WHAT IS VASANA / HOW TO CONTROL IT ?
THE MEANING OF VASANAS;- 03 FACTS;- 1-Vasana (Sanskrit: "subconscious inclination; conditioning, tendencies, or self-limitations; predispositions and habits") from Vas (living, remaining) — the subliminal inclinations and habit patterns which, as driving forces, colour and motivate one's attitudes and future actions. 2-Vasanas are the conglomerate(Combination) results of samskaras (subconscious impressions) created through experience. Samskaras, experiential impressions, combine in the subconscious to form vasanas, which thereafter contribute to mental fluctuations, called vritti. 3-The most complex and emotionally charged vasanas are found in the dimension of mind called vasana chitta (the subsubconscious). WHAT IS VASANAS?- 09 FACTS;- 1-Vasanas are a bundle of tendencies or desires which drive man to think, feel and act according to the nature of the vasanas. Thus, it would be perfectly right, to say that a man is what he is because of his vasanas. Vasanas create desires in the intellect. If the person does not use his discrimination but permits the desire to ‘gain strength’ or to ‘take root’, the intellect passes it on to the mind where the desire produces agitations. 2-Emotions and feelings become so strong that the body is then ordered and forced to carry out actions to satisfy the desire..The three types of vasanas obstruct ,Self- knowledge. The Mind is a bundle of Vasanas. 3-The mind is not an impartite (unable to be divided) substance. Just as cloth is nothing but a bundle of threads, the mind is nothing but a cluster of Vasanas or past impressions and subtle desires that persistently lurk within the sub-conscience. When the threads are pulled out one by one, where is cloth at all? When the Vasanas are burnt with their seeds the mind vanishes into the Immortal Seat of Brahman. 4-The Upanishad says, "when the senses do not work and stand together with the mind, and when the intellect is still, that, they say is the Highest State". The daily selfish actions of the Jiva add to the stock of these Vasanas and thus the embodied existence becomes unbroken, and the wheel of birth and death rolls on ceaselessly. 5-The emptying of these Vasanas demands a twofold counter-activity by the Jiva. The first one is to stop the adding of newer Vasanas and the second is the destruction of the existing ones. 6-The first purpose is served by beholding the Self in all beings, by rendering selfless service to other fellow beings, by devotion to the Deity and by severe concentration of the mind. The second one is effected when the mind is completely thinned out and when the Self is realised. 7-When the threads of Vasanas are destroyed the cloth of the mind also disappears from existence. The Ambrosia of Brahman is drunk deep. The soul is drowned in the ocean of joy. The Wisdom-sun rises and the Immortal Life is lived. The Divine Existence, the Almighty Satchidananda is attained. 8-In this state supreme silence alone is. The mind becomes quiescent due to the exhaustion of Prarabdhas even as a lamp unfed by oil gets naturally extinguished. 9-The zenith of being is the cessation of thought, change and action. It is a getting of everything at once, the living of the infinite life, the highest freedom, the most supreme blessing, the greatest happiness and limitlessness of Knowledge which is not a possession but an existence, not a means of Knowing but the very being of Knowledge-Absolute. NAME THREE TYPES OF VASANAS;- There are three types of Vasanas / Gunas.The nature of a person depends upon these vasanas. But vasanas cannot be seen. They are invisible. Vasanas are subtlest form of action and action is the grossest form of vasanas. So a person acts, according to his vasanas. By studying his actions, one can judge which type of vasanas a person has; at least pre-dominant desires can be known. Vasanas or gunas can be broadly classified in 3 types. 1-SATTVA GUNA;- Pure intellegence and goodness, Quality of renunciation, love for god, and other divine qualities. Saints have more percentage of sattva Guna 2-RAJAS GUNA;- Fire of desire or spiritedness, Warrior class, Demands attention and credit, egoists, glory, glamour, zeal and spirit of doing some work, etc 3-TAMAS GUNA;- Dullness or inertia. Negative qualities like revenge, killing of innocents etc. NOTE;- So the evolution of mankind is the transformation from Tamas to Rajas to Satva. i.e. from animal nature to the divine nature. THE KINDS OF VASANAS(that obstruct Self- knowledge);- The vasanas hold a powerful hold over the seeker's mind ,though he has studied the shastras , he is still not able to free himself from the imperfection within because the mind is sullied by the powerful hold of the vasanas. The three types of vasanas that obstruct Self- knowledge are :- 1-Loka vasana, 2-Deha vasana 3-Shastra vasana. . 