Happy New Year 2017! Role of Smṛti

And here we go year after year sharing good wishes for the year to come, loading with hope, reflecting more upon things we have done or what is left unfulfilled. We make the necessary resolutions and feel ready for a new start (excited!).

But most importantly, we leave the past behind…everything that we have experienced until now belongs in the past, in the sphere of memory, mental impressions (samskaras) have taken a form in our minds. It is a result of an independent activity of the lower mind to gather and store sensuous perceptions of these past experiences. Smṛti or memory as described in the Yoga sutras 1.11 we could say that is 2-fold, because it could be an object ( that has been experienced) or just a thought, cognition of the object. In other words, a ‘thing’ or a ‘thought of a thing’ can exist in the sphere of memory. The sutra doesn’t necessarily refer to a memory thought in the conscious mind (i.e.’today I will do that asana the way I saw Kathy doing it 3 years ago). Rather, refers to an experience that recalls a prior impression and brings that memory into the conscious awareness after being stored in the unconsciouss level.

Memory also exists in different levels of the mind when we are awake or asleep but in all these mental operations there is pain, pleasure and ignorance. Attachment follows the experience of pleasure. Aversion follows the experience of pain. Ignorance prevails when ego is dominant. All these mental operations must be restrained. The following sutra just gives the know how, gives light to the means that how this can be achievable. The solution to restraint from pain, pleasure and ignorance is Non attachment and Practice. In fact, the stream of mind flows both ways either towards the beauty or towards the evil. Which direction your mind tends to favor? And how the more subtle and upper layer of the mind (the buddhi) becomes more sharp and clear? Non attachment (Vairāgya) – Practice (Abhyāsa)  – also Faith (Śraddhā) with the right amount of Shakti as the driving force to get us there.

Here we go, for the beginnings and new perspectives in 2017!!!

We choose to memorize all experiences with a positive attitude. A new day is a new experience and no matter how it turned out to be, we ‘store’ the positive aspect, we see the glass half full. So when the mind recollects it in the future, it will be a nice memory. And nice memories shape a happy life..!