kleśaRoot: kliś Devanāgarī: क्लेश Translation: afflictions; distress; anguish Similar words:kliṣṭa Related concepts:avidyā, asmitā, rāga, dveṣa, abhiniveśa, prasupta, tanū, vicchinna, udāra, kriyā, viveka, vipāka, akliṣṭa, pañca, karman
Appears inYoga Sūtra: Bhagavad Gītā:
Chapter 6: 6Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā:
Chapter 3: 14
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“What are the effects of Kriyā Yoga?
Samādhi Bhāvana –
The ability to pursue the right practice that brings one closer to Īśvara.
Kleśa Tanū Karaṇa –
Reduction of those obstacles that we have somehow acquired through wrong actions,
leading to undesirable and bitter experiences.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 2
“Kriyā Yoga emphasises that the Kleśa cannot be reduced instantly.
It is a gradual process.
Further Kleśa can only be reduced to the limit they become ineffective.
They cannot be destroyed.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 2
“These five Kleśa surround the heart of every individual.
They are related to the three Guṇa known as Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
As long as one chooses not to inquire into the true nature of one’s self and acts mechanically,
they will unknowingly contribute to the dominance of the Kleśa.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 3
“All these Kleśa are variable in their potency.
They can be so weak, that they hardly matter.
Sometimes they take a feeble form,
when they can be easily contained.
If not they rise to dominance.
When in domination, only one takes over.
For example in the most evolved stage
when Rāga is dominant, other Kleśa
such as Dveṣa are not apparent.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 4
“Knowledge from the past prevails and influences me to either judge or inquire.
Assuming my knowledge and my memory and I proceed is Asmitā Kleśa.
Assuming that I may be wrong and wishing to find out more is Asmitā Jñāna.
However to hesitate completely or question everything is Asmitā Kleśa.
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
“Kleśa are not always dominant.
Through Kriyā Yoga they become weaker and weaker.
How is it possible to completely subdue them?
No mental effort can help as Mind is the storehouse of the Kleśa.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 10
“Building banks to channel
the flow of the river of
Kleśa is Kriyā Yoga.
Building a dam to block
the flow of Kleśa as
we journey upstream
going back to the source
of the flow is Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 10
“When Kleśa are on the move, time should not be lost.
Reflection is a must.
Reduction of all the factors that increase Rajas and Tamas, including right food, company, study and Niyama is a must.
Without them, reflection leading to a reduction of the power of Kleśa will not work.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 11
“What effects Kleśa have on us?
They affect our actions and the results are evident sooner or later.
Further they decide, in spite of us, what we do and don’t.
Our actions will be beyond our control, so are the consequences.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 12
“Pratyāhāra is not feeding the tendency of the Citta
to automatically form a positive, negative, or neutral
identification with whatever stimuli the senses present to it.
From that, we can begin to understand how their external gathering
activities stimulate our conscious and especially, unconscious choices.
From this, we can begin to understand how the impact
of this sensory knowing can lead us to travel in different directions
and trigger different levels of response, often without us being really
conscious of how deeply their input stimulates our psychic activities.
From these responses, there will be the inevitable re-actions,
again quite possibly unconscious and multilevelled,
according to our psychic history in terms of our memory,
habit patternings and deeper memory processes.
From those initial insight, we can begin to understand
and interact in how we can resist unconsciously slipping
into the trance states that can so often culminate with
the Kleśa manifesting fully in the entrancing dance of
Udārā Rāga, or Udārā Dveṣa, or Udārā Abhiniveśa,
the potent and profligate children of Avidyā.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 54
“There is always Kleśa, it just depends where we are
in ourselves in terms of a spectrum of being and doing.
Thus Kleśa can express itself within the spectrum of being
as either a state of Rāga Kleśa or a state of Dveṣa Kleśa or,
as happens mostly, somewhere twixt the extremes of the two.
Either way according to TKV Desikachar’s teaching,
progress is not possible without the power of these drives,
they are the horses that pull the chariot.
As to which of the two extremes we find ourselves
veering towards depends on our skill as a charioteer,
coupled with our understanding of the nature of the horses,
as well as the nature of the ‘food’ we ‘choose’ to feed them on.”
– Paul Harvey on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Three verse 34
“Attachment comes through pleasure. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure, but when we no longer have what gave us pleasure, or if there is some threat of losing it, attachment often appears.
Negation is a tendency to resist or reject after something bad has happened. It could be a fact, an idea or whatever, but if we were not comfortable with it, we resist. There is a strong relationship between attachment and negation, like heads and tails of a coin. Strangely, the more we are attached to something the more there is a likelihood to reject it later – when what we were expecting is not forthcoming heads becomes tails!
Fear is a very fundamental emotion which seems to have some special energy that can make it survive on its own. Fear exists independently of objects, they just give it something to fix on, like the wolf in Western fairy tales. There are two types of fear : fear of something, an earthquake, an illness, a wolf etc., and fear of losing something, a job, a loved one, prestige etc.
Fear, negation, attachment and association either alone or together create the conditions for suffering to erupt again and again. Suffering appears, disappears and re-appears forcing us to admit that something is missing and this pushes us to seek how to find it.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’
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