Q: You talk a lot about vasanas. Could you please tell me exactly what they are and how they function?
AS: Vasanas are habits of the mind. They are mistaken identifications and the repeated thought patters that occur again and again. It is the vasanas which cover up the experience of the Self. Vasanas arise, catch your attention , and pull you toward towards the world rather than inwards towards the Self. This happens so often and so continuously that the mind never gets a chance to rest or to understand its real nature.
Cocks like to claw the ground. It is a perpetual habit with them. Even if they are standing on bare rock they still try to scratch the ground.
Vasanas function in much the same way. They are habits and patterns of thought that appear again and again even if they are not wanted. Most of our ideas and thoughts are incorrect. When they rise habitually as vasanas they brainwash us into thinking that they are true. The fundamental vasanas such as 'I am the body' or 'I am the mind' have appeared in us so many times that we automatically accept that they are true. Even our desire to transcend our vasanas is a vasana. When we think 'I must meditate' or 'I must make an effort' we are just organising a fight between two different vasanas. You can only escape the habits of the mind by abiding in consciousness as consciousness.
Be who you are. Be as you are. Just be still. Ignore all the vasanas that rise in the mind and instead fix your attention in the Self.