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    Vasanas and Samskaras

        The sight of an object, the thinking of a thought, the performance of an act, the saying of a single word, leave a trace in the soul that lasts beyond time, leaving an imprint in the subconscious mind, which then color all of life, one's nature, responses, states of mind, attitudes, etc. This subconscious imprint is called samskara. The character of a man, his attitudes, his moral or mental status, his talents, his likes and dislikes, his desires, his thoughts, all are determined by his samskaras, which are the product of his past actions.

        Samskaras are experiential impressions, that combine in the subconscious to form vasanas. Vasanas are the conglomerate results of subconscious impressions -samskaras- created through experience.

        It must be understood that the thought process, a product of mind leads to words and actions in people. The oft-repeated words and actions, end up as habits, and in many successive births culminate into various tendencies or inclinations -vasanas- which again are the cause of the reaction of the mind, or influence of the thought processes leading once again to actions.

        When you die, you carry the samskaras and vasanas in your soul and

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    when you incarnate they will remain in the subconscious mind, influencing your thoughts, words and actions. Just as wind carries the pleasant smell of the rose garden or the obnoxious smell of putrid matter as it blows over them, the samskaras and vasanas carried by the soul may contain the pleasant and obnoxious karmas -actions- from our past lives.

        Actions done with good intent lead to a propitious rebirth whereas those done with evil intent lead to a rebirth under unfavorable conditions. Every act must have its consequences, this is a universal law. The samskaras and vasanas transmigrate from incarnation to incarnation, being never lost, and as driving forces, color and motivate one's attitudes and future actions.

    Next Chapter: Examples of Vasanas and Samskaras

    Any Questions?