1-LOKA VASANA;- 02 FACTS;- 1-When we fashion our lives according to the standards set up by society and when we want to earn others' appreciation and respect by imitating its false and wrong habits , then it is called loka vasana. - worldly tendency . 2-The first thing that we have to do is to stop living up to the Joneses(a person's neighbours or social equals) . A seeker has to learn not to live according to others' opinion but to learn to accept censure and praise alike. . 2 -SHASTRA VASANA;- 03 FACTS;- 1-Only reveling (enjoy oneself) in the thoughts of the shastras, being attracted by the intellectual thrill that this knowledge provides , without living this knowledge is called shastra vasana. Most of us seekers , will fall under this category . 2-Shastras are only pointers to the Truth . One has to renounce the pointer and turn in the direction indicated by the pointer . The intellectual thrill one gets from the study of the shastras is not the very Experience itself of the Self , it is like mistaking the menu-card for the food. . 3-One should not become excessively preoccupied with the study of the shastras. . The Vedas ,themselves, warn us seekers as to how the pre- occupation with studies could become an impediment to our spiritual progress. 3-DEHA VASANA;- 02 FACTS;- 1-The clinging attachment to the body and sense pleasures is called deha vasana . Shankaracarya says " whoever seeks to rediscover the Self , while devoting himself to fattening of the body is like one who proceeds to cross a river on the back of a crocodile , mistaking it for a log of wood " . 2-The body is just a vehicle given to us for our spiritual journey. , to reach the Supreme.The body has to be fed properly and kept perfectly fit , but the seeker has to give up living in the flesh as the flesh and recognise that he is much more than the body. THE KINDS OF VASANAS (According to the the nature of Self );- So long as the seeker remains in these vasanas , bondage will continue to exist. , inspite of the intellectual conviction that the Self is of the nature of Sat- Chit -Ananda Vasanas are of four kinds:- (1) Pure (Suddha) (2) Impure (Malina) (3) Mixed (Madhya) (4) Good (Sat) THE KINDS OF VASANAS (According to the the the Jnanis );- These have been Jnanis like Gautama, Vyasa, Suka and Janaka.According as the Jnanis vasanas are: (1) The Supreme (varishta) (2) The Best (variya) (3) Better (vara) (4) Good (vit) Their fruits are reaped in three ways: (1) Of our own will (swechha), (2) By others’ will (parechha) (3) Involuntarily (anichha). VASANAS-HOW THEY MANIFEST?- 10 FACTS;- 1-Vasana (desire in subtle form) is a wave in the mind-lake. Its seat is the Karana Sarira. It exists there in the form of a seed and manifests in the mind-lake. Just as flowers are latent in seeds, Vasanas are latent in the Antahkarana and the Karana Sarira (seed-body). 2- Daily new flowers blossom out. They fade out in a day or two. Similarly, Vasanas blossom out like flowers one by one, come out to the surface of the mind, generate Sankalpas in the mind of Jivas and goad/pressurize them to strive to possess and enjoy the particular objects of enjoyment. 3- Vasanas cause actions, and actions strengthen the Vasanas. This is a Chakra, vicious circle. On the advent of knowledge of Brahman, all Vasanas are fried out. The real enemies are the Vasanas within. Annihilate them. Eradicate them. They are inveterate(deep-rooted). 4-The whole mango tree with branches, leaves and fruits is contained in a subtle form in the seed. It takes time for manifestation. Even so, the Vasana of lust lurks in the mind when you are a boy, manifests at 18, fills the whole body at 25, works havoc from 25 to 45 and then it gradually declines. 5-Various forms of wrong-doing and mischief are done by human beings between 25 and 45. This is the most critical period of life. There is no particular difference between a boy and a girl in their characteristics when they are young. After attaining puberty they exhibit their characteristic qualities. 6-Chapalata is Vasana of a mild type. It lasts for a short time only. There are two kinds of important Chapalatas. There is the Jihva-Chapalata of the tongue where the tongue wants to eat the various things every now and then. It is a form of morbid appetite. Rich people who lead a luxurious life have this form of Chapalata. The other variety is the Upastha-Chapalata wherein the Indriyas wants to taste again and again the enjoyment (Sparsa). 