Samskara - Refinement
The word Samskara has got several meanings. One important meaning
Samskrita language is a well-refined language, hence it is named so.
Vedic rituals are also know by the name Samskaras.
Forty such Samskaras are laid down by the Vedas.
Samskaras are done for attaining mental purity.
All our experiences in life are being stored inside our memory, in the
form of thought patterns.
They are also called samskaras or vasanas.
Here, I would like to elaborate the meaning - refinement.
Human beings are born with free will. Unlike the animals, we have the
choice to reprogramme our lives. We can grow, change, refine
Samskara or refinement can be approached from four different angles.
1. Human angle
As a human being, we are blessed with this physical body. Our physical
body is the foundation for our life. To achieve anything in life, we
need to keep fit. Proper diet and exercise helps in physical
Our mind is called the subtle body. We have to enjoy a calm, and
balanced mind. This in mental refinement.
We need to have a clear, thinking intellect.
Entire Tarka Sastra is designed to train the intellect to think properly.
Integration between body, mind and intellect is very essential for the
refinement of a human being.
2. Doer angle (Karta)
We do perform various activities everyday. Many of these are
impulse-driven. Most of the times, impulse-driven actions are not good
for oneself, as well as for the society.
Reducing the number of impulse-driven actions and increasing the
number of deliberate actions is called refinement from a doer angle.
3. Enjoyer angle (Bhokta)
As a result of our actions, we do enjoy the fruits of them everyday.
Those experiences are full of pleasure and pain. We don't have a
choice in that. We have no control over so many aspects like people's
behavior, our own future etc., If one gets disturbed by experiences,
it will affect one's actions.
As a refined enjoyer, we need to have tremendous strength to withstand
the experiences of life.
A receptive enjoyer learns lessons from every experience.
4. Spiritual Seeker angle
As a spiritual seeker, one should have faith and association in three
factors - God, Guru and Sastram. Nourishing one' devotion and having
constant association with God, Guru and Sastram is very essential for
(Based on Swami Paramarthanandaji's talk)
for Indian Heritage