Dealing with past life perceptions

Purusha Sukta – Part 4
September 7, 2020
Is Sri Raghavendra Swamiji God?
September 10, 2020

Dealing with past life perceptions

  • What is Vasana? Can we remove the effect of Vasana?
  • How are vasanas formed and how do they affect our wellbeing?
  • Can I alter my dreams by removing the Ill effects of vasanas ?

Vasana  वासना – Vāsanā ( वासना) mean any of the following:

  • Past impressions, impressions formed, the present consciousness of past (life) perceptions;
  • The impression of anything in the mind, the present consciousness formed from past perceptions, knowledge derived from memory, the impressions remaining in the mind;
  • Thinking of, longing for, expectation, desire, inclination.

Thus, Vasana is defined in three different ways, when considered in finer analysis:

  • Past Impressions; 
  • Present Imprint of the Past experiences on the Mind;  
  • Longings or Desires generated from the past experiences.

In general, the Vasana refers to the status of Mind, at a particular time, caused by the past Karmas; 

In Sadhanadhyaya of Brahmasutras, in the second Pada of the Third Adhyaya,  the भगवन्महिमा is narrated  by mentioning that it is परमात्मा who creates the objects in the dream.

”ॐ सन्ध्ये सृष्टिराह हि ॐ” । 

The question comes as to what is the उपदान कारण and what is the निमित्त कारण? In the Sutra, “ॐ मायामात्रं तु कार्त्स्न्येनानभिव्यक्तस्वरूपत्वात् ॐ” , it is stated that माया= मनोगत संस्कार and  परमात्मेच्छा are कारण’s. 

मनोगत संस्कर is itself वासना. It becomes उपादान कारण and परमात्मेच्छा becomes निमित्त कारण, for the creation of the objects in the Swapna.

ब्रह्मसूत्रभाष्ये, श्रीमदाचार्याः ब्रह्माण्डपुराणम् उल्लिखन्ति। तद्यथा- मनोगतांस्तु संस्कारान्स्वेच्छया परर्मेश्वर:।
प्रदर्शयति जीवाय स स्वप्न इति गीयते ॥

परमेश्वर, by his own volition demonstrates, the संस्कार’s which are existing in the Mind, as Swapna. The संस्कार’s are generated by the infinite series of past Births. 

In TatvaprakaSika, Sri Tikaaraayaru clarifies this Thesis in the following words:
मनोगतान्पूर्वानुभूतवस्तुसंस्कारनुपादानीकृत्य निमित्तभूतया स्वेच्छयैवेश्वरेण निर्मितमित्यर्थः ।

The meaning is quite clear..

In Bhagavata, (5-11-4), there is reference to vasana:
 स वासनात्मा विषयोपरक्तो गुणप्रवाहो विकृतः षॊडशात्मा॥ बिभ्रत्पृथङ्नामभि रूपभेदमन्तर्बहिष्ठ्वं च पुरैस्तनोति ।
षोडशात्मा= five sense organs of Karma, Five Sense Organs of Knowledge, Pancha mahaabhutas and the Mind;
Thus the Sattva GuNa, Rajo GuNa and Tamo GuNa are the basis for the formation of the Vasanas;

Vasanaa also means Desires. They are also the results of the Indriya, Manas and Buddhi.
Bhagavadgita, presents the analysis for the sources of Vasana, as follows:
ध्यायतो विषयान् पुंसः संगस्तेषूपजयते । संगात् संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते। क्रोधात् भवति सम्मोहः । सम्मोहात् स्मृतिविभ्रमः । स्मृतिभ्रंशाद् बुद्धिनाशः । बुद्धिनाशात् प्रणश्यति ।
Thus, vasanaa (काम) could lead to complete destruction of the power of reasoning.
Vasana is the imprint on the Mind of all such past experiences.

Many times, in the context of “kaagi panda”, –the situation of the crow touching the final pinda, it is believed that the Jiva should be liberated from its Vasana’s=इच्छा’s, to facilitate its leaving the body and all the previous links. Vasana here means Desires.

Sanskara is a much wider concept than mere Desires.
Thus, Vaasana is a strong Binding force of the Mind, which creates the objects of the Dream, as per the desires of Paramaatma.

Now can we change the bad effects of Vasana? To the extent they are related to the prarabdha Karmas, they have to be experienced.  However, the negative effects and their implications of the Karmas could be reduced, through Knowledge and Guruprasada and consequently BhagavatPrasada. 
प्रारब्ध कर्मणोऽन्यस्य ज्ञानादेव परिक्षयः । {Anubhaashya)

In the BrahmasUtras, 3rd Adhyaaya, First Sutra, ॐ तदन्तरप्रतिपत्तौ रंहति संपरिष्वक्तः प्रश्ननिरूपणाभ्याम् ॐ।
 This means that, while moving from one Body to the other, Jiwa carries with it, the Sanskaras, which are the consequences of the Karmas- Pancha maha bhutas, in the form of the Sanskaras.  

Thus, Sanskaras, are the inevitable baggage from the past Karmas. Thus, Vasanas, in terms of the Purva Janma SaMskaras have significant influence on our life and its activities. In Bhagavadgita, 

Krishna says that the family in which a Jiwa would be born, would be determined by past deeds and sanskaara.

It is only when we get freed from the influence of all the Three Gunas and hence Karma Lepas (TrigunaatItva), that we become liberated from the Vasanas fully. So much so good

Vadirajachar Panchamukhi V R
Vadirajachar Panchamukhi V R
Dr. V R Panchamukhi, currently VC - of Sanskrit Paathashala at Mantralayam, comes to Mantralayam after finishing an illustrious career spanning several decades with accomplishments in the field of Science & Sanskrit. Youcould look up his Wiki page at for more details.

1 Comment

  1. Yugandhar says:

    Hello Sir,

    The inbetween sanskrit script could be put in English itself so all level of Sri rayaru devoties could follow you perfectly.
    It my humble request.

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