for the highest good of all! So be it! So it is!’
Now return to your waking day, fully relaxed and refreshed, able to effortlessly accomplish whatever you want.
The more energy you put into your affirmations, the sooner you will experience results. Imagine yourself easily and effortlessly becoming what you are affirming. Don’t worry if you can’t ‘visualize’ it in your mind’s eye – just feel it, imagine it. By doing so, you are creating that reality in your thoughts, and in your emotions. Soon a vast, deep reservoir of power in you- the power of your subconscious mind, your connection with the infinite – will bring about in physical reality what you are affirming.
If you are repeating to yourself for example:
‘My connection with infinite intelligence is yielding me a vast personal fortune.’
Every day, with emotion, and after three weeks you are still broke, then you have to find out what else you have been telling yourself that is creating a contradictory reality. Writing affirmations and their responses is the best way to do this.
Take a notebook. On one page, write: ‘Affirmations’ across the top. On the next page, write ‘Thank you!’ across the top. Then begin writing your affirmation on the page headed ‘Affirmations.’ Put your attention to it; pour your feeling into it. You want to be self-sufficient, or beautiful, or whatever – and the truth of the matter is that you deserve it, so you might as well create it for yourself.
Keep on writing the same affirmation, and keep putting your full attention on it. Soon you will probably notice some kind of inner resistance popping up – some words you are telling yourself (affirming to yourself) on deep levels. Whatever they are, write them down on your ‘Thank you’ page. On this page, you are encourages to voice all your reactions to your affirmations.
Say you are writing, for example, ‘My connection with infinite intelligence….’ And you find yourself thinking, ‘What connection? I am a blundering idiot!’ Immediately turn to your ‘Thank you’ page and write those words. It is called your ‘Thank you’ page because, as you write those words, you want to mentally thank yourself for sharing them with you (this may sound artificial or strange, perhaps, but it works). Then go back to writing affirmation. ‘…is yielding me a vast personal fortune.’ Then you may find yourself thinking, ‘A vast personal fortune? I could never handle it’ – so write that down too on your ‘Thank you’ page. Then go back and write your affirmation again. And so on.
After writing your affirmation 10 or 20 times, you may have 10 or 20 or 30 comments on your ‘Thank you’ page. Look at them carefully – these are the things you are affirming to yourself on deeper levels, which are creating your present reality. Sometimes it is enough just to look at them and see how foolish they are, and how they are not really true for you. Sometimes these negative affirmations dissolve as soon as you look at them. At other times, you may have to create new affirmations for yourself that are especially designed to counteract what you have been telling yourself. In the example above, where you found that you were thinking you could never handle a vast personal fortune, you may want to affirm something like, ‘I am capable of handling a vast personal fortune easily and skilfully’ – or, if that is too confronting, lower your gradient for yourself and affirm, ‘I am capable of skilfully handling my financing.’
Do this daily, if necessary. Breakdown your resistance with more affirmations. That is all that is necessary to do. When you finally get to the core of your resistance – to the ‘biggie’ which you are holding onto, the one terrible thing about yourself that you haven’t dared to admit even to yourself – when you finally find yourself writing it out on your ‘Thank you’ sheet, you will feel something releasing in you. Then find the affirmation, which deals with it directly, and release it for all time from your consciousness. You’ll find yourself feeling wonderful (literally – wonder full). Now you are coming into your own power. Now you are not limiting yourself any more. You are free to be who you want, and to create the life you want. It is your birthright.
Following are some sample affirmations, ones that I have worked with personally. Let these serve as examples for you to create your own.
In many cases, it is true that nothing else other than the affirmation needs to be done to accomplish what is intended. In these cases, all that is necessary is for us to suggest the affirmation to our subconscious, and the forces are set in motion, which automatically create what we desire. This is the power of our human energy – our conscious and subconscious states of mind. When you see this happen – as I have many times – it is an exciting and fulfilling experience.
But there are many types of affirmations, which need to be supported by and completed through a very mechanical series of actions in the world. Affirmations for abundance, or creative expression or finding the perfect job, for example, need to be done along with very logical steps in the world. These steps are simple to discover – you either know them already, or they may take some research.
In creating abundance, for example, you have to find the service or product, you can offer the world, which you will be paid abundantly for. Then you have to list the steps necessary to make that service or product available: you may need to make a brochure, make samples, do an ad, etc.
I have known people who have affirmed abundance, and then found an unexpected cheque in the mail, or inherited money they hadn’t known about. But most people who are successful affirming abundance find that they have to do the necessary groundwork to offer their talents and abilities to the world.