7-Vasana is the cause of restlessness of mind. As soon as a Vasana manifests, there is an intimate connection between the mind and the object through overflowing Vishaya-Vritti-Pravaha(flow). The mind will not retrace its steps till it gets the object and enjoys it. The restlessness will continue till the object is enjoyed. The Vritti will flow towards the object till it is obtained and enjoyed. 8-The common run of men cannot resist or suppress any Vasana owing to weak will.It is the Vasana in the mind that causes attraction towards objects and brings about bondage; with the disappearance of Vasanas, bondage naturally vanishes. There will not be any attraction, admiration or excitement for any object outside, if there is no Vasana inside your mind. 9-It is the Vasana that is at the bottom of all our miseries and troubles. There is no pain from Isvara-Srishti (objects created by the Lord). Water quenches our thirst. Breeze gives us comfort. Sunshine enlivens us . Fire gives warmth. It is Jiva-Srishti that brings about bondage. Ahankara, anger, Abhimana, attachment are all Jiva-Srishtis. Have Suddha Sankalpa, but no Vasanas. 10-By mere ethical training, the six passions of mind or desire: kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobh (greed), moha (attachment), mada (pride), and matsarya (jealousy); etc., can be suppressed though not eradicated completely. These impure, Asubha (inauspicious ) Vasanas can be considerably attenuated ( to lessen the force) by moral culture. They attain a subtle condition. They cannot harm the individual. They remain under perfect control. WHAT IS THE PROPER REMEDY ? ...ERADICATION OR SUPPRESSION?- 02 FACTS;- A Vasana may be suppressed for the time being by an aspirant. But it again manifests with redoubled force when a suitable opportunity arises. Like a minister obeying the king, the five organs of the body act in accordance with the dictates of the mind. Therefore, you should through your own pure mind and proper efforts eradicate the Vasanas for objects. 2-Vasanas should be thoroughly eradicated. If these Vasanas are destroyed by Vichara (enquiry of Atman) and discrimination, the mind which is ever restless will get quiescence like a gheeless lamp. HOW TO DESTROY VASANAS;- There are four ways;- 1-SAMA(Tranquillity);- 05 FACTS;- 1-Vijnanamaya Kosa serves as a great fortress for the aspirant. From there he can attack the Vasanas when they try to emerge from the seed-body (Karana Sarira) into the mind. Through the practice of Sama, the aspirant should destroy the Vasanas one by one with the help of Vijnanamaya Kosa (Buddhi). He should crush them as soon as they try to raise their heads on the surface of the mind-lake. He must not allow them to sprout forth. This is Vasana-Tyaga. This attack or fight is from inside. 2-When a Vasana or Sankalpa arises in the mind, the mind gives a push to the Antar-Indriya. From the Antar-Indriyas, this push is communicated to the external instruments such as hands, legs, eyes, ears, etc. The practice of Sama stops this very push which is the root cause of motion of all the Indriyas and Karanas. 3-Sama is peace of mind produced by the eradication of the Vasanas (Vasana-Tyaga). The Antahkarana of a man who possesses this virtue is cooler than ice. Even the coolness of the moon cannot compete with coolness of the Antahkarana of a man of Sama. 4-Generally, the Antahkarana of a worldling is a blazing furnace. A man of Sama is neither exalted when he gets a desired object (Ishta) nor depressed when he gets an undesired thing (Anishta). He keeps a balanced mind always. He has no enemies. 5-The happiness of an emperor is nothing, nothing when compared with the supreme spiritual bliss of a man of Sama. Sama is one of the four sentinels of Moksha. If you have Sama, you will get the company of the other three friends, viz., Santosha (contentment), Vichara (enquiry into Atman) and Satsanga (association with the wise and saintly). 2-DAMA(restraint of the Indriyas);- 05 FACTS;- 1-The attack should commence from outside also. Bahyavritti-Nigraha should be done through Dama . You must not allow sense-vibrations to enter from outside into the mind through the avenues of Indriyas. This is also necessary. Sama alone is not sufficient. The senses must be rendered blunt by Dama. 2-The Vasana for sweets, for instance, should be destroyed by Sama through Vasana-Tyaga, by crushing the Vasanas within as soon as a desire arises; and the Bahyavritti, which arises by the sight of sweetmeat should be destroyed by withdrawing the eyes from the same. Dama supplements Sama in the control of mind. Dama is an auxiliary for the complete eradication of Vasanas. 