We use words to convey our thoughts and feelings to others. What is a word? It is a sound-system having a particular shape, quality and radiation determined by our character and personality, according to the imprints of habit, force of needs and environmental conditions. A word is a sound; and sound in turn is a wave.
Philosophy of Nature
Let me now tell you about the philosophy of nature. We see countless objects and appearances in the Universe. All manifestations are only associations of energy - particles. Every energy-particle is a tiny, fundamental basic particle with self-rotative force. Because of its speedy self-rotation, it radiates a spreading wave -- the basic wave of energy which fills the entire Universe. When some of these fundamental energy-particles come together to form a group, an atom is brought into being. this atom gives rise to a collective wave, which is in addition to the earlier waves from the constituent basic energy-particles. Two or more atoms form a molecule and now third layer of wave starts. In this manner everything -- from the individual particle to the biggest star -- is radiating its own wave, because of the functioning of energy at various levels.
When a wave comes from one manifestation, it has all the qualities of the object where from it originated. A wave coming from a rose, for instance, has the fragrance characteristic of that flower. In like manner any wave emanating from anything is having a distinct quality -- mechanical, chemical, magnetic, electrical and psychic. All functions, all contents and characteristics of the objects are transmitted from the wave, through the wave and by the wave.
Take another example the Sun. The Sun is a star which is manifestation of various atoms and chemicals. The wave coming from the Sun is inducing the same kind of light and other qualities in everything else it impinges on, be it water or earth or stone or plant or animals or person, according to the structure and quality of the object or being at this end.
In the case of person too, the wave emanating from him by radiation, by smell, by sight, by word or by thought -- whatever it may be -- carries all the qualities of the person. Since every person is conditioned with the imprints of experiences already undergone, his thought, speech and action would be in accordance with those imprints. The quality, personality of the individual will radiate and reflect in this manner.
Every person is having good as also bad imprints. So according to the conditioning of the mind, the thought coming from a person may be positive on some occasions and negative at other times. Here the positive or negative aspect is not according to the person or object at the receiving end. It is wholly based on the characteristics of the one who radiates the thought. Without knowing this science, this philosophy, we have acquired innumerable imprints that are now ingrained in our personality. Whenever the unwanted or adverse imprints are activated they become deeper and the personality is conditioned according to that value. It is hence that one of the spiritual efforts is to change the negative thoughts as a means to clear the negative imprints. We have to practise positive, creative radiations by thought, word and deed. It is here that the value of blessings come in.
Effect of Good Vibrations
What is the state of your mind when you bless a person? You are all kindness for that person, you are radiating good waves at that time -- otherwise you cannot bring yourself to bless. Wave radiating from any source has five functions: Clash, reflection, refraction, penetration and inter-action. You are directing a thought on another person. What happens? The wave of your thought classes on that person and a portion of it is reflected back to you. Another portion refracts, the next portion penetrates and yet another portion interacts -- it comes and goes between the other person and yourself. Once you start a thought, these five functions follow and they are thereafter continuous, under the Law of Nature. So when you practise positive thoughts, good vibrations start from you. Accordingly, when you think of blessing someone, you yourself are automatically blessed. This is ingrained in the psychology.
By the same token, when you think of cursing someone, you are cursing yourself in the first instance. The source is poisoned and then only the poison radiates to others. This is to be understood clearly. Is it not a fact of personal experience that even anger cannot be directed on others without you yourself being affected by it?
Logic of the Philosophy
When you proceed to bless someone, you are actually preparing your personality, bringing your personality to the positive vibration. Then you bless and blessings impinges, clashes, on the other person, reflects on you, refracts on to and penetrates several persons including the one who is the object of your blessing. The transaction of blessing, in one might describe it that way, is not between you two only. The good vibration spread out to the whole humanity, to the entire Universe in all the directions of the compass. Thus just by blessing others we are creating such wonderful vibrations and we qualify ourselves by a higher state of Consciousness.