Keep doing your affirmation, and it will become clear to you what you need to do.
One affirmation which worked for me almost instantly was ‘I am organized.’ For years I had been telling myself, just a few times in a single session, ‘I am organized,’ I felt the truth of that statement fill my being. I got up from my chair and immediately started listing all the things I was planning to do, hoping to do, and dreaming of doing. Then I organized it all, putting it into a list with the first priorities at the top. In one moment, I ceased looking at myself as a limited, unorganised person, and saw myself as being very capable of clear organization. It was simple. Within a few weeks, I had created a filing system for both personal and business affairs, I had cleaned up my desk and personal work area, and had gotten into a daily habit of listing everything I intended to do, numbering it in priorities, and handling it.
If you are ready for it, some of your affirmations may manifest that quickly for you. But usually, it will take longer. But keep it up, every day (or at least three or four times a week). If one particular affirmation seems to lose its energy for you, if it feels lifeless, if you are not connecting with it, find another way to say it that feels good and strong to you.
If you find no noticeable results in three weeks, try writing your affirmations and your resistances. Discover which of these resistances are blocking you from creating your good. Then find affirmations, which are the opposite.
It is a startling thing for many people to realize that we create what we want.We may not be creating what we think we want, but in fact we are creating that which we want on some deep, perhaps subconscious levels. If you are broke, it is because you want to be, or because you feel you deserve to be, or because you feel you can’t handle money. Find some affirmations, which change your thinking about these things. If you are alone, it’s because you want to be. There is no other excuse. If you really feel you don’t want to be alone, and are ready for an ideal relationship, affirm it to yourself, and you will create it for yourself. All it takes is a strong, focused affirmation with feeling behind it, and patience, and persistence.
This is why there is never any reason to fear misuse of these powerful tools – or to fear black magic or witches (in the negative sense of the word) or even the effects of chemicals or atomic energy – because any people who try to harm others, through affirmations or ignorance, or any other means, only end up hurting themselves. The law of Karma is infallible. If you have even the slightest feeling that what you are affirming may not be the best thing for you, or for someone else, finish your affirming with these words, ‘This, or something better, is now manifesting for the highest good of all concerned.’
Then just sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of your creation. Let it come to you, easily and effortlessly, without struggling, striving, or suffering.
Easily and Effortlessly
I will close this chapter with mention of a particularly powerful affirmation for people in the world today:
“--------comes to me, easily and effortlessly.”
Fill in the blank with whatever you desire.
Often, one of the largest stumbling blocks in the way of attaining or accomplishing something, especially your most cherished dreams and goals, is that we are trying too hard.
Life does not have to be a struggle. Look at the trees and plants and birds and other animals. Are they struggling for survival? “Consider the lilies of the field….”
Simply affirm to yourself:
‘Freedom comes to me, easily and effortlessly.’
And also specific things, such as:
‘My perfect artistic expression comes to me, easily and effortlessly.’
‘My creative expression….
Even very specific projects and commitments can be finished and fulfilled, easily and effortlessly, with this affirmation.
When you ask the Universe for something, you will receive it – unless you are denying it on deeper levels of your being. Let it all come to you, easily and effortlessly. You deserve it. You deserve to have it all. And now you are holding in your own hands the tools to create whatever you want; whatever your heart desires.
Positive affirmations have the greatest Power
in the universe behind them: the power of truth.
From the Mahabharata
Anusasana Parva, Section LVII
Translated by sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli
By making gifts one acquires all kinds of enjoyable articles. By making gifts one simply increases one’s wealth. By making gifts one acquires great fame in consequence of one’s high achievements.
From the Mahabharata
Anusasana Parva, Section CXXII
Translated by sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli
Those who make gifts obtain happiness
hereafter and much prosperity here.
From the Mahabharata
Anusasana Parva, Section CXLI
Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli
Maheswara said(to Uma):
The householder should always make gifts according to the measure of his power. He should also perform sacrifices frequently after the same manner. Indeed, he who wishes to achieve his own good should always achieve meritorious acts. The householder should acquire wealth by righteous means. The wealth thus acquired should be carefully divided into three portions, keeping the requirements of righteousness in view. With one of those portions he should accomplish all acts of righteousness. With another he should seek to gratify his cravings for pleasure. The third portion he should lay out for increasing.
(The following are extracts from the writings of Catherine Ponder)
The prosperity secret of the ages is that giving can make you rich! The Hebrews, one of the wealthiest groups the world has ever known, credit their wealth over the centuries to their use of this prosperity idea: you will be made rich by giving.
Many of our modern millionaires have used this prosperity secret and have often pointed it out as the formula that brought them riches.
Giving can make you rich for when you systematically give, you open the way to systematically receive. But when you do not give, you stagnate, dam up, and close many channels to your prosperity.
Perhaps you are thinking, “But I do give every cent I can find to pay the bills and to keep going financially.” Yet there is another kind of giving you must know about and practise in order to prosper. When you practise this other type of giving, putting it first in your financial affairs, then divine order will come into your finances. You will find yourself prospered in both expected and unexpected ways. Your money will begin to go further, and other financial surprises will come forth so that it becomes easier and easier for you to pay the bills and ‘get ahead financially’.
The ancients, who knew the wisdom of the ages, understood the nature of universal substance out of which all wealth is created. They knew that by consistently giving, you move on universal substance, forming a vacuum which substance then rushes to fill with new supply. That is the nature of substance: it abhors a vacuum and always rushes to fill it. Giving in order to make room to receive is a scientific method that always works to prosper those who use it consistently. It can work for you too!
(The air we breathe fills the lungs. If we do not give out stale air, if we do not make room to receive fresh air, if we do not create the vacuum by expelling the stale air, then the supply of new fresh air cannot rush in.)
This is a giving universe. You have to constantly give in order to constantly receive, because the universe is constantly giving to you. If you do not balance the act of receiving by giving voluntarily in some good and happy way, the universe will force you to give in some unhappy way. But give you must!
“Give and it shall be given unto you” (Luke, 6:38);
works whether you want it to or not. Where there is no voluntary giving, something is taken from you. People who think they cannot afford to give constructively and freely have to give anyway, destructively and involuntarily – to doctors and hospitals for their ill health; to lawyers fir their accidents, legal and business problems; to accountants and to the Internal Revenue Service for their income tax problems; and in other undesirable ways. If you do not give voluntarily of your financial resources, you can expect that body ailments, financial entanglements, human relations problems, and general confusion in your affairs will follow.
When you see a person who has constant problems of ill health, financial difficulties, family inharmony, general confusion and dissatisfaction in his life, not only is he not thinking right, but neither is he giving right. Where there is no voluntary giving, something is taken from them!
You cannot cheat the basic law of the universe, which is giving and receiving. It works regardless of your attitude towards it. You can only cheat yourself out of much health, wealth and happiness by trying to foolishly bypass it.
Ten is still the magic number of increase! Regular, consistent tithing of a tenth of all channels of your gross income (before taxes and other deductions) to the religious leader or spiritual organization which inspires and uplifts you, is still one of the surest ways to permanent, satisfying prosperity.
As a $25 a week secretary, desperately struggling to find any prosperity law that would work, I read L.E.Meyer’s fascinating booklet, ‘As You Tithe So You Prosper’. This booklet contains many thrilling stories of people in every walk of life who have prospered through consistent tithing, and I began to think seriously about the subject. I also remembered that my own parents had been much more prosperous after they began to tithe.
One of the stories in Dr.Meyer’s booklet that especially interested me was this one:
‘He who said that he found it necessary to tithe in order to get out of debt voiced a truth that has become evident to thousands. A man who was $10,000 in debt, with his credit gone and a wife and four children for whom to provide, took a job as a day laborer in a mill and with his family was compelled to live in a tent. He met two Divinity students who convinced him that if he wanted to again prosper, he should tithe. The same week that he began tithing the company offered him one of its houses in which to live. Within a year, he was promoted to foreman. Ten years later, he was free from debt, the owner of a large lumber company, owner of his own home, which was large and beautifully furnished, and owner of a large car, an airplane and other things on a similar scale. He attributes his success to first recognizing his debt to God and faithfully tithing of his income.’
At the time I was considering the tithing law of prosperity, I was also debating whether I should start a savings account. From a business standpoint, I felt that it was more important to begin saving than to begin tithing. “Tithing can come anytime,” I thought. Instead, the savings account was opened. Everything went along fine for a time as I proudly watched my savings account grow, week by week.
Then one day my son became violently ill. Only after he had had the finest doctors and medical care in a local hospital did the turning point come and he recover. His hospital bill was more than the amount I had painstakingly managed to place in my savings account!
Valuable lesson came from that experience. I learnt that if I did not put God first financially and give to His work voluntarily, I would have to give anyway – involuntarily to pay for the unhappy experiences in life, which I did not want.
I immediately began to tithe from my gross weekly income of $25, giving $2.50 to the spiritual organization of my choice. Upon receiving my paycheck and depositing it, the first check I always wrote was the tithe check. This act gave me a feeling of protection and security. By putting God first financially, I assumed my own needs would be met; and always they have been, sometimes in the most amazing ways.
