So what does Samskara actually mean!? We will review through a few definitions online (from Wikipedia and Yogapedia) and outline a common understanding with input to Samskara.
As per Wikipedia:
Samskaras or sanskaras (Sanskrit: संस्कार) are, in Indian philosophy and Indian religions, mental impressions, recollections, or psychological imprints. In Hindu philosophies, samskaras are a basis for the development of karma theory.
According to various schools of Indian philosophy, every action, intent or preparation by an individual leaves a samskara(impression, impact, imprint) in the deeper structure of the person’s mind. These impressions then await volitional fruition in that individual’s future, in the form of hidden expectations, circumstances or a subconscious sense of self-worth. These Samskaras manifest as tendencies, karmic impulses, subliminal impressions, habitual potencies or innate dispositions. In ancient Indian texts, the theory of Samskara explains how and why human beings remember things, and the effect that memories have on people’s suffering, happiness and contentment.Source: Wikipedia
Yogapedia beautifully expands:
It is said that a samskara is created after a vritti, or thought wave, arises in the mind. Once this thought wave has left normal consciousness, it sinks down into the subconscious or unconscious mind, where it remains in the form of a samskara.
Samskaras also serve as memory stores that hold all past experiences in perfect detail. When memories are recalled, the samskaras come back to the level of the conscious mind in waves of recollection.
Samskaras supposedly have the potential to influence a person’s future because they house hidden expectations and unconscious ideas that are waiting to come to fruition.
According to Hindu beliefs of reincarnation, every person is born with samskaras already, which are embedded and imprinted in their minds from past lives. During a person’s lifetime, they will gain many more samskaras. In this way, samskaras are associated with karmic theory. The actions and karma that one accumulates in one lifetime will be passed on to one’s future reincarnation through one’s samskaras.
Thich Nhat Hanh – loving Buddhist monk describes Samskara as
”The word “formation” (samskara in Sanskrit) means something that manifests when many conditions come together.
When we look at a flower, we can recognize many of the elements that have come together to make the flower manifest in that form. We know that without the rain there can be no water and the flower cannot manifest. And we see that sunshine is also there.
The earth, the compost, the gardner, time, space and many elements came together to help this flower manifest. The flower doesn’t have a separate existence; its a formation.
Using the word “formation” reminds us that there is no separate core of existence in them. There is only a coming together of many, many conditions for something to manifest.”
Therefore, Samskara’s are basically deep embedded emotional muscular impulses that are a result of all our accumulated experiences, so far. We are born with Samskara’s and during our lifetime, acquire new ones. Positive or Negative, is indeed dependent upon perspective. However, Negative/Positive Samskara’s could be shifted bringing it to our awareness and residually developing new habits with discipline.
Many times, we act without thought, or rather impulsively. It is the ‘Samskara’ with in us that drives us to do so. Sometimes, such an action results positively, and sometimes, negatively. We all carry emotional baggage deeply embedded into us. Developing new habits engrains into our Samskaras. Our intention with Samskara Tribe is to connect to our deeper self and develop practices that would enrich our Samskaras. We strive to meditate conscious, alert, focused habits, to enrich our Samskaras and eliminate ‘impulsivity’ out of the equation, merging thought, and action, as one, flow.
Why did I name this Brand Samskara?
Honestly, I just liked the word at first, I didn’t fully grasp the meaning in the beginning.
My understanding of it, has grown now, however, I feel like I haven’t fully grasped it yet.
Maybe, we are always seeking to grasp ideas and imaginations, the mirror just gets clearer along the way but there is never a point of maximum clarity. There is just reflection in time, and we transition from perfection to perfection. I realised, life is a challenge of keeping self discipline and habit interesting, spontaneous and colourful – not boring, not mundane, constantly enriching.
Everything lies in the language you speak to yourself. Neuro Linguistic programming.
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