Not only that, the good thoughts that form the basis of the blessing and the good actions that come in train become super-imposition on adverse thoughts and unwanted imprints. Having grasped the logic of the philosophy, if we go on increasing the good vibrations and good radiations in thought and action, these gain predominance in our personality and the earlier conditioning of adverse nature are gradually neutralised and finally they become dormant.
As I said, your mind has to be in a peaceful state when you bless. There is no aggravation because if you are in a aggravated state, you cannot bless. When you bless, you are automatically coming to the Divine Consciousness. Therefore, for Truth-seekers blessing is a wonderful technique to harmonise their own thoughts. At the time of blessing, the vibration, the wave, permeates your cells, the very core of your being and it spreads out to and envelopes all the persons in the vicinity, whether they are related in your thoughts or not.
If I am to give an illustration for this, I would mention a plant in a full bloom. Whoever goes near the plant would get the fragrance of the flowers. The fragrance is not reserved only for the person who tended the plant -- it does not discriminate. Likewise, a person who radiates good thoughts would be of benefit to one and all in the society.
This theory is also valid for negative thoughts which would cause harm not only to you but to others too. That is why you should assiduously practise to avoid negative thoughts. What is the practical way to do this? Build up good thoughts, positive thoughts. That would suffice.
More Potent Than Mantras
Do you have to choose any time or occasion for blessing? No, any time would do. Many persons chant some mantras, mainly to keep their mind engaged. There are some mantras that do give good effect according to the specific sound-vibrations. After increasing the energy to a certain level, however, they might give a different effect. But blessings are safe and beneficial all though. That way, blessings are more powerful, effective and divine than chanting mantras.
When you have no specific work on hand, say, when you have to wait for your turn to buy a ticket or board a vehicle, just bring into your mental picture someone close to you and go on blessing that person ten or twenty times. Then go to the next person and bless him or her. This is something you have to practice. Otherwise, the advice would go with the wind like other good intentions and pious resolutions. Unless anything good is put into practice systematically, it will not be useful in times of need.
In Karma Yoga, we give these blessings just after meditation. Why? During meditation you are coming to the peaceful state of mind. Your mental frequency becomes subtler and subtler. It is at this time that we start blessing.
What is the sequence of the persons you bless?
First, you bless yourself, that is, the cells of your body, your imprints and your life-force: "By the Grace of the Divine I will enjoy good health, long life, prosperity, wisdom and peace." Is there anything more to seek? You want to maintain the health of your body and mind in order to do your duties to the society in a conscientious manner, to enjoy life and get enlightenment and perfection! that is why we have selected these five values to bless yourself with -- good health, long life, prosperity, wisdom and peace. This is auto-suggestion all right. Auto-suggestion gives imprints to your own Consciousness and your physical cells. Once you give auto-suggestion, these imprints will start working, reflecting, even when you are not thinking, even when you are sleeping.
A doubt may arise: "Does not blessing oneself constitute selfishness?" No, not at all. Unless your body and mind are in a fit state, how will you be of service to the society? Suppose you neglect your health and fall ill, what happens? You are no longer useful to the society; on the contrary, it is the society that has to take care of you. Is this not a double loss? In Order to avoid this double loss and make the society and self progress and profit, you bless yourself. Looked at from this angle, blessing oneself is indirectly a distinct service to humanity.
Bless your life partner
Secondly, after blessing yourself thus, you bless your life-partner-husband or wife. Friendship is found to be essential in one's life in order to fulfil one's needs, to exchange thoughts, to obtain advice and to share happiness and sorrow. For all these the best friendship is that between husband and wife. Therefore, we have to maintain and fortify this friendship by blessing the life-partner. Good friendship between life-partners would bring in all benefits in life to both of them. Likewise, animosity and acrimony in married life would result in accidents, disease, loss and all-round misery. The thoughts of the life-partner are more powerful in effect because an interaction is constantly going on between the two. Curses from one's life-partner could even be deadly because of this. So at any cost, we have to maintain this relationship between husband and wife. Blessing the life-partner thus will harmonise the relationship between the two.
