Samskaras, Vasnasas & Karma or How Our Past Makes Our Present and Controls Our Future

This subject has been explained in countless books and innumerable web pages. Therefore, I will only offer a short condensed version of this process.

Any action we perform to whose outcome we are attached to by a desire for pleasure or an avoidance of pain will produce a Samskara  (an impression) in our 'mind stuff" (I use this term because it is not just our mind because we will carry this impression with us through our future births until it is eradicated by being burned or used up).

These Samskaras or impressions will cause Vasanas or tendencies, urges or desires to be carried in Our Hearts.

These Vasanas or tendencies or desires in our Hearts will make us more likely to think certain thoughts to justify our Desires and to fulfill our Desires. These thoughts are called Vrittis in Sanskrit.

These Vrittis or thoughts will cause us to act to fulfill our desires.

Thus, our Samskaras or past actions (Karma) lead us to perfrom new actions (Karma) and so the cycle will continue until we decide to break it.

It is really that simple.

Those of you who know how I think will already realize that most of the time when I say something is simple, it will also mean it is very hard to accomplish well.

We cannot control which Samskaras or tendencies we presently have because we cannot change the past. We also cannot change the Vasanasa or desires they will produce because we cannot change the prsent either. Any action we would attempt to perform to change the prersent would inherently have to take place in the future and thus would be too late.

The only place in this cycle we can affect a change to is what will happen in the future. That means we have to control the Actions which arise from our Desires.

By contolling our Actions, we will lessen or eliminate the Deisres by lessening the strengh of the Impressions or Samskaras in the future.

We can control our actions by using our Bodhi or Intellect to determine the Rightness or Wrongness of a desire. Therefore, a clear, sharp mind armed with Correct Knowledge leasd to a Pure Heart.  

A Pure Heart leads to Wisdom.

Wisdom leads to Enlightenment, which happens only when one has no more Karma. This means there are no more Samskaras leading to no more Vasanas producing no more Action to whose result we are attched to.

This is why Meditation and self-Reflection is considered so important.