When we perceive an object or try to evaluate a situation, the sense organs (jnanendriyas) bring in their reports first. Then our mind compiles and presents to the intellect for final judgement. But the very ability to judge arises from thinking and rationalizing. The intellect is conditioned by a factor in us which the modern psychologists call the Unconscious. This unconscious is composed of impressions, the personality has gathered from its own thoughts and actions in the past. These impressions were called Vasanas in our Hindu scriptures. Vasanas are the result of the past. What we did in the past are the causes of the present vasanas. Vasana is the cause and action is the effect. Again, Action becomes the cause and vasana, the effect. Thus it goes on like the phenomenon of egg and chick. Vasana is the seed of action, but unmanifest. Each vasana manifests as an action. The unmanifest vasana is dormant in our potential nature. In the first stage, they first appear as thoughts in our intellect. So we see that our present vasanas entertain our thoughts. In the second stage , vasanas express as desires in our mind. So again, our desires will be the nature of our vasanas. So vasanas exhibit as Desire in the mind And then Act at body levels. If a man is a drunkard, he has drink-vasanas and grabs a bottle of whisky immediately. One can be a singer or a carpenter, as a result of his vasanas. So long as the vasanas exist, we think, desire and act according to them. Every one of us is undeniably an expression of our past – our vasanas. The total exhaustion of vasanas is the exalted state of Self-realisation. These vasanas are to be intelligently eliminated. If the vasanas are healthy ones, the problems get easily solved. Vasanas produce our inherent nature. Our intellect is a product of vasanas. They must be first purified and exhausted through appropriate actions. The basic material composing thee human personality is vasanas. Let us deal with an example. In the temple, the deity is in the innermost sanctum. That is dark. A small lamp burns there. The priest lights a piece of camphor from it and now the darkness is dispelled. Light is revealed and the deity is well seen by the devotee. The temple represents the human being and the deity, the Atma, the supreme Self within you. The Self is not known to us. So to reach the self, one must cross through the various layers of one’s personality. When we reach the inner core, we get the knowledge of Self. Vasana, in Sanskrit, means scent. If our vasanas are good, we are pleasant and if it is bad, we are foul.Thus we see that vasanas produce our personality traits. Though vasanas ar insubstantial, they do make up the substantial human form. The preceptor helps us burn our vasanas in the fire of knowledge and this leads us to Self-realisation. Unlike an animal, a human being has the freedom of action independence because he has the unique faculty of self-effort. This can modify or change the pattern of vasanas. So we can purify ourselves from unpleasant vasanas because individual perfection alone can lead to world perfection. Now, how best can we individually purify our actions and redeem ourselves from the compelling encrustations of vasanas ? The technique advised in Gita is Karma Yoga – the way of performing all actions in an attitude of selfless dedication to a desirable goal. That is the subtle technique of re-tuning our shattered mind-intellect equipment. Love, Chithra.