Five Kleshas

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Yantra of the Spirit's conquest over the Five Kleshas

The five kleshas are five mental patterns or defects which must be understood before real Nath practice can begin. These five non-productive patterns are the cause of all the miseries and afflictions of life. It is one of the goals of Nath practice to learn to identify, control, and ultimately uproot or unwind these patterns.

In The Magnum Opus of Twilight Yoga, Shri Gurudev Mahendranath listed the five kleshas:


The five pain-bearing obstructions,
The root cause of trouble and strife,
Ignorance, Ego, Repulsion,
Attachment & Clinging to life.


The Five Kleshas

Ignorance

Non-science, untrue, bogus, illusion, delusion, lack of awareness of reality or the real, unenlightened, backward. It is also the ground in which the four other Kleshas fertilize. Thus Ignorance is when we think the unreal is actually real; that matter is the ultimate or only important real substance; mistaking religion, dogmas, or superstitions for spirituality; when we think in terms of "I," "I am the body," "This is me." Ignorance is absence of knowledge of the spirit of man.

Ego

The "I" or "Me-maker," the opinion we have of ourselves, but one which is seldom shared by others. An imagined personality. Mistaken identification of nature, mind, and spirit as the body. To identify oneself with worldly life, the body, and the senses. Arrogant conceit is often a cover to hide one's inferiority; Real men and women have no need to advertise themselves. Ego is a mask we wear to try to hide and veil what we are.

Repulsion

Aversion or repulsion to people, things, or ideas. Its counterpoise is obviously a state of Equipoise Neutrality. The true nature of the Spirit (Atman) is non-discriminating. Aghora (the Lord Shiva) means nothing horrible in itself.

Attachment

Possessiveness, ownership, liking, attraction. Attachment to people, things, and ideas. To join, connect, or associate ourselves with something. "This is ours," "This is mine." Attachment in its negative sense to things we cannot own or keep. Often the cause of quarrels, violent conflicts, and even war. Expressed also as race, nationality, my country, my money. Attachment can only have free play on lower mind levels.

Repulsion and attraction are two sides of a single coin. Their obstacle value can be impediments and overcome by: Contentment, Neutrality, Tranquility, and Knowledge.

Clinