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You Cannot Destroy Thoughts - Hindu Teachings

For a man of realization thoughts exist but that he is not affected by those thoughts. There is no freedom from thoughts, there is only freedom from disturbance. You cannot destroy thoughts. In the Bhagavad Gita it is clearly mentioned: ‘Even though a man abstains from external contact, thoughts remain. But when he realizes the Supreme, they become completely silent.’

You cannot destroy thoughts. That is why even great souls could say after realization: ‘I was like
that, I went through all these things, I suffered, I was tempted, I struggled.’

Why could they remember everything that happened? Because the thoughts were still there. What they went through was also there — embedded experiences. You cannot destroy any experience. All are there, but the great souls are fully aware of them.

Nothing is lost. But at that moment there is no disturbance at all. They [the thoughts] remain even in
the man of illumination, but they are not obstacles.

Adi Shankaracharya uses a beautiful simile: ‘Suppose there is a rope lying [on the floor]; when it is
completely burnt it still looks like a rope, for all appearances. When you try to pick it up, only ashes
come out, it has not the power to bind, it looks like a rope, that’s all.’ Similarly, the impressions are
there, absolutely helpless; they can’t bind you, they don’t disturb you.

Apparently they are all there, [but] they have lost their power because of non identification. The
moment you identify, all problems come. A man of realization identifies not with the impressions but with the Ground. Therefore these impressions will not bind [such a person]. You can’t destroy anything; you can’t forget anything.

The more you evolve, the more thoroughly you remember them [your thoughts]. You remember
everything because of an alert, keen mind. Your mindfulness is so strong that you remember every
detail, but you will never be disturbed by it.