17 September 2010, 01:36 PM
What is Samskara? I read in "Yoga: Immortality and Freedom" that it's the activity of the subconscious mind. But I read somewhere else that it's just a ritual. Soo which is it?
17 September 2010, 03:17 PM
संस्कार saṃskāra has several meanings ...
putting together , forming well , making perfect , accomplishment , embellishment adornment , purification , cleansing , making ready , preparation , dressing (of food) , refining of metals , polishing of gems
saṃskāra is also correctness , purity - especially of pronunciation or expression
Yet it also means any purificatory ceremony which purifies from the taint of sin ( including birth).
Now as I understand it there's 12 such ceremonies which may be exercised the by the first three twice-born classes.
Others more knowledgable then me may wish to lay out the 12; Some say too there are 40 such saṃskāras that can be exercised.
What would be an example of one of the 12 saṃskāra-s? Upanayana - the sacred thread ceremony (yajñopavītam).
Another definition that is use often:
saṃskāra as the faculty of memory , mental impression or recollection , impression on the mind of acts done in a former state of existence .
This is like the word vāsanā that I use when talking about patañjali's yogadarśana ( yoga sutra-s) ; it means the impression of anything remaining dormant yet with the
ability to sprout in the mind. Some say unconsciously residing in the mind ( I am not a fan of this word 'unconscious' ).
Also vāsanā can be viewed as the present consciousness of past perceptions; knowledge derived from memory
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