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Question:

Can you clarify what vasana means?

Answer:

The mind is stuck in 3 factors –

  • People
  • Situations and
  • Things

The association with all these 3 will lead to impressions in the mind.

  1. Association with people leads to – Impressions of entanglement, jealousy, lust, anger, hatred, joy, expectation, love, fear, grief, irritation, annoyance, discomfort, longing, happiness, inertia, wanting to feel loved, looking for acknowledgement and appreciation, etc.
  2. Association with situations leads to – Impressions of sadness, happiness, joy, egoistic, pity, discomfort, wanting to run away, fear, angry, etc
  3. Association with things leads to – possessiveness, greed, jealousy, feeling of abundance, feeling of lack, etc.

The memory of all these episodes creates impressions in your mind. Whenever the same person/situation/thing reappear, you behave in the similar manner because you act from memory. This becomes a behavior pattern in you. The pattern strengthens and deepens the impression of the person/situation/thing.

All these impressions are Vasanas. Simply put Vasanas = Agami karma. They have the potential of sprouting in future.

Therefore Buddha preaches Mindfulness – Be mindful of everything you feel, everything you say and everything you do. Look within carefully, if there is any of these vasanas hidden behind your thoughts, words and action.

Question:

So vasanas are the impressions created by the people/places/things we get stuck in?

Answer:

Yes and they are deeply embedded. We usually talk, think and act out of vasanas. But when we practice mindfulness and we are in the present moment and completely aware of ourselves, we act, think and talk spontaneously without being influenced by these vasanas, that state is called nirvasana.

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2 Comments

  1. SK

    Namaste Ektaji, you have beautifully described this concept. My doubt is: what about good vasanas? It is said: “As you think, so you become”. Is it good to have a vasana for a person, situation, or thing, when the object of the vasana embodies nobleness, purity and goodness? Example would be any deity or saint. Then we will also imbibe some of those qualities. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Gnyana Sangha

      As Vasana is the only thing the Jiva [body+mind+ego] is familiar with, one will start the spiritual path naturally with a spiritual Vasana [deity or saint]. But in the end, all vasanas must drop, because the mind must drop. Vasanas belong to the realm of the mind. When one graduates to the level of no-mind or source of mind, there is a zeroness there. All drops there. Just the witness remains at first. Finally, even witnessing drops, only the field of existence/consciousness remains.

      Reply

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