āśaya

(‘that which rests [in the mind]’)

Hinduism believes in rebirth. The soul of any being, though immortal, continues to be born again and again due to its karma or the subtle unseen deserts. This goes on until it gets mokṣa or liberation from this cycle of births and deaths.

It is this ‘karma’ that has been called ‘āśaya’ or ‘karmāśaya’ by some scriptures like the Yogasūtras of Patañjali (1.24; 2.12). It has been called ‘āśaya’ since it ‘rests in the mind’ (śaya = resting) ‘until’ (ā = until) it fructifies. It is of the form of puṇya (merit) and pāpa (de-merit) and is generated by kāma (desire), lobha (greed), moha (delusion) and krodha (anger). Its results may be experienced either in this life itself or in future births.