Sanskaras (1/4) – Impressions on mind

What, really, are sanskaras?

‘Impressions’ is the literal meaning. Whatever impression the mind receives is called sanskaras, and then these sanskaras again have to be spent and experienced. All your actions and desires are given shape by these impressions. For example: In a camera you take different impressions of one certain movement, and many impressions shape that one movement. When you see one movement in the film you know how many pieces go to make up that one film. These are, let us say, sanskaras. They are imprinted on the mind. Now, naturally, any action, any thought, any desire will have its impression. Good actions, good desires, good thoughts will have good sanskaras; bad actions, bad thoughts, bad desires will have bad sanskaras. But good or bad — both bind, because both have to be experienced. Both have to be spent. So it is impossible to be rid of sanskaras by one’s own self, because whatever you do, it binds.

You may think the highest thought ― it binds. So, too, does pity, compassion, virtue, gratitude; all these help to bind. ‘I pity,‘ I am grateful,’ ‘I fast,’ ‘I pray,‘ ‘ I want God,‘ ‘ I want Union with God.’ All these bind; — so how to escape from these bindings? You see, and this mere seeing binds. This will leave its impressions on the mind. You scratch your head, this too, binds. There is satisfaction. That is why the soul has to go through numberless phases of illusion, because duality is based on sanskaras. You seek the Supreme. As a matter of fact, you are supreme, but you are entangled in illusion. How can you escape?

Everything binds, everything gives a sense of ‘I’. Whatever you aspire to binds, and so everyone, whether poor, rich, healthy, sick, philosopher, sinner or saint, have moments of depression and unhappiness due to the soul being burdened with this load of impressions on its mind.

(Message given by Baba while at Meher Ashram, Nasik, May 5, 1937)

–The Awakener, Vol 16, No. 2, p53

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