1.50 The impressions created by absolute true wisdom prevent other impressions (samskaras) from sprouting, also deactivating dormant, as well as unmanifested impressions or karma.
Remember that everything you do, including your thoughts, emotions, intentions and actions, leaves an impression in your memory. The more frequently you do something, the stronger the internal web of impressions (samskaras). You can test this idea quite easily. If there is regularity in your schedule, you will notice that you will wake up at the same time every day without the need of an alarm clock. Or, if you have a routine for flossing and brushing your teeth, you do not even have to think about it to follow that routine. Many teachers suggest doing your yoga practice in the same space and at the same time every day to generate an impression that becomes a habit. Then, you do not even have to think about finding time in your schedule for practicing. You just feel the unconscious pull to practice. This is particularly so, if your practice is refreshing, enjoyable and interesting. This same basic principle operates also at this higher level of practice. As you remove distractions and experience your inner calmness with diligence, your internal web of beneficial impressions grows stronger. Your organism allocates more energy and attentional resources to those helpful impressions. With less energy allocated to the less-than-helpful impressions, they dwindle and are, eventually, wiped out.
There is often an internal conflict between directing your attention to stop what is painful or harmful and cultivating more useful and beneficial attitudes and activities. When in doubt, choose to support what is helpful and useful, and what is not useful will decrease automatically. Remember that you will probably get distracted again and again, depending on how strong your habits are. And once again, the skill of bringing yourself back to presence without strain, struggle or self-judgment is essential. Notice if your tendencies to be distracted are becoming less pronounced. Also, pay attention to some of your unhelpful tendencies, like complaining and useless internal chatter, are they diminishing? Often, as your inner harmony grows, irritants and annoyances become more apparent. Carefully discern the difference between a new source of irritation emerging and an old unhelpful pattern becoming more noticeable. And, even when an irritant emerges, is it possible to be with the bearable discomfort and to respond as needed, without getting entangled in any drama?
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with some of the words coming together:
1.50 tajjassaṃskāro’nyasaṃskāra pratibandhī
तज्जस्संस्कारोऽन्यसंस्कार प्रतिबन्धी ॥५०॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually: