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Living Without Desire in the World Today

“Desire” is the usual translation of the Sanskrit word kama, which means desire, passion, or lust. Desire arises from the ego and is always “I want” with little regard for the principles of spiritual life or the ultimate consequences of fulfilling such desire.

Twelve Key Concepts in Yoga

A clear understanding of the important concepts regarding yoga meditation is important to all yoga practitioners. The Sanskrit language is rich in concise terminology about the philosophy and psychology of yoga, and the Atma Jyoti Website has compiled a useful collection of these terms in “A Brief Sanskrit Glossary.”

The Two Essential Pillars of Yoga

Two things are needed for the ending of mental modifications (vrittis). One is abhyasa–sustained spiritual practice. This is why Krishna speaks of abhyasa yoga. The other is purely psychological: vairagya: “Non-attachment; detachment; dispassion; absence of desire; disinterest; or indifference. Indifference towards and disgust for all worldly things and enjoyments.”

Reincarnation and Memory: Where Do Our Memories Go?

reincarnation and memory

Q: When reincarnated do we retain our current memories and interests, or what it is that makes us feel “ourselves”?

All the memories of our past lives remain in the subconscious mind in the forms of impressions in the mind-substance (chitta) which is a field of magnetic energy. They sort of float around, vibrating individually as samskaras, but those of similar magnetism become attracted to one another and become bundles of samskaras called vasanas. Because of their combined force the vasanas are experienced as impulses, attractions and aversions in the mind.

Thus we enter each life with a definite personality that has the potential of unfoldment and expression in response to the experiences we undergo in that life. However, the responsiveness depends on the evolutionary level of the individual and the character of the experiences.

Evolution and the subconscious

The more evolved a person is, the greater is the level of sensitivity and response. In those of lower evolution the subconscious is truly “buried,” whereas in those of higher development the subconscious and conscious minds influence and interact with one another.

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