As per Yoga – Shastra there are five Kleshas which create a disconnect from a state of natural being.
1) AVIDYA - Ignorance
2) ASMITA - Ego
3) RAAG - Attachment
4) DVESHA – Hatred
5) ABHINIVESH - Fear
I have attempted to demystify the doubts around the above…have also tried to keep it very simple for layman to understand. Here is my take on it…
Most of the problems in this world emanates from two things – one being Personality, and
second being character. Personality comes through genetic make-up and character is what
you build and cultivate in your life with sanskaras, bhavas, gunas. Yoga philosophy says
there are 5 Kleshas, which determine our character.
All that corrupts us are Kleshas, I hope when I say this I am not harsh. The circle of life lures
and seduces us from all that is material pleasure and temporary satisfaction of our desires. So, corruption doesn’t only mean something to do with money. Corruption primarily is of the mind. Corruption in the mind is all about – Pride – Anger - Lust Envy –Gluttony- Avarice – Sloth, also the translation of these 7 sins could be: Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya. These become our character traits which create an imbalance in our way of thinking, behavior, attitude and general approach towards life and living.
They give rise to five fundamental negative destructive characteristics to a human being (Pancha kleshas), so personality traits also get influenced with Pancha Kleshas. Kleshas give
rise to a negative character, disintegrating our whole being.
1) Avidya (Ignorance) – It’s not about somebody being ignorant and illiterate. Avidya is about being ignorant with theways of life. It’s nothing to do with education fundamentally. Avidya is living in darkness, Ignorance and unaware, not in absolute consciousness. Constantly stumbling, falling and hitting the wall.
2) Asmita (Ego) - The big “I” gives rise to the big Ego. Wanting to take the credit. And the big “I” is the big separator not a spectator. And anything that separates you … ‘Buddha says brings sufferings’. Ego brings sufferings because Ego constantly seeks validation, power, dominance, glorification; it also wants to establish superiority, and wants to have a last say.
Every endeavor of the Ego is nothing but distancing you from the community of the mankind and the environment, thus creating duality (dvait), creating distance and thus creating subjecting oneself to pain.
3) Raag (Attachment) - Human minds get very easily vulnerable to things they like… people, situation, circumstances, which bring pleasure. So liking and pleasure are all very temporary in nature. Yet we want to cling on to them, the very nature that makes us cling on to the temporary pleasure-people-things- materialism etc., might create obsession. And our inability to fulfill all our desires or inability to cling on to all that we like and keep it for good, with the desire of wanting more of everything…brings disappointment.
Disappointments create depression…more the depression, more the diseases... more the decay, and decay...brings death.
4) Dvesha (Hatred) - If Raga on one side brings liking and attachment and makes you cling to them, Hatred on other side takes you away. It creates a kind of repulsion between you the subject and object or people or anything in nature. This makes us a perfect victim of Duality. More the distance, lesser the affinity. Dvesha also is like…Nelson Mandela said, “drinking a cup of poison and expecting somebody else to die”. Dvesha is that poison that erodes you from inside, degenerates you as a personality from within, kills your calm, destroys your dynamism, creates an imbalance of your tranquilty, and completely ruins your peace. So, any kind of Dvesha or anger if not resolved as soon as possible can translate into a state of
physiological diseases, because in the state of dvesha our first thing that goes for a toss is our digestion. Because our stomach constricts and gets into fight-flight mode and sends out all flow of energy to the extremities of the body and its typically a shutdown of ‘Immunity’, and your physiological and biochemistry shuts down… cortisol, adrenaline, epinephrine etc. are released. They are momentarily helpful in fight-flight response but are very toxic in nature. So its ok to have “Krodha” but mind you Krodha is a Killer and Dvesha
is a destroyer, so one should save oneself from Dvesha. Breathe out the anger always breathe in the calm always.
5) Abhinivesh ( Fear of death) - Generally, Human beings get hooked on to or attached to or connect with or cling on to everything we like and everything that we get attracted to and everything that gives us temporary pleasure and happiness. Why we cling on, because in our minds there is always an end to it all, but if your consciousness shifts from the paradigm of thinking that everything has to end, to the point of shift where you think everything continues and everything perpetuates when it comes to raw form of invisible energy.
Once you self realize, you will breathe easywith the shift of consciousness of being self-
referral. Once you know that everything is transient - yet there is that eternal being which is experiencing that everything which is transient…In the presence of eternal experiencer or should we call the witness, where change is dynamic, yet the witnessing element in you is constant. Your need to cling on for the fear of death for it being short-lived in your life will not remain anymore. So, Abhinivesh can literally drive us crazy. It can reduce the value of everything around us rendering it meaningless. And it can add value to the very essence of our being which is the eternal experiencer without being attached to experiences.
Breath, sunlight, air, ether and earth are most important to life and living, moving our awareness to that to all that gives us materialistic gains and pleasures for a short while, creates problems. Once we understand that our life is eternal our real being is eternal and everything perpetuates, we will disconnect from meaningless desires and start experiencing eternity in every moment and eternity of joy and eternity of Ananda –being just the witness and not seeking at all. Yogic – Way of life! Dharma – Duty that ought to be done as offering and not as sacrifice, not with the feel of pain. Duty should come with absolute love of offering. The duties of human if performed selflessly, the Kleshas will be neutralized.
Jnana – Jnana in reality is experiential knowledge, not what you have read, But that what you have lived and experienced, because experience stays with you forever. Anything that you read may not stay with you forever but everything experienced in full awareness becomes Jnana which translates into wisdom. The state of wisdom liberates you from Kleshas.
Vairagya – The real yogic understanding is Letting go, each time we breathe out, it’s a let go…The child also when it comes out the first, has never learned to breathe in, till the child cries out and lets go first... then the child starts breathing in naturally. So letting go is very important to empty so that nature can fill it up again in its flow... The fulfillment that comes in through natural flow of give and take, letting it go and letting it flow, is itself the highest order of being. This gives you freedom from all Kleshas.
Aishvarya – Once you go through the stages of Dhyana, Gyaan, Vairagya, Trupti which are not exactly opposite of kleshas but yet they are the positive counter of it... when you stop the chase – then comes the flow of the divine. Flow doesn’t mean flow in your Bank account or flow of your material wealth, Maybe yes maybe no, but certainly the flow of joy, flow of prosperity of life and most importantly experience of Ananda “Bliss”, with life of Shoonyata in absolute joy. Where there is no hankering for happiness and life where there is no running away from sadness. Life which is centered and life which is appreciated and accepted as it comes, to be lived to its fullest seamlessly.
Kleshas Neutralized…Get Mickeymized!!!