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Kleśas

Kleśas (Skt., ‘pain’, ‘affliction’). In Yoga philosophy, the five causes of human affliction. Patañjali's Yoga-sūtra (ii. 3) enumerates the kleśas as: (i) avidyā, ‘ignorance’, (ii) asmitā, ‘egoism’, (iii) rāga, ‘attachment’, (iv) dveṣa, ‘aversion’, and (v) abhiniveśa, ‘the fear of death’. These causes of human suffering are all rooted in the first kleśa, ignorance, which is defined (iii. 5) as ‘seeing the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the painful as joyful, and the not-Self as the Self’.

For the Buddhist equivalent, see KILESA.

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