The Kleshas

KLESHAS (Afflictions of mind) 

A klesha is any thought that throws you off balance, disrupts your peace of mind, ruins your composure. When you get one, like the Pied Piper you follow it, and you don’t know you’re in trouble. To avoid getting swept away, you must learn to identify a klesha as one enters your mind.  The minute a klesha is fully formed in your mind you’re helpless. After 30 seconds it feels good to be angry, it feels right. This negative energy has a snowball effect on all aspects of your life.

Patanjali identified the 5 major klesha’s in Book 2 of the Yoga Sutras.

  • Avidya – misknowing
  • Asmita – egoism
  • Raga – attachment (to pleasure), envy
  • Dvesha – aversion (to pain)
  • Abhinivesha – doubt

There is a 300 year old Tibetan text  that tells how to stop kleshas before they begin. They say,  in the mind, one possess a field which is more fertile than any other field in all the world. If we plant the right seeds in it, good things will grow. This field is the field of our own mind. It is extraordinary beyond all other things. Every goodness of this life, and everything beyond this life, grows from it.

This is not a field like other fields: not a field that you can only farm in the summer, and must leave fallow in the winter. It is a field for all four seasons of the year: a field of good deeds toward others, where you can plant the seeds for everything you ever wished for, using the plow of understanding.

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2 thoughts on “The Kleshas

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