572 – Samskaras

The word samskara comes from the Sanskrit sam (complete or joined together) and kara (action, cause or doing). Samskaras are embedded in the Chitta, known as the subconscious mind. There it continues to be a subliminal action and become a samskara. Samskaras are the subtle impressions of our past actions. Actions which we perform with full awareness are the ones that make the greatest impressions on our mind.

What is our intention behind our actions?

This intention decides on the samskara. There are positive and negative samskaras. Every action, intent or preparation by an individual leaves a samskara. These impact in the form of hidden expectations, circumstances or a subconscious sense of self-worth. These samskaras manifest as tendencies, karmic impulses and innate disposition.

It is false to speak of realization. What is there to realize? The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly, we have simply to throw out all the age long samskaras (innate tendencies) which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone. – Ramanna Maharishi

The human soul has sojourned in lower and higher forms, migrating from one to another according to the samskaras or impressions, but it is only in the highest form as a human being that it attains freedom. – Swami Vivekananda

Self-awareness will rescue us from our samskaras. It can be described as being aware of the pause between our inhalation and exhalation. We can consciously do this by practicing Samvrit (balancing) pranayama, inhale to the count of five, pause to the count of five, exhale to the count of five, pause to the count of five. This is one round and a daily practice of fifty-four rounds, counting backwards will enable us to reduce our thoughts which create samskaras.

Aim Hrim Klim


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