Patanjali Yoga Sutra — तच्छिद्रेषु प्रत्ययान्तराणि संस्कारेभ्यः॥4.27॥
Tacchidreṣu pratyayāntarāṇi saṁskārebhyaḥ॥
But the saṁskāras (past impressions) are so powerful that they might make a yogi susceptible to a fall when he is casual and relaxes or loosens up his sādhana carelessly even for a moment.
That means, saṁskāras would be in subtlest (vestigial) form even in realized souls and would be just waiting to surface when the conditions are conducive, at least once in a while, if not always. What could be that conducive situation? It could be a lack of alertness on the part of a yogi in his sādhana. A similar message is given in sūtras 2.9, 4.10. One of the best examples found in Indian Mythology is that of viśvāmitra maharṣi, who would be swept away by the beauty of Menaka, apsara of Develoka, despite his steadfast vow to defeat vasiṣṭha maharṣi through immense sādhana.
Bhagavān describes the reason for such vulnerability:
विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः।
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते॥२.५९॥
Viṣaya vinivartante nirāhārasya dehinaḥ|
Rasavarjaṃ raso’pyasya paraṃ dṛṣṭvā nivartate॥Gītā 2.59॥
Though the sense objects do not have any place in the life of an ascetic, the desire for sense pleasure (in vestigial or embryonic form) does not get totally extinguished. But, the moment the highest wisdom dawns on him, owing to Bhagavat sākṣātkāra, these subtlest of the inclinations and desires would also be thoroughly annihilated.
We have inherited various qualities, features from parents and ancestors through what are called ‘Genes’. These would significantly affect our personality, both at the physical and mental front. How many previous generations’ genes would have an impact on our personality? Is it 5 or 10 or 100 or 1000 or more? Science of Genetics says there is no limit! But these inherited qualities from our immediate ancestors and parents are the latest ones and compared to these, the qualities inherited from the Supreme Soul (Paramātma is our true father) are very old and in fact, are the most original ones. If so, Paramātma being the embodiment of divinity, our true nature must be sāttvik, divine, kind, sympathetic, empathetic, etc. A wonderful saying is ‘If you are to choose between compassion and righteousness, choose always compassion’. But unfortunately, these qualities have been pushed back and the remains are only in fossil form. How to resurface them so that they manifest in our persona? Simple! Re-establish the connection with Supreme Soul through Dhyāna and the very knowledge of this forgotten fact would enable us to clear off the latest qualities inherited from immediate ancestors and our original faculties would resurface in our persona.