Kleshas (Hinduism)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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 (pañcakleśā'):

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

Translated into English, these five (pañca) kleśas 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:

क्लेश कर्म विपाकाशयैःपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः ॥ २४॥
kleśa karma vipākāśayaiḥparāmṛṣṭaḥ puruṣaviśeṣa īśvaraḥ[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). "Aphorisms (Section II of Pātañjalayogasūtra-s)". Archived from the original on 2007-12-22. Retrieved November 23, 2007.

Further reading[edit]