Power of the vasanas

The four sages, the Kumaras, headed by Sanaka, who are

filled with spiritual brilliance, arrive at the court of Prithu

to impart spiritual instructions. The crux of their teaching

is that one has to get rid of the mental impurities that make one yearn for worldly pleasures, pointed out Swami

Paramasukhananda in a discourse.

These remain because of the vasanas that one has

accumulated through the cycle of birth and are responsible

for an individual’s tendencies and habits. For instance, a fisherwoman is at home with the smell of fish and she fails to appreciate the fragrance of flowers, while it is the reverse situation with a flower seller. The sad plight of every jivatma is that when the vasanas get strengthened by evil associations, the life time is spent chasing worldly attractions. One fails to see the obvious flaws in this glitter. It is a known fact that even constant and repeated determination fails to make a drunkard give up the practice, while a non-drinker can be led into this

habit without much efort. The sages advise that the only

way to escape the power of the vasanas is by seeking the

company of the wise and the pious. In their company, one

gets frequent opportunities to listen to the Lord’s

incarnations and His auspicious qualities.

One is also initiated into the truth about the perishable

body and the immortal atma. A discerning mind that is

able to distinguish the atma from the body can train itself

to turn the focus away from bodily concerns. Sabhari, hailing from the hunter family, exemplifies this truth. She gets the association of Sage Matanga and gives up the hunter’s way of life to serve the sage. She becomes a devotee of Rama, is blessed by His presence and finally gains salvation.