Fundamentals: Mind, Intellect, Vāsanā, Karma (2)

Advaita Vedanta Basics: What is Mind, Intellect, Vasana, Karma (2) – Melbourne, Australia


Prerequisite to jumping into Advaita Vedānta course, in this session we learn about fundamentals of Mind, Intellect, Vāsanā (also called saṃskāra), and Karma. Terms often referred to during the classes.

Mind (manas):

Feeler of emotions.

Seat of emotions, feelings, impulses. All your feelings about self, others, objects, world is seated in the Mind.

Intellect (buddhi):

Thinker of thoughts.

Is this information true or false?” That's the Intellect. The discriminating, judging, self-inquiring, calculating, evaluating power. Intellect needs to be highly developed to successfully discriminate Self from not-Self (Subject-Satya from Object-Mithya) and to assimilate the teachings into real life changes.

Intellect is generally dismissed in spiritual marketplace, where it's mostly biased towards exercise of EMOTIONS/FEELING GOOD.

Intellect is superior to Mind, yet both are entwined.

Vāsanā: (also called saṃskāra)

To answer this, both you and I have (1) Mind, and (2) Intellect (Know-How) on communicating with a person.

But what DETERMINES how I actually use Mind-Intellect to communicate… OR how you use Mind-Intellect to communicate?

Answer is Vāsanā. Meaning TENDENCY. Or inclination.

That means, if I have a tendency to interrupt while someone is speaking, then I will interrupt them.

If you have a tendency to offer compliments, then you will offer compliments to somebody you're speaking to.

Therefore, Vāsanā guides HOW the Mind-Intellect will RESPOND to any situation.

Infact, your personality is nothing but a conglomeration of Vāsanā's. It's what causes Individuality.


What causes a TENDENCY (Vāsanā)? Past action. Meaning, one has done it BEFORE. Hence it creates a momentum to repeat it.

Tip: After having sex, what do most think about? “When can we do it again!”. Now you have “Sex Vāsanā” created by past action (Karma). 🙂

Hence there is no Vāsanā without Karma, and no Karma without a Vāsanā. They are entwined.

Download visual mind map of this session.

8 May 2018



  1. Gustavo on February 21, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Such a didatic class. Good exemples. Keep the good work.

  2. Latha on March 11, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Wonderful! Feeling blessed. Though I am an Indian it’s an eye opener as we hardly get to know our own scriptures. May I know who is your guru?

  3. Hummy Hou on August 11, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Thanks for the teaching,
    Had a further understanding of mind , intellect & self ,and Karma,
    It appears to me as a dot drawing by the time and snow balling itself,
    Really interesting, also interested in the pranatha …
    This helps a lot for my daily sadhna
    Thanks for sharing:-)

    • mm Andre V on August 12, 2020 at 8:49 pm

      Much welcome Hummy.

  4. Natasha on March 23, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Andre, I am going back over all the teachings again. So much value in repeating the classes.
    Question, in terms of vasanas, using your example, what makes one person enjoy gambling vs someone who might loathe it? Even if the experience is positive. Or, my 1st smoking experience was awful, but I did it again!
    Your description makes the outcome of vasanas almost sound robotic. Surely there’s more to the personality than E=MC2? What piece am I missing here?

    • mm Andre Vas on April 7, 2021 at 2:35 pm

      Better to ask directly, without referencing examples used, as I don’t remember and it expects me to watch the video. What is the Q?

  5. Juan on September 23, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Hi Andre,

    First of all I want to share my gratitude for sharing your knowledge.

    I’m just starting my journey to understand my spirit side and clear my mind from all contradictions or practices that I don’t share in our western society, do yo think this is a good start point?… so far I have found a lot of sense in your content and I think I’ll continue the course even though I don’t know if is safe or I’m not skipping essential concepts to continue with this process.


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