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Yoga Sutra 3.18: Knowledge of previous incarnations

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutra 3.18 KNOWLEDGE OF PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS FROM SAMYAMA ON SAMSKARAS http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-31737.htm#3.18 YOGA SUTRA 3.18 Through the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2008
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      Yoga Sutra 3.18
      KNOWLEDGE OF PREVIOUS INCARNATIONS
      FROM SAMYAMA ON SAMSKARAS
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-31737.htm#3.18

      YOGA SUTRA 3.18

      Through the direct perception of the latent impressions (samskaras)
      comes the knowledge of previous incarnations.
      (samskara saksat karanat purva jati jnanam)

      samskara = subtle impressions, imprints in the unconscious, deepest
      habits
      saksat = direct, immediate contact
      karanat = perception, experiencing
      purva = of previous
      jati = birth, incarnation
      jnana = knowledge

      SAMSKARAS LEAD TO KARMA:

      The samskaras originally led to our karma, and because of this the
      yogi wants to examine and eventually eliminate those samskaras.

      See the article on Karma and the Sources of Actions, Speech, and
      Thoughts:
      http://www.swamij.com/karma.htm

      PAST LIFE REGRESSION CAN CREATE FURTHER BONDAGE:

      To a typical person seeking past life regression, there is a seeking
      out of a replay in the inner field of mind, so as to increase
      knowledge about ourselves. This is the coming through into the
      conscious state of the inner process from the subtle mind. It can
      have the effect of increasing ego and ignorance, as it leads one to
      think that these past memories are part of our self-definition. In
      effect, bondage of ignorance is increasing, not decreasing.

      SAMYAMA ON THE SAMSKARAS BRINGS FREEDOM:

      However, to the yogi doing samyama (3.4-3.6) on these deeper
      samskaras themselves (deep impressions), there comes increasing
      clarity about the way the samskaras have clouded the self-identity
      and obscured Self-realization. Thus, these past identities are not
      reinforced, but are attenuated (2.4) and set aside. They are not seen
      as self-identities, but as incorrectly perceived false identities.
      This leads to lesser bondage and greater freedom. (See also the
      article on Karma and the sources of Actions, Speech, and Thoughts)

      ATTAINMENTS AND OBSTACLES:

      As with the other subtle experiences this is seen to be both an
      attainment and an obstacle, and is set aside (3.38) with non-
      attachment (1.15).
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