Types of Vasanas

Types of Vasanas

Plug by Gideon Tsang
Plug by Gideon Tsang

I had a recent insight into Vasanas I wanted to share. Let’s define some terms as we go.

The “pain body” is our unresolved emotions. The vasana are more subtle than this. After we’ve resolved a lot of old, previously incomplete emotions, we become more conscious of our deeper drivers behind that.

Vasana means unresolved desire or driver. These can express as addictions or latent tendencies. This energy can drive much of our behaviour, seeking resolution.

For example, we may fall in love with someone who doesn’t reciprocate. If it’s mild, our interest will fade and we’ll move on. If it’s medium, we may let go but try to find a replacement version, a way to fulfil the need. But if the vasana is strong, we’ll obsess and be irrational about it and be unwilling to let it go.

Samskara means impressions or grooves from prior strong experiences. They become how we focus our unfulfilled desires (Vasanas) and guide how incomplete experiences unfold. We can think of them as patterns our vasanas follow.

For example, our first serious relationship may have had major issues. If what arose is unresolved in us, it can become an impression that becomes a pattern. No matter how hard we try to find a better partner, they all turn into our ex. This isn’t their doing, it’s how we are that creates the unresolved circumstance again so we can heal. The same can happen with bad landlords or bosses or co-workers or whatever. We’ll find ourselves with a similar problem repeatedly or cyclically until it’s resolved.

Karma means action. But it also refers to unresolved experiences where the action didn’t complete. These are the seeds of future action.

It sounds like unresolved karma and vasana are the same. But there’s a difference. Where unresolved karma is a seed of potential energy awaiting a trigger, vasana has an energy source. They’re plugged in and drive action. They are the trigger. This is how karma and vasana are intertwined.

Unresolved emotions can be resolved by being felt and thus experienced, completing the karma. However, vasana themselves can’t all be released just by being experienced. Sometimes you have to resolve the energy source. In other words, unplug it. This is more subtle than emotions.

The energy source itself is our chakras. Unplugging a vasana requires resolving what is maintaining the connection. There seems to be three types of maintainers:

1 – driven by unresolved trauma or pain. This is a common style and may not be experienced as different from resolving experiences the usual way. Perhaps it just has a little more charge behind it. We resolve the experience and the energy connection resolves with it.

2 – driven by a positive law of nature. This means a more positive desire or driver. The driver is maintained by a law of nature that is helping our growth or learning. This may be something we were born with. It is resolved by completion of learning, dharma, or similar.

For example, we have a driver to write a symphony. It will keep coming until the project is done, often intertwined with other life events.

3 – driven by a dark law of nature. This is a more problematic one as they’re maintaining the drives to create the energy they like. For example, culturing fear, anger, or depression.

This isn’t evil. They’re just culturing what we’ve created in ourselves for their benefit, like the salesman using fear in making a sale. That only works if we’re fearful.

It’s akin to our gut biome. If we eat a lot of sugary foods, we’ll culture bacteria that will tell the brain we need more. When they’re hungry, we’ll crave it. But if we learn to redirect our attention and don’t feed the beast, those microbes die back in a few days. Then the addiction passes, and the demand fades. A few better habits and we keep the balance. 🙂

With the more subtle laws of nature, inertia (tamas) dominates dark ones, so they’ll often hang around, waiting for things to get “better” even after the body fills with light. But at some point, we become clear enough to see the dynamic and learn to no longer engage it. And eventually, the dregs are cleared.

I’ve talked about “chakra databanks” before. Most nadis (energy channels) in the body interconnect the chakras and sub-chakras. The chakra databanks radiate from the chakras like a Christmas ornament. They don’t connect with other centres. These seem to be where the vasana are found.

This suggests the #2 type are our gifts and the #3 type our burdens. Vasana can be sustained across lifetimes or passed down in families. They continue to seek a way to resolve or complete their expression. This shows up as drivers.

I’ve also talked about how the databanks broadcast energetically to others. People with some energy awareness may find some of our drivers obvious. But because we’re in the middle of it and seeing through those glasses, it’s harder for us to recognize them. How we respond to circumstances can be our first clue. And that annoying tendency for patterns to repeat…

We can resolve all of this. It takes time, a little refined perception, and a bit of personal insight. But if we shift to a healing trend, we’ll make progress. Life will become smoother and more enjoyable. That’s worth the effortless effort.

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  1. K

    David, Re: item 3, the ones driven by a “dark law of nature” – I actually recognize them. They create a greed for the type of experiences (in my case reading about certain types of hurtful distressing situations) that feed them and keep them juiced. Ultimately it is like drinking a lot of good tasting sugary drinks – they taste good passing through your lips but leave one with a sense of unhealthiness. I am hoping that praying and mantra chanting will help alleviate the negative drivers.

    1. Hi K
      Excellent. Being able to sense the driver is key to its resolution. There are degrees of sensing and degrees of allowing an experience that contribute to resolution.
      Whatever helps improve those for you will help it resolve.
      We all have things like that in us, calling to our darkness.

