Friday, 19 July 2013

the three types of vasanas


Practical  steps  to  spirituality-  section  6  part  16 

 The  three  types  of  vasanas  that  obstruct   Self-  knowledge  .

                           The  three  types  of  vasanas  that  obstruct  Self-  knowledge  :  Loka  vasana,  deha  vasana  and  sastra  vasana. . The  vasanas  hold  a  powerful  hold  over  the  seeker's  mind  ,though  he  has  studied  the  sastras  , he  is  still    not  able  to  free  himself  from  the  imperfection  within  because  the  mind  is  sullied  by  the  powerful  hold  of  the  vasanas. 1. Loka  vasana  : when  we  fashion  our  lives  according  to  the  standards  set  up  by  society   and  when  we  want  to  earn   others'   appreciation   and  respect  by  imitating  its  false  and  wrong  habits  , then  it  is  called  loka  vasana.  - worldly tendency  .  . The  first  thing  that  we  have  to  do  is  to  stop  living   up  to  the  Joneses. . A seeker  has  to  learn  not  to  live  according  to  others'  opinion   but  to  learn  to  accept  censure  and  praise  alike. .

                          2. Sastra  vasana  :   Only  reveling   in  the  thoughts  of  the  sastras,  being  attracted  by  the  intellectual  thrill  that  this  knowledge  provides  , without  living  this  knowledge  is  called  sastra  vasana   . (  most  of  us  seekers   , I  am  sure  , will  fall  under  this  category  ). Sastras  are  only  pointers  to  the  Truth  . One  has  to renounce  the  pointer  and  turn  in the  direction  indicated by   the  pointer  . The  intellectual  thrill  one  gets  from  the  study  of  the  sastras  is  not  the  very  Experience   itself  of  the  Self  ,  it  is  like  mistaking  the  menu-card  for  the  food. . One  should  not  become  excessively    preoccupied   with  the  study  of  the  sastras. . The  Vedas  ,themselves,  warn  us  seekers   as  to  how  the  pre- occupation  with   studies  could  become  an  impediment  to  our  spiritual  progress. 

                     3. Deha  vasana  : . The  clinging  attachment  to  the  body   and  sense  pleasures is  called  deha  vasana . Sankaracarya   says  "  whoever  seeks  to  rediscover  the  Self  , while  devoting  himself  to  fattening  of  the  body  is  like  one  who  proceeds  to  cross  a  river   on  the  back  of  a  crocodile  ,  mistaking  it  for  a  log  of  wood  " . The  body  is  just  a  vehicle   given  to  us   for  our  spiritual  journey. ,  to  reach  the  Supreme  . .The   body  has  to  be  fed  properly  and  kept  perfectly  fit  ,  but   the  seeker  has  to   give  up  living in  the  flesh  as  the  flesh   and  recognise  that  he  is  much  more  than  the  body. 

                      So  long  as  the  seeker  remains  in  these  vasanas  ,  bondage  will  continue  to  exist. , inspite  of  the  intellectual  conviction  that  the  Self  is  of  the  nature  of  Sat- Cit -Ananda 

to  be  continued........ 


  1. Excellent Post once again Ma'M, love your wisdom, thanks!!!!

  2. Respected Madam. I have found most lucid explanation of the term 'Vasanas'. I request you to help me understand 'Sanskaras - Karma - Vasana' and also help me find out ways to transcend them. Namaskarams. A.Srinivasan