Kleshas (Hinduism)

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Kleśa (sanskrit क्लेश, also klesha ) is a term from Indian philosophy and yoga, meaning a "poison". The third śloka of the second chapter of Patañjali's Yoga sūtras explicitly identifies Five Poisons (Sanskrit: pañcakleśā):

अविद्यास्मितारागद्वेषाभिनिवेशाः पञ्च क्लेशाः॥३॥
Avidyāsmitārāgadveṣābhiniveśāḥ pañca kleśāḥ[1]

Translated into English, these five (pañca) Kleśa-s or Afflictions (kleśāḥ) are:[1]

  • Ignorance (in the form of a misapprehension about reality) (ávidyā),
  • egoism (in the form of an erroneous identification of the Self with the intellect) (asmitā),
  • attachment (rāga),
  • aversion (dveṣa), and
  • fear of death (which is derived from clinging ignorantly to life) (abhiniveśāḥ).

The 24th sutra of the first chapter, Samadhi Pada, Patanjali describes a purusha free of kleshas

शकभयणवऩाकाशमैयऩयाभृष्ट् ऩ रुषणवश ष ईश्वय् ॥ २४॥
kleshakarmavipakashayairaparamrishtah purushavishesh eeshvarah[1]
Isvara (God/the Supreme Ruler) is a special Purusa (Spirit), untouched by kleshas, or by karmas - the results of actions or desires.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Patañjali et al. (2007) Source: [1] Archived 2007-12-22 at the Wayback Machine (accessed: November 23, 2007)

External links[edit]

International Nath Order (INO) perspectives: