Sanskaras are impressions of duality. Sanskaras mean impressions of our good or bad actions. –Meher Baba
Meher Baba explained
Sanskaras mean the impressions in the mind left behind while doing any good or bad action. Even a thought creates sanskaras. Talking, listening, thinking, seeing, eating, sleeping, in fact, even subtle motions, produce many more sanskaras which have to be experienced with mechanical precision unless removed or nullified by a Sadguru's grace. To become free from sanskaric bindings the intercession of the Master is necessary. The awakening of love is the remedy. The One rare being gets released from all sanskaric bindings through the grace of Perfect Master.
Four types of sanskaras.
Sanskaras in general are called prarabdha sanskaras. Prarabdha literally means “Destiny.” These are applied to the whole universe in evolution from the state of a minute atom to the state of God-Realization. Prarabdha sanskaras are those that help the soul gain consciousness in order to go through evolution – from the very beginning to the very end – to attain unity.
The prarabdha impressions which govern the whole universe of duality are of greed and its opposite; of anger and its opposite; of all bad and of all good thoughts, words and deeds. Good sanskaras, bad sanskaras – both are prarabdha.
To be free from prarabdha sanskaras, the good sanskaras must overlap the bad sanskaras, the individual ego must be annihilated by service, or the limited self must merge in love. Good sanskaras and bad sanskaras are impressions and both bind. Due to the evolutionary process, the soul gathers all sanskaras throughout, up to the human form –animal sanskaras, as they are called. Therefore in human form, where the soul is fully conscious, the bad sanskaras already overlap the good ones. If now the good sanskaras were to overlap the bad ones, what would happen is that both would disappear like the dream.
If you see yourself in a dream in which you enjoy becoming the queen, it continues for a long time, and if, all of a sudden, you see in the dream a snake attacking you, you wake up – both the good and bad dreams disappear. Here it was good at first – of enjoying becoming queen, and then the bad – of a snake attacking you. This is bad overlapping good. Both disappear on waking; so either the bad must overlap the good, or the good overlap the bad. But if already the soul has gathered impressions of greed, of anger, of lust – now they must be overlapped by their opposites – generosity, love and peace.
In the second instance, of service: when you think not of yourself, but of others, the thought about your own ego is replaced by thinking of others and gradually you forget yourself in serving others.
In the third instance, love: when the lover loves the Beloved to the extent of losing the self in the Beloved, then only the Beloved remains. So, naturally impressions then disappear.
For the Realized soul who does not return to normal consciousness, there are no sanskaras. But the soul who, after God-Realization, returns to normal consciousness automatically gets a universal mind and, to be able to work through duality gets superfluous unbinding sanskaras that are called yogayoga sanskaras. The literal meaning of yogayoga is automatic. Very few perfected souls have these yogayoga sanskaras because very few of the God-Realized return to normal consciousness – to phenomenal consciousness.
Avatar, being one always and having His circle of one hundred and twenty always – the same each time – this Avatar gives to His circle the Vidnyani sanskaras. Vidnyani literally means "The threshold to unity." The Avatar, when taking form for Himself and the circle, gives Himself and the circle the Vidnyani sanskaras before birth. It is similar to a veil being drawn, and exactly at the time appointed by Himself, the Avatar experiences His original divinity and then works with the Vidnyani sanskaras.
The circle, until they are Realized, is under this veil of Vidnyani sanskaras, having all the ordinary signs of the ordinary sanskaras of duality. When the time comes, the Avatar gives the circle Realization. However, until then the Vidnyani sanskaras, though they remain with the person, are only an instrument for universal work, just as His has been.
All actions good or bad, just or unjust, charitable or uncharitable are responsible in making the bond for of illusion firmer and tighter. The goal is to achieve perfect in action, which does not mean merely inactivity. When the self is absent, one achieves inaction in one’s every action. However, the only way to live life of absolute inaction is to completely surrender to a Perfect Master.
A dream may be good or bad, but in it sanskaras are spent. In awake state when sanskaras are spent, new one accumulated. But when they are spent in a dream, new sanskaras are not created.”
Complete balancing of sanskaras is essential for God-realisation. It cannot be achieved through mathematical calculation otherwise it would have been much easier. Good are bad sanskaras both create binding. If your sanskaras are good you get birth as a rich man; if bad, you get birth of a leper or likewise, but without help of a Sadguru you cannot get freedom. You do not know how many bad sanskaras you have and how many good sanskaras you need. But Sadguru knows and He will work with you to balance your sanskaras
The result of something may be good or bad but you should be detached from both. Let not the dirt of sanskaras of your thoughts and deeds touch you by surrendering every thought and act at the feet of your Master. As the laundryman washes and cleanses clothes, in the same way, I remove all the dirt which has stuck to you through your thoughts and actions. None will repent for having loved Me.
Colours of sanskaras
All thoughts, words and acts cause sanskaras or impressions on one's mind. Sanskaras are of seven different colours, the same as those of a rainbow. Ordinary good thoughts cause impressions of a light blue colour. When such thoughts are put into actions, either in words or deeds, the impressions generally caused are of a deep blue colour. Anger and wicked deeds like murder cause sanskaras of red colour. Red sanskaras are the worst, and they are difficult to be wiped out. Intense spiritual longing gives rise to sanskaras of the green colour. Just as red sanskaras are the worst, so the green ones are the best.