The Pancha Klesha or 5 kleshas are described in a book called Virachit-Yogasutras by Maharishi Patanjali. According to Sutra 3 of its second lesson, which is also called “Sadhana Paad”
avidyasmitaragadveshabhiniveshah kleshaah //2.3//
Ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and clinging to life – are the five Kleshas.
- Avidya – ignorance
- Asmita – egoism
- Raga – attachment
- Dvesha – aversion
- Abhiniveshah – clinging to life
What is Kleshas?
Klesha is a term from Indian yoga philosophy, meaning “poison”.
According to the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Klesha in human life is the cause of all sorrow, tension, and pain. One who cannot control them always remains frustrated and depressed. Dissatisfaction with life persists and creates pain in our experience.
These are called Kleshas because they trap the living being in the vicious cycle of worldly bondages and cause sorrow. These five Kleshas are considered false knowledge, that is, the living being only believes that what he is seeing in the world exists, but all of them are mortal. Thus the first klesha which is Avidya – is ignorance.
That is, ignorance (Avidya)is the area where the next (four) – Uttaresham – Kleshas originates.
The 5 KLESHAS
1: Avidya – is of four types.
1-Considering the eternal as eternal and the eternal as eternal, understanding and behaving with the body and the objects of enjoyment as if they are going to last forever.
Believing the qualities of soul, God and truth, justice, etc., and religion as if they are not going to last forever.
2- Considering the impure as holy and the pure as impure, taking bath in the river, or pond, stepping well, etc., fasting on Ekadashi, etc., understanding that sins will be forgiven. Don’t be interested in truthful speech, justice, charity, utensils, etc. with the most love.
3- Considering the cause of unhappiness as the cause of happiness and the cause of happiness as the cause of unhappiness – hoping to find happiness in lust, anger, greed, attachment, grief, envy, malice, and lust. Don’t consider happiness in the causes of happiness like love, friendship, satisfaction, multisensory, etc.
4- Considering the root as conscious and the conscious as non-living, considering the worship of stone, etc. as God’s worship and giving sorrow to the conscious human beings, animals, birds, etc., do not feel at all as if they are lifeless.
This ignorance is the mother of all the rest of the troubles, that is, the one who gives birth to them or nourishes them.
When the power to see and the power to see become one, that is, the power to understand false/illusion vanishes, then that is Asmita, from which attachment arises.
To consider soul and intellect as one is Asmita. Only after the destruction of pride, there is an interest in the acquisition of virtues.
The happiness that man has experienced in the world, the desire and craving or greed for that happiness or the means of happiness, the name of sorrow is raga.
That is, the attachment that remains after the pleasures and the feeling of attachment to the pleasant thing, the same attachment is pain.
The fourth klesha is Dvesha, which is that aversion in the form of samskaras, which arises from the feeling of hatred towards the means which cause sorrow after the experience of sorrow. As has been described by Maharishi Patanjali, the suffering behind the realization of sorrows is Dvesha.
The feeling of hatred or anger generated by a person who experiences sorrow, according to the sorrow, in the memory of sorrow or the means of sorrow, is Dvesha.
The fifth klesha is Abhinivesa. Death is a klesha in the form of fear, according to the law of creation, if a man takes birth in this world, then his death is also certain, but knowing that death is certain, everyone gets scared. Everyone wants to live, no one wants to die. From an insect to a prudent man, the fear of death is equally present. Man is troubled by this fear since childhood, he is afraid for many reasons, this fear is due to the fear of death, whether he is a scholar, a fool, or a wise person, everyone has the fear of death. This death fear is Abhinivesa.
Panchaklesha (5 KLESHAS) is mentioned in Patanjali’s ‘Yogasutra’. According to the Yogasutras, there are five types of afflictions (klesha)– ‘Avidya’ (foolishness or ignorance), ‘Asmita’, ‘Ahamkar-raag’ (love), ‘Dwesha’ (enmity), and ‘Abhinivesh’ (mortality). It is said in ‘Patanjali Yogasutra’ that Panchaklesha is what binds us in this world like five bonds. Of these, ignorance is the cause, and the remaining 4 kleshas are its effects.
Once you begin to identify your afflictions (klesha) through yoga practice, you will be able to set better intentions and re-establish your karmic path.
Apr 26, 2023
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