3-If you give up an old habit of taking tea, you have controlled to a certain extent the sense of taste. You have destroyed one Vasana. This will give you some peace, because the craving for tea has gone and you are freed from your efforts and thinking in getting tea, sugar, milk, etc. 4-Thinking is pain, seeing is pain, hearing is pain for a philosopher and a Sadhaka. It is all pleasure for a worldling. The energy that was agitating you to run after tea is now transmuted into will. You gain peace and will-power by giving up one thing. If you give up fifteen things, your peace of mind will be still greater and the will still more powerful. This is the fruit of Tyaga. 5-So, you are not a loser in Tyaga. You gain more knowledge, more bliss and more power. You give up something in favour of something higher. If you once control one Vasana, it will be easy for you to control other Vasanas too, because you gain strength and power. 3-SVADHYAYA(study of standard philosophical books) & MEDITATION;- 02 FACTS;- 1-Increase your Shastra-Vasana in the beginning. Occupy your mind with the study of standard philosophical books. Thereby you can decrease your Deha-Vasana (thought of the body) and Loka-Vasana (desire for name and fame, Kirti, Pratishtha, etc). Later on, you will have to give up Shastra-Vasana also. 2-You must entirely devote all your time and energy in meditation and meditation alone. Vasana-Kshaya (destruction of Vasanas) is caused through well-conducted deliberation (Vichara), Brahma-Dhyana, Vairagya and Tyaga. 4-ATMIC ENQUIRY (Vichara) & BRAHMAN-BHAVANA;- 02 FACTS;- 1-The wise know that the mind associated with Vasana tends to bondage while the mind absolutely free from Vasana is said to be an emancipated one. Just as a lion that is shut up in a cage emerges out by breaking the bars of the cage, so also a Jnani comes out of this cage of physical body victoriously by breaking or by destroying the Vasanas of the mind through constant Vichara (Atmic enquiry), constant Nididhyasana (profound and constant meditation on 'OM' and its meaning) and Brahma-Bhavana. 2-The more you attenuate your Vasanas by Svarupa-Bhavana or the Brahma-Bhavana, the happier you will become. In proportion to the thinning of the Vasanas, the mind also is proportionately thinned out. Mind is nothing but a bundle of Vasanas. Mind is no other than the Vasanas which generate an endless series of rebirths. The true nature of the mind is the Vasanas. The two are synonymous. 4- DEFEAT OF AHANKARA;- 02 FACTS;- 1-If we destroy egoism (Ahankara, this false little 'I') and control the Indriyas (the senses), the Vasanas will die by themselves. The root cause for all troubles is Ahankara. Just as the dependants of a family hang upon the chief of the house- the father-similarly, all Vasanas, Trishnas(lusty desires), Kamanas, etc., hang upon Ahankara, the chief of this house-body. 2-Constantly generate from the Sattvic mind-battery the Akhanda electric current 'Aham Brahmasmi'-Vritti (Brahmakara Vritti). That is the potent antidote. we should keep it safe in the pocket; smell it when an apoplectic(furious) attack of the Ahankaric false 'I' idea overcomes us. It is only when we eradicate the painful Ahankara of the mind and conquer the foes of organs (Indriyas) that the ever-waking Vasanas will subside. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF MOKSHA?- 04 FACTS;- 1-The illusory Samsaric Vasanas that have arisen through the practice of many hundreds of lives never perish except through the practice of Yoga for a long time. Therefore, after having put away at a distance the desire of enjoyment by discriminative efforts, practise the state of mind absolutely devoid of Vasana. 2-Moksha does not mean physical separation from all worldly affairs, but only a state of mind bereft of all impure Vasanas or clinging to worldly things, but yet working as usual amidst them. 3- We must realise God in and through the world. This is the central teaching of the Gita. "But the disciplined (lower) self, moving among sense-objects with senses free from attraction and repulsion and mastered by the higher Self, goes to Peace". This is the central teaching of Yoga Vasishtha also. 4-There is no Vasana in Brahman. Complete annihilation of the Vasanas takes place only in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Only Nirvikalpa Samadhi can completely fry up the seeds of impure Vasanas. Through the knowledge of Brahman, there will be an extinction of all Vasanas, which form the medium of enjoyments.