By Gnanpurushdas Swami
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
“The greatest discovery of any generation is that humans can alter their life by altering their attitude,” said William James. Attitude is the way in which we relate, respond, and react to the events and environment around us. But the important thing is that our attitude is self-programmable, so we must work at it consciously.
On October 12, 2005, Mr. Lloyd, the programmer of the musical fountain which was being installed in the vast cultural complex of Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, India, met His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj. Mr.Lloyd mentioned, “I have many worrying thoughts about so many things in my life. I don’t know what to do, so I am turning to you for guidance.” Pramukh Swami Maharaj listened and then said, “Never tell yourself that you cannot overcome your problems. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts and you will overcome worry and confusion. Make a habit of it, and you shall always remain stress-free. It doesn’t just happen. We must make a conscious effort.”
Pramukh Swami Maharaj practiced what he preached. In 1980, Pramukh Swami Maharaj embarked on a journey to fulfill his guru’s vision of building a traditional stone mandir in London, UK. But as the years went by, resistance started to build on environmental grounds and the potential for traffic congestion. Soon, the project hit a roadblock. In 1987, on one potential site, the authorities directed the local council not to grant planning permission. Years of searching, years of hard work, and years of planning by the devotees, and Pramukh Swami Maharaj himself, were met with rejection. Everyone was heartbroken. Their hopes and dreams of years had been crushed to pieces. But Pramukh Swami Maharaj responded, “It is God’s wish. God is the all-doer. Don’t worry, be patient and remain positive. Everything will work out even better. Don’t worry, be patient and remain positive.” He told everyone to focus their efforts on finding a good, suitable large piece of land for the mandir. After many twists and turns, and with over 50 failures, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden, London was finally inaugurated on August 20, 1995.It truly became the first of its kind.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj taught that the art of mastering our attitude is to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. In turn, these positive thoughts help us grow, transform, and create something better. This technique will work in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and at every time, in every joy, every sorrow, every defeat, and every victory. That is the wonder of positive attitude