Sunday, August 21, 2011





avidya asmita raga

dvesha abhiniveshah pancha kleshah

Ø  avidya = ignorance, veil (of ignorance)
Ø  asmita = the sense of I-ness (not necessarily equal to Ego)
Ø  raga = Likes; attractions
Ø  dvesha = Dislikes; Aversions
Ø  abhinivesha = love of life and fear of death (of identity)
Ø  pancha = five
Ø  klesha =  sufferings; impurities; pains

There are five kinds of kleshas or painful events in live:

Ø  Ignorance which is actually imposed on us by Maya, Prakrithi
Ø  The sense of I-ness or egoism
Ø  likes and attractions – to which we cling to
Ø  Dislikes or aversions – from which we want to get away
Ø  Love of life and fear of loss of life through death

Ignorance : We are constantly under the veil of Ignorance. Even about an atom – we can never hope to get total knowledge or wisdom. Likewise, we do not have total knowledge of any huge objects like planets, galaxies, stars etc. Or, of any object, being, thing, idea – do we have total knowledge. Why so? 

Because – our first lack of knowledge is about our own self. We do not know about our own self. How the body functions, how the mind functions, how the decision making happens, why we are slaves to certain habits, why we are afraid of certain things, why we hate people whom we have not even seen and so on – are all largely unknown to us. 

We go through life – we stumble through life – not knowing answers to most of these questions. The purpose of our life on earth is also not clear to us. This is because – we are under avidya, the veil of ignorance. This is really – avidya itself. This avidya is a great causative factor of our suffering or klesha.

Asmitha or  the sense of I-ness is the second factor of our suffering as it differentiates us from the rest of the universe and we are constantly looking at every thing else in the Universe as different from us. I and Not-I are 2 factors which create all problems in the world.

Raga signifies people, things and ideas that we like, that we are attracted to, that we love. Others may or may not like or love them. When others don’t – they have their own likes. Our likes are in conflict wit their likes. This is a perennial problem in the world and a major cause of our klesha or suffering.

Also, those whom / which we like create suffering in us in many other ways. The person / thing we like, if we are unable to get – a big suffering for a long time ensues in our life. 

When we get them and they are with us – there is always the fear of losing them. When they are lost, either by way of their death, or expiry or travel elsewhere or some such reason – we become very sorrowful. When a person / animal we like is injured or diseased – then also we suffer. So – Raga creates suffering in us in many ways.

Dvesha is the opposite of Raga. It means and signifies our dislikes, our hatreds and our aversions.  Raga can give momentary pleasure when things come to us and stay with us. But, Dvesha gives us enormous suffering every moment. Never can it give us any happiness. 

Even if a person whom we dislike or hate is at 10000 miles distance and he does not even know us – yet his image in us torments us and makes us sleepless and suffering.

Abhinivesha : The last of the Kleshas is our love of life or the fear of losing our life (which we so much love). Love of life is common to all beings from man to animals to insects to bacteria. All people struggle a lot to remain alive and also be free from disease, which is perceived as taking us nearer to death / loss of life.

This aphorism says that Kriyaa Yoga is prescribed for reducing, minimizing and finally destroying all these kleshas and take us nearer to the Pinnacle of samadhi.


avidya kshetram uttareshaam
prasupta tanu vicchinna udaaraanam

Ø  avidya = ignorance
Ø  kshetram = field (where other things grow)
Ø  uttareshaam = for the others
Ø  prasupta = latent, seed form
Ø  tanu = made weak; reduced
Ø  vicchinna = separated
Ø  udaaraanam = aroused, sustained

Of the five kleshas in us – the first one, namely Ignorance or avidya is the root cause of all others. It stays as the breeding ground of all others. 

The other four remain latent in it – ready to sprout when conditions are supporting them.

Many times, they may sprout and come out – but may stay in a weak form. You may be angry with a person, but the anger is not strong enough to give you suffering.

Or, the Klesha may be separated from you temporarily. It is there inside. But, some other force is presently acting  strongly and therefore, this klesha, though it is strong and is inside – is unable to act itself.

If none of these inhibiting factors are present – the kleshas may come out openly and forcefully and create thoughts and actions in sympathy with them.

So – we need to understand these kleshas carefully – so that we do not fall prey to them. The worst of all is Avidya or Ignorance. 

Let us have the clearest understanding of what constitutes Avidya or Ignorance in us – in the next verse.

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