Bless your children
The third blessing goes to one's children. Your children are but off springs of your own soul with all its imprints of experiences -- hereditary imprints. They should live well, shine and progress in society. Having brought them into the world, you have the responsibility to raise them well. So you bless your sons and daughters one by one.
Bless your brothers and sisters
The fourth blessings goes to our brothers and sisters. We next bless our brothers and sisters. From what source have we taken birth? Parents, the life-force of parents. The same life-force is your brothers and sisters, the only difference between you and any of them being time-span. What you are, that they are. All of you being one, all are affected by the wave and vibration of the life-force, whatever you do and whatever they do. Therefore, you should bless your brothers and sisters so as to preserve harmony.
Bless your friends
The fifth blessing goes to friends. We next bless our friends. Friendship is an asset in one's life, a treasure in fact. Experience would have taught everyone the value of friendship, in moments of distress as well as joy. We may have a hundred friends but only a few of them are close to us, participating in our pain and pleasure. Blessing such friends during post-meditation will nurture the friendship to mutual benefit.
Bless your employers or boss
The sixth blessings goes to our employers or boss. Even the self-employed among us have bosses and assistants in some sense of the terms. Most of us of course are working is some office or factory. Harmony at the work spot is an invaluable aid to efficiency and prosperity. It is in this context that we have to think of and bless whoever may be related to us in day-to-day life, the purpose being to maintain harmony in every facet of our life.
Bless your enemies
The seventh blessings goes to our enemies. Now, we come to those who consider us to be enemies. "Actually I am not his/her enemy, and if, for some reason, he is hostile, I do not have to lose my peace and pay him back in the same coin" -- this is how you should channelise your thinking. You have a duty to change this attitude of enmity and what would be an easier beginning for this, than blessing him/her? Blessing your enemy causes no loss to you. It is enmity that would be lost in due course, as you can find out for yourself through experimentation.
Bless the World
Finally, we bless the world. When we bless mankind as a whole, we actually expand our mind. all these experiences gained by the life-style of mankind from the primitive age up till now are contained in the society as cultural values. All people on this Earth of ours are linked to one another in some way, as can be proved by taking up a morsel of food.
How many countries indeed are linked in that? The food grain might have come from India, the spices from Indonesia, the cooking oil from South America, the culinary art from china and so on. Likewise the dress you wear, which is the finished product of a multitude of materials and labour from a cross-section of humanity. The land space of the world is one if you take the ocean-bottom into view, the water-spread is one and so also the atmosphere. If one country is affected, all are affected, although this may not be apparent at first sight. Therefore, we have to expand our mind and bless the entire world.
Our blessing is that responsible leaders in all countries should acquire spiritual knowledge. The objective is that they should administer public affairs with vision and compassion, eschewing means and methods that could cause harm to any country or any section of people, now or in future. In this manner we shall systematise the series of blessings, starting from self and expanding out to the whole world.
This may appear to be a ritual in the beginning but what is ritual after all? A ritual is a practice to do good things without fail and with dedication, time having been apportioned and allotted for the purpose. Blessing may begin as a ritual but it will become a good habit in due course -- a habit that would make life easier and more enjoyable. The more you bless the more becomes the harmony between you and your environment. In process of time, you become one with Nature, one with the Almighty. The Almighty will shine in you and from you. In addition to other spiritual practices, blessing will help you to reach the goal with cheer in your heart.
We ae all within the wave-field of the Universe. Any wave whether emanating from an inanimate, animate or person will affect everything on which it clashes. As the wave carries all the qualities of the thing from which it starts, the same quality will be induced in the thing or person on which or whom the wave clashes. According to this philosophy of Nature, every thought spreading out from a source will affect others with the corresponding results. Blessing is one of the techniques by which we can sublimate our personality and also create a good effect on others. Therefore, a Karma Yogi can do immense good to himself and others by blessing self, life-partner, children, sisters and brothers, close friends, bosses and assistants and enemies too, if any, and finally the whole world of humanity for individual peace, harmony in the society and peace among all nations.
Source: Excerpts from the book on "Karma Yoga the Holistic Unity" by Vethathiri Maharishi.