[Advaita-l] Vasanas

arun nair arunnair at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 17 05:23:20 CDT 2004

Namaste Prf. V. Krishnamurthy

Hari Om,

I sincerely appreciate the way you have explained me. Thank you.



>From: "V. Krishnamurthy" <profvk at yahoo.com>
>Reply-To: A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta 
><advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>To: advaita - L <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
>Subject: [Advaita-l] Vasanas
>Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:30:55 -0700 (PDT)
>Namaste, Arun-ji,
>Let me try to answer your question in an elementary way.
>An important  point in the central core of the Hindu
>teaching is the transmigratory career of man's soul. Man's
>soul travels from body to body in its journey of evolution.
>Though man is essentially divine, the divine is clothed in
>material external coverings and is camouflaged by the cloud
>of dirt accumulated by the mind. Mind clings to the soul in
>a subtle way throughout the latter's transmigratory
>journey. Mind is a nebulous thing that keeps on
>accumulating impressions, habits and channels of thinking.
>These constitute the Vasanas of the mind or of the person
>to whom it clings for the moment. Vasana means smell. These
>Vasanas give the individual his mental personality even
>before his upbringing in this life starts having an effect
>on him. It is something over which one has no control,
>because it is one’s past. It is something for which one has
>a share of responsibility, because it is the result of
>one’s own past thoughts and actions. This past also
>determines one’s  level of evolution as of now and also
>one’s  present tendencies for human behaviour.
>If you bring in, along with your birth, inherent tendencies
>that are bad, you have to contend with them and fight them
>yourself. This is the obligation implied in karma theory.
>The word karma simply means action; but in this context it
>connotes the entire aggregate of all past actions and
>thoughts, not only in this life but in all past lives. As
>far as the future is concerned you are totally free to do
>what you will and to create new vasanas and new karma for
>yourself. But if you are going to be carried away by the
>existing vasanas in your system and they happen to carry
>you into undesirable avenues it is nobody's fault except
>yourself. In this sense you are the architect of your fate.
>But in the sense that your tendencies are born with you and
>you have had no control over them when you were born (just
>as you did not choose your parents or your sex), to that
>extent you are ruled by your fate. The enigma of the theory
>of fate in Hinduism can be put into the following capsule:
>While the past controls, monitors and influences you, the
>future is in your hands. While the common man of ancient
>India may not have understood all these nuances of karma
>theory it must be said to the credit of those ancient times
>that the business of philosophy was not confined to a few
>philosophers or highbrows. Philosophy was an essential part
>of the religion of the masses. It percolated to them in
>various ways, and created the philosophic outlook, examples
>for which are plenty in the history of the land. It is this
>which gave them a sense of purpose and the courage to face
>trial and misfortune without losing one's gaiety or
>Now to your question on the causal body and the subtle
>body. The physical body is produced out of the gross forms
>of the five basic elements.  At death the physical body
>perishes and its five constituent elements are dissolved.
>The subtle body is made of the subtle forms of the five
>basic elements that produced the physical body. It is the
>receptacle of thoughts and imprints of Vasanas and
>continues to exist after death, serving as the vehicle of
>transmigration. A human individual enters this world with a
>bundle of Vasanas in the form of his mind.  The causal
>body, characterized by ego sense only, is finer than the
>subtle body. All three bodies are for the fulfillment of
>desires, gross and subtle.
>The soul is different, however,  from these three bodies.In
>the  travel of the soul from body to body, the mind clings
>to the soul, carrying its luggage of vAsanAs. The soul and
>the clinging mind, by some mystery, reverse their roles and
>the soul begins to cling to the mind and makes the mistake
>of identifying itself with the mind and its attendant
>vAsanAs. In man's eternal journey to perfection, the
>ultimate aim is to shed off all the vasanas of the mind, so
>that the mind in its pristine, unloaded, crystalline purity
>may reflect the presence of Divinity which, the vedas
>assure us, is there in every one of us. And that is what we
>mean by the 'release' of the soul. In fact it is just the
>regaining, by the soul, of its own natural state.
>PraNAms to all seekers of Truth
>Prof. V. Krishnamurthy
>My website on Science and Spirituality is http://www.geocities.com/profvk/
>You can  access my book on Gems from the Ocean of Hindu Thought Vision and 
>Practice,  and my father R. Visvanatha Sastri's manuscripts from the site.
>Also see my webpages on Live Happily, the Gita Way at 
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