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He who is a slave to impulses and tendencies is devoid of Jnana. He is, in truth, a weakling! But let me assure him, he need not be alarmed. As soon as Vasanas are uprooted, he can earn back the Divine nature that he has lost by neglect. The Vasanas invade the realm of the heart; they cause endless trouble. They remind you of pleasures, agitating the memory of past experiences, and you start craving for them again. The cravings make the senses and their leader, the Manas, to engage themselves in brisk activities; there is no escape for them from this. So man attempts to collect the things he craves for and to enjoy them. All this takes place in the twinkling of an eye, so to say. The Vasanas operate so subtly and so powerfully. Just as the seed contains within itself the trunk, the branches, the twigs, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits; so too, in the Vasana, all this lies dormant. The Vasanas are the cause of all the objective happiness of man. If they are absent, the mind is pellucid and pure. If they are present all purity is ruined; they are obstacles in the path of Truth, of Atma and of immortality. A mind free from Vasana is transmuted and is no longer Mind.
Nature or Prakriti is the world of Vasanas. The Mind is attracted towards Nature and the external objects of the world by means of this tendency for attachment and it starts contemplating on the objects and dwelling on the qualities, all on account of these Vasanas. If one has no Vasana his mind will not be affected at all by the objective world. The Manas is like a piece of cloth; it takes on any colour with which it is dyed. Sathwika Vasanas will make it white, Rajasic Vasanas will change it into red; while Thamasic Vasanas will give it a black colour. The mind is shaped by the type of Vasanas with which it is filled. Man has to undertake Dhyanam and Dharana in order to destroy these Vasanas. The mind is but a bundle of Vasanas.
Some aspirants say to themselves that in spite of many years of steady practice, they have yet to acquire success in Dhyanam and Dharana. The reason need not be specially pointed out. It is just this: they have not been able to uproot the Vasanas! Therefore, such practioners must strive to conquer innate tendencies. They must fortify themselves with greater faith, and act.
If the Sadhaka is disturbed now and then by impure Vasanas, he must overcome
them by his will power and his spiritual exercises. The Jivanmuktha has
burnt out his Vasanas, but the Grihastha or householder is cultivating
them. There is no profit in simply controlling them; a cobra becomes harmless
only when its fangs are plucked out; similarly, their roots must be burnt.
Then only man can attain the Brahmam.