The "FIVE" klesas

Having seen the “single principle” of how to deal with obstacles during the practice (abhyasa) of samadhi, let us now look at the obstacles for vairagya – dispassion which is the second wing of SAADHANA that is used to sustain the samadhi.

An ordinary Bhogi’s question on YOGA is:
is it not sufficient to do righteous work and continue to get the (“good”) fruits of work for one’s own consumption? Why to completely “conquer” the chittam? Or stop the “functions” (vrittis) of the chittam?

or this question can be simply put as:

Is the “RIGHTEOUS ACTION” in itself not sufficient?

The righteous action is the first necessary condition for the KARMA YOGA. It is not sufficient to remove the “root cause” of misery.

There are five klesas
1. Avidya = ignorance
2. Asmita = “I am” -ness
3. Raaga = attraction or the colored vision.
4. Dvesha = repulsion, the opposite of raaga.
5. Abhinivesha = clinging on to life or actions; [or fear of death.]

Of these five, AVIDYA is the basis of rest of them.

What is AVIDYA?
AVIDYA is considering temporary as eternal, impure as pure, pain as pleasure and non-soul as soul.

Action is temporary. Its fruits are also temporary.
Body is inherently impure. It continuously needs purification and maintenance.
Any association of “fruits of action” with the “body and senses” will finally lead to dukha only. But due to ignorance (avidya) one considers it as pleasure.

The temporary action leading to temporary fruits leads to temporary attraction and repulsion. The attachment to the impressions produced by the raaga and dvesha leads to clinging on to the life and further unfinished actions making the jeeva to take up new set of instruments (body, mind and intellect) to carry on those actions over and over again. (this action – more action – more and more action cycle is called samsaara which is a mixture of good and bad that is daily experienced by the jeeva!)

What is the reason for AVIDYA?
non-discrimination between the seer and seen. Non discrimination between the thinker and the thought. non discrimination between the universal and particular.
mixing up of the “witnessing consciousness” with the “witnessed object”.

Instruction 18:
Develop the discrimination (viveka) to properly understand the eternal and temporary. This will lead to vairagya. Viveka is the only weapon on the five klesas. By properly balancing the abhyasa and vairagya one can remove all the obstacles on YOGA SAADHANA and attain the natural unseeded SAMADHI. This leads to mastery of DEATH.

Realizing one’s own true nature as the “eternal witnessing consciousness” beyond all the witnessed object manifestations is the final result of the SAMADHI.

(Patanjali Yoga Sutras SAADHANA PAADA the sutras 1 to 28 discuss this subject of Klesas in much greater detail. This is the basis of YOGA philosophy and saadhana)

om tat sat

2 Responses to “The "FIVE" klesas”

  1. Prof.M.S.Thimmappa Says:

    Lucid and masterly, as usual!

  2. Saddam Says:

    I was searching for information about yoga and found your blog interesting. No doubt it has very good content and photos. Thanks for posting

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