The week I began to tithe was truly the turning point for me financially! Soon I began receiving pay raises, so that my income doubled and later tripled its original amount. It has continued to steadily rise over the years as I have continued to tithe faithfully. My husband and I tithe two-tenths or 20% of our gross incomes, and we look forward to bigger giving as our prosperity consciousness continues to expand.
The wonderful thing about my son’s health has been that, although more than 15 years have passed since he was so ill, he has never had another major health problem. He has not been in a hospital since that time, and did not have the usual childhood diseases.
I, too, have been much healthier since I began tithing. Having had an underweight, nervous, anaemic childhood, it was great blessing to finally be freed of ill health. I have found that I am able to produce much more work in a much shorter length of time than previously. Whenever I hear of loss, theft, accident, illness and high emotional and financial costs that usually accompany these experiences, I cannot help thinking: ‘It’s too bad those persons do not tithe. They would be protected from such negative and unhappy experiences if they did!’
By giving voluntarily a tenth of my gross income to spiritual work, I have been saved from being forced to give many times that amount to the negative experiences of life such as illness, accidents, thefts, etc. I am grateful that I learned this lesson early. It is one of the most valuable success secrets that I can point out to you.
To be sure, there is nothing wrong with the prosperity practice of consistent savings, which I had in mind during that experience many years ago. The Babylonians’ great success secret for their riches was that they tithed one-tenth and saved one-tenth of their income. It is still a fine prosperity practice. The Rockefeller family has often mentioned their use of this idea. However, if you have a choice between tithing and saving, be sure to put first thing first, by beginning to tithe first. That act will insure your growing prosperity, so that consistent savings will then naturally follow. The practice of tithing, both ancient and modern, proves it to be the best financial investment you can make.
Those people who find excuses for not tithing, or who tithe for a time and then stop, are robbing themselves as well as robbing God. They are inviting problems and losses for themselves where there need be none.
It was pointed out that one should tithe where one is receiving spiritual help and inspiration. To tithe to an organization which does not directly help or inspire you holds little blessing either for you or for the organization, because no spiritual contact has been made between the giver and the receiver.
It was suggested that this man tithe to the church from which he was receiving guidance and inspiration; that he do this on a six months’ trial basis. As he did, he discovered that many things began clearing up in his financial affairs, as well as in other phases of his life. Furthermore, his wife seemed to respect him in his tithing decision.
You may be thinking, ‘Yes, but I am already tithing to the church where I receive inspiration and still I am not prosperous.’ Then check your attitudes to determine why you are tithing and whether you completely release your tithe after giving it. Make no mental demands upon those who receive your tithe. A gift with reservations is not a gift. It is really a bribe.
There is another subtle attitude to check when tithing: Do you tithe simply because you think it is expected of you, but not freely and joyously? The tithe should be considered a rich financial investment for all involved.
By tithing in the right attitude, you substitute faith in God’s power to supply your needs for the old fear that you must hold tight to every penny or live in lack.
Your tithe is not properly used for yourself, relatives, friends, or charitable purposes. If one wishes to give to those channels, it should be a gift over and above the tenth which one gives directly to spiritual work. The prosperity law of tithing as practised by all the ancient civilizations, was that the tithe went always to the religious leaders and temples, to those in the Lord’s work.
Some people give only to civic, cultural, educational, or charity causes instead of to religious organizations. It is fine to give for these purposes if you feel so led, but your first tenth should go to religious causes which uplift and inspire you, or to people in religious work who are an inspiration to you. All other giving is to be commended, but is secondary to direct tithing to the Lord’s work.
A millionaire consciousness
The general rule in tithing in these modern times is this: You tithe on the gross amount of your personal income; and usually you tithe on the net profits from a business or corporation. Of course, you can always go on to gross tithing from your business or corporation, if you wish. In many instances, the tax laws may make it worthwhile to do so.
Remember this exciting truth as you tithe: You are joining ranks with millionaires of all times. You are becoming attuned to that same rich consciousness which can lead to rich results!
It has been said that the person who begins tithing will have at least six surprises: He will be surprised at the amount of money he has to give for the Lord’s work. He will be surprised at the deepening of his own prosperity consciousness as well as his spiritual life. He will be surprised at the ease with which he can meet his financial obligations.
He will be surprised at how easily he can go from one tenth to larger giving. He will be surprised at the wisdom and good judgment this gives him in using the remaining nine-tenths of his income. He will be surprised at himself for not adopting the tithing plan sooner!
I would like to add one thing the tither should not be surprised about: He may find himself a millionaire.