Yoga dictionary. Vasana
According to another version, character traits are already genetically determined, and it is only possible to partially adjust the character of the child in the process of education. From the point of view of yoga, the soul, incarnating in the body, already brings with it the experience of past lives, which is stored in the form of karmic prints or “Samskaras” in the mind of every living being. Sets of karmic prints form the so-called Vasanas. And these Vasanas largely determine the development of the living entity. Vasanas can be manifested only in favorable conditions, so we can not say that the presence of Vasana is a predetermined destiny of man, which can not be changed.
The word “vasana” is translated from Sanskrit as `impression` or `predestination`, the literal translation of the word — `give fragrance` or `aromatize`. Just as a fragrance can permeate the clothing in which a person is dressed, so vasana “permeates” the mind of a person with a quality or inclination. The concept of “vasana “can be compared with the identical concept in psychology”Installation”.
Vasana is a cause formed by past actions, which, under favorable conditions, will manifest itself and bear fruit. Vasana is a kind of imprint in the Chitta (mind) of the living entity. This impression is created by repeating the same actions in certain situations or under certain conditions.
For example, if a person from past lives there is such a vasana, as the propensity to theft, that under adverse conditions — improper upbringing, financial difficulties and so on — this vasana will appear, and people will again repeat the experience of past lives; and that is important to thus reinforce specific Bashan and increase the likelihood of its manifestation in the future.
In the Sutra of the eighth Chapter of the fourth Yoga Sutra, Patanjali describes the process of realization of Vasanas and points out that without favorable conditions the manifestation of Vasanas is impossible. The translation of this Sutra by Swami Satyananda Sarasvati says: “from There the manifestation of potential desires only in accordance with their maturation.” Thus, as Swami Satyananda Saraswati rightly pointed out in his version of the translation of this Sutra, vasana is only a potential desire, not a predestination that cannot be influenced. If there is no fertile ground for the germination of karma seeds, vasana will not make itself felt.
But on the other hand, this does not mean that it is neutralized — potentially the inclination due to this or that Vasana continues to exist. This was mentioned by Patanjali in the next, ninth, Sutra of the same Chapter.
In Swami Vivekananda’s version of the translation, this Sutra reads as follows:”some desires lead to others, even when separated by type, space and time, they leave impressions and memories.” And in the translation version of this Sutra Krishnamacharya said that “the connection is maintained, even if between similar actions passes a considerable time and changes the place (or background) on which they were performed.” Thus, the times and scenery may change in the course of the same activity, but the potential propensity to perform this activity persists both in the present and in future births.
Patanjali not only described the process of formation and realization of Vasanas, but also indicated the recipe how to get out from under their influence. Vasana under favorable conditions, form of Vritti — fluctuation of mind. How to eliminate Vritti is described in Sutra 12 of the first Chapter of the Yoga Sutra. The translation of Swami Vivekananda says, ” the Power of Vritti is attained by exercise and renunciation.” By exercise one should understand the control of one’s mind through the practice of Dhyana, and by renunciation one should follow the moral precepts of Yama, which are recommendations for abstaining from unwholesome acts.
Patanjali writes about how to eliminate Vasanas themselves in Sutra 37 of the same first Chapter. A. Bailey’s version of the translation says: “the Citta stabilizes and is freed from illusion as the lower nature is purified and indulgence ceases.” It is in the mind of the living entity or in the Citta that the Vasanas are stored, which, under favorable conditions, give rise to the vibrations of the Vritti mind. And in the 37th Sutra of the first Chapter, Patanjali explains that by taking control of the lower nature and refraining from acting on this level, one can achieve the purification of the Citta.
An interesting facet of understanding of this Sutra is revealed by the translation of Swami Satyananda Saraswati: “the Mind can be brought under control by making the object of concentration of the mind a certain dispassionate person.” In this interpretation of this Sutra we are talking about the method of Dhyana, when the object of concentration is chosen the image of an enlightened being, realized teacher or deity. By attuning to these high vibrations, the mind begins to purify itself of the karmic imprints created by past actions. And, according to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, this is also the way to achieve the elimination of mental disturbance.
To sum up, it can be noted that Vasanas are not a predetermined and unchanging destiny, but only a potentially possible life path that will be revealed under favorable circumstances. It is also important to understand that Vasanas can carry not only negative trends. The experience of moving along the path of spiritual development is also vasana, which can be cultivated from life to life. And the longer this movement to perfection takes place, the stronger vasana becomes, and the more likely it is that a person in future incarnations will move along this path. Vasanas with a negative message are eliminated by the method of Dhyana and self-restraint in behavior.