The Subconscious part of the Chitta (Mind)

In yoga philosophy, the subconscious part of the Chitta is referred to as the "samskaras." (also pronounced Sanaskars) The Chitta is the mind stuff, the substance of the mind, and the samskaras are the impressions, memories, and past experiences that are stored in the subconscious mind. The samskaras are the patterns of thought and behavior that are formed through our experiences and conditioning and that shape our perceptions, emotions, and actions. They shape our worldviews, beliefs, and attitudes.

Samskaras are considered to be the root cause of our behavior and the source of our suffering. They are the ingrained tendencies, habits, and patterns of behavior that we have developed over time and that are often unconscious. They are the product of past experiences and the experiences that we have had over many lifetimes.

Samskaras are seen as obstacles to self-awareness and spiritual growth and are said to be overcome through the practice of yoga, self-awareness, and meditation. The goal of yoga is to purify the mind and to clear away the layers of samskaras that obscure the true nature of the self in order to achieve a state of inner peace and understanding.

Smriti, Memory and Carl Jung

In Jungian psychology, the equivalent of smriti would be the concept of "memory." Memory is the cognitive process by which we encode, store, and retrieve information. It is the ability of the mind to retain and recall past experiences, knowledge, and information.

Jung believed that memory is not only a cognitive process but also has a psychological aspect, and he linked it to the concept of the "personal unconscious." The personal unconscious is the part of the psyche that contains memories and experiences that are not currently in conscious awareness but can be brought to consciousness through various means, such as free association, active imagination, or psychoanalysis.

Jung believed that the personal unconscious is a repository of all past experiences, including not only personal experiences but also collective experiences that are inherited from the past and shared by all members of a culture or society. This concept is similar to the Samskaras in yoga philosophy, which refers to the impressions or memories that are stored in the subconscious mind that shape our worldview, beliefs, and attitudes.

So, Memory in Jungian psychology is equivalent to Smriti in yoga philosophy; both refer to the ability of the mind to retain and recall past experiences, knowledge, and information.

Smriti and Samskaras

Smriti and samskaras (also pronounced Sanaskars) are related concepts in yoga philosophy, but they have quite different meanings.

Smriti refers to the act of remembering or recollection. It is the process of bringing memories and past experiences to the surface of the mind. Smriti is the ability to recall past experiences, knowledge, and information. It is the capacity of the mind to retain and retrieve memories.

Samskaras, on the other hand, refer to the impressions or memories that are stored in the subconscious mind. They are the patterns of thought and behavior that are formed through our experiences and conditioning. Samskaras are the product of past experiences and the experiences that we have had over many lifetimes. They shape our worldviews, beliefs, and attitudes. Samskaras are the ingrained tendencies, habits and patterns of behavior that we have developed over time and that are often unconscious.

So, Smriti is the act of remembering or recollection, while Samskaras are the impressions, memories, and past experiences that are stored in the subconscious mind. Samskaras are the product of past experiences and the experiences that we have had over many lifetimes and shape our worldview, beliefs, and attitudes.

 

Types of Sanaskars

1. Klesha (impulse): afflictions (something that produces sorrow or pain) *negative Sanaskar* example of kleshas: ignorance. strong sense of ego, anxiety, attachment, hatred, and irrational fears.

2. Vidya (knowledge-based) *positive Sanaskar* Vidya is good knowledge that we get from the world, correct sense perception from the world. In the subconscious.

3. Bhoge Sanskars (desire and fear of pain) is a negative Sanaskar. Bhoge is ad eep-rooted impression of pleasure and pain, come as different types of memories. Also, Bhoge sanskaras can be solved by changing our thought patterns. Memories of pain or pleasure, basically, this is trauma.

4. Karmashaya (the result of action) Translation is: Annihilation or termination of all work or activity, which can be positive or negative.

Action in the real world has a physical effect and mental effect; the mental effect is Karmashaya.

Karmashaya or Karma-ksaya is the process of destroying or reducing the power of these past actions by working on the level of the mind, emotions, and actions. It can be achieved through the practice of yoga, which includes techniques such as meditation, pranayama, self-inquiry, and the cultivation of virtues such as non-violence, truthfulness, and compassion. When one can purify and transform the mind and emotions, the power of past actions is reduced and one can live in a state of greater freedom and fulfillment.

5. Nirodhah (no mental activity) *positive Sanaskar* sanaskar of restrain/control will help to build better character; this sanaskar can keep other negative sanskaras from coming into manifestation because one sanaskar controls or affects the other.

6. Prajna (pra-gni-ya) and Bhakti (derived from spiritual practice and devotion) Deep-level sanaskar, complete control of the mind.

 

Stages of manifestation of Sanaskars

  • Prasupta - dormant state of klesh (children).
  • Udra: fully manifested state of klesha (uncontrolled youth).
  • Vicchina: Hidden, one emotion controlled by another emotion, example: anger is controlled by fear of the police, which leads to repression.
  • Tanu: Attentive and under control, in a constant state of control over desires and emotions. At this stage, the desires and negative emotions are not strong.
  • Niroddah: overcome and controlled due to good positive sanaskars.
  • Dagda Bija Avastha: State of burnt seed, cannot germinate, so no fear of adverse vritti, or further sanaskars.
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