    2. Just a general comment here. There can be a number of kinds of drivers behind any given behaviour.
      Say you have an addiction to sweets. Bad habit? Seeking a hit due to low energy? Feeling bad and wanting a lift? Fearful, so the body is wanting more fat reserves? Self-reward? All of the above? (laughs)
      The thing is, you can’t figure this out with the mind. You have to be willing to look, to feel or sense into it. And to be patient and forgiving with yourself.
      Many of our bigger drivers have been around for a very long time. It takes time to allow the experience, then let it go. Sometimes, it will have layers. Those are big ones, worth the time.

    1. Hi Vandana
      Yes, many articles on this blog are advanced. As the article mentions, you have resolve a bunch of the “pain body” or emotional drama first. Otherwise there’s too much noise to recognize whats behind that.
      Then when it’s your experience, these nuances can become clear.

  2. Jim

    Hi David – fascinating details – Thank you! Yes, this process of clearing prepares us for going Cosmic, transcending the addiction to the Self.
    The point of clearing vasanas related to the Self is so we can fulfill our obligation to our Cosmic body and clear vasanas for individuals, families, and communities – even more.
    Awakening to our universal nature and seeing it in everyone is an awesome step. Brahman then moves this into Cosmic action, completion, and freedom.
    It is the natural progression as we clear our closely held karmas to seamlessly continue with others’, as the limits of the body become less absolute.
    On the one hand, these are dedications that demand complete and uncompromising success, no effort too great, and on the other they are simply the next obvious occupation, once we are seamlessly integrated into the mind of Mother Divine; living Totality. 🙂

    1. Good point, Jim.
      Something I didn’t mention is that there can be large contractions, vasana, and samskara in the collective. This isn’t just personal.
      We’ll have a thread (energy connection) into certain ones so we can facilitate collective healing once enough of our “personal” junk is more clear.
      Once we recognize we’re cosmic and our body is cosmic (universal), the same healing will be in the whole. We experience healing in similar ways but the normal is collective then. Not “my” body, our body.
      There’s been a few whoopers in the lower chakras coming to the surface in recent weeks that I and several I know have been clearing. 🙂

      1. Jim

        Yes, the ‘Lollipop’ consciousness of the wealthier Westerners – near total attention on intellect and discrimination; an unhealthy detachment from the heart – and the ‘reverse-Lollipop’ consciousness of the less wealthy – attention on sensual achievement (aka sex, drugs, and rock and roll) due to a relative lack of options, though much more in touch emotionally. Each is incomplete.
        Basically the wealthier West needs to drop its judgments, lose the egotism born of economic success, get healthy sexually and emotionally by enlivening the entire being, realize that actions speak a lot louder than words, help others in need, and there we are. The template has been set, so it simply needs to propagate. 🙂

  3. Guru

    Wah! Now I know from your blogs come from, 2nd one! I appreciate all that you share. As you say what you write is not from Person David…May Lord Shiva bless you on this shivaratri. Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram.

    1. (laughs) You raise an interesting point, Guru. In an old article, I talked about the distinctions between purpose, mission, and vision.
      Mission or “I will” is often driven by a past negative experience. We act to help others avoid the same.
      But to do this, we have to move past the negative experience. Otherwise, it can become a #3. That doesn’t motivate a desire to help.
      In other words, a #2 can have it’s origins in a “bad” experience. In my case, it was not having support or understanding of what was unfolding.
      Life is challenging. But if we can learn to grow through whatever lands on our plate, we’ll be fulfilling why we’re here. Not always easy, but worth it.
      Lord Shiva is a blessing. 🙂

  4. scott

    Hi David,
    I’ve noticed that somatic practices can be a great assist with this kind of work. It’s been my experience that sometimes drivers can even dissolve with very little reflective work; solely due to the smoothening out of energy flows within the body. It’s as if the “errant” pranic flows which maybe get stuck in those grooves you mentioned get smoothened out and rerouted, through somatic based practices , into a healthier, natural , “”corrected”
    flow, and consequently so does the the mind (which is conjoined with prana). Sort of attacking the problem from another angle.

    1. Hi Scott
      Yes, it works both ways. Stretch and rest the body and energy can break up and start flowing. Transcend the mind and the deep rest triggers release and healing.
      My only caveat here is to make the process effortless. You don’t want an exercise program – that has a different purpose. This isn’t about reaching a goal but letting go into it. Flowing.
      Raja Yoga blends several techniques including asana (postures), pranayama to balance the prana, and meditation to transcend into samadhi.

  5. Jose

    Hi David,
    When you use the term pain body, you are using it as Eckhart Tolle frames it, right?
    The Vasanas are deeper or more hidden. Can we notice the pattern and of behavior and then put awareness to it when it arrives or arises?

    1. Hi Jose
      Basically yes. Right, the Vasanas underlie that.
      Yes, noticing a repeating pattern is one of the big ways people realize it’s not out there but within us, causing events in the world.
      Noticing the pattern, then noticing the feeling or energy behind it is how we can help resolve that pattern. The energy is the driver so unless we resolve the driver, it will come up again.

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