Freedom from Samskaras and vasanas leads to liberation
When the chitta is free from vasanas and samaskaras, the light of consciousness reflects unobstructed in our buddhi and we experience the bliss and peace eternal. We are free from suffering and birth and death.
The whole process of yoga is to free our chitta (subconscious mind) from all egoic tendencies (vasanas and samaskaras) and keep the mind focused in its source -the silence space within; a concentrated mind in its source is meditation.
But in order to free our chitta from the already accumulated in it vasanas and samaskaras is also necessary to stop create new vasanas and samskaras. If we continue to create new vasanas we will never be free from bondahe and delusion.
Thus one of the most important goals in yoga is to develop our capacity to stop the creation of new samskaras and vasanas.
Vasanas and samskaras are produced in the chitta due to identification, projection, imagination, superimposition. If we want to stop this perpetual process of creation of new vasanas then we must learn not to identify with thoughts, emotions and external objects. We must learn keep our mind introspected and aware of the silent space within. We must develop in the highest degree our capacity of discrimination (viveka) and dispassion (vairagya) viz. indifference for sense objects.
As long as we are thirsty to experience sense pleasures it is impossible not to identify with the objects, thoughts and emotions. As long as we identify with them new samskaras and vasanas are created and our bondage and delusion continue and thus profound meditation and self-realization are impossible.
Intense Dispassion can be cultivated only when we have cultivated discrimination in a high degree through, satsang, study of sacred texts, reflection, contemblation, self-enquiry, observation, Japa nama, purification, devotion, holy company, selfless service or work done without the expectation of fruits and without egoism.
It becomes obvious that we have developed discrimination highly when we see in sense pleasures only pain and suffering. The highest degree of discrimination is to see only Brahman or consciousness as real and all else as unreal. If we still believe that we can find happiness in external objects and that we can have pleasures without to experience suffering our Buddhi is still deluded by lust and desire.
With the aid of discrimination and dispassion, self-awareness and control of senses and mind we must stop identification and the production of new samskaras and vasanas. We must cultivate the witness attitude and remain always rooted in the silence within.
Then and only then gradually we can free ourselves from the clutches of the ego and experience the peace and Bliss of our true Self or Atman which nature is Satchitananda (Existence- consciousness-bliss absolute).
~ Atman Nityananda
Effective Pratyahara Stops the Creation of New Samskaras and New Vasanas
by Swami Chidananda
When Pratyahara is practised in such a comprehensive way, then gradually the outer world starts to lose its hold upon the mind of the Yogi. Outer objects and their names and form appearances lose their power to influence and change the mind of the Yogi.
The Yogi retains his spiritual consciousness and awareness in the midst of the objects and in spite of the objects. That is effective Pratyahara. That is success in Pratyahara. It results now in a great game when, thus established in proper Pratyahara, the Yogi reaches a stage where new Samskaras and new Vasanas are no longer created. Otherwise, the creation of new Samskaras and new Vasanas is a perpetual process. There is no end to it. Normally, as you move in the outer world, you go on creating newer and newer Samskaras and Vasanas. It poses a serious problem to the Yogi. He has difficulty enough in trying to deal with the Vasanas and Samskaras already brought over from his previous birth. And he cannot afford to add on to it a further difficulty of having to deal with fresh Samskaras and Vasanas.
The point to note is that unless you live like a Yogi, it is impossible for you to avoid creating more and more, newer and newer, Samskaras and Vasanas.
The Yogi is able to put a stop to this process of the creation of additional new Samskaras and Vasanas, precisely by the practice of successful and effective Pratyahara. In his case, the perceived objects do not impinge upon the consciousness any more. They pass off like shadows. They do not take root. They do not go and lodge themselves in his Chitta (subconsciousness).
Pratyahara thus wards off the creation of new Vasanas and Samskaras, and through the help of Viveka, Vichara and Vairagya, turns the mind away, and the mind becomes gradually transformed into a Yogic mind, an indrawn mind, an Antarmukha Manas (introspective mind)..
The inveterate tendency of the previous mind to habitually always be running about hither and thither, that innate previous tendency gives place to this newly created nature and quality of remaining inward, of moving towards its own inner centre. That is a great achievement. That is a vast stride, much ground cover and it is this indrawn mind that is the hallmark of the Yogi. It is a specific quality of the Yogic mind to be at repose within and the ground is now prepared for taking advantage of this state of the mind and making use of this indrawn mind to concentrate and focus on the great Lakshya, the Dhyana Lakshya (the object of meditation), the object of Yoga.
What is Yoga ultimately? Yoga is nothing but meditation and it is the indrawn mind that becomes the fit instrument for such meditation.
One who has succeeded in practising Pratyahara becomes a person with Samahita (steady) Chitta, a person with his mind brought under control, a person with a subdued mind. And this subdued mind is a prerequisite for meditation. Where there is Asamahita(unsteady) Chitta, there cannot be any real Dhyana (meditation). This is what all the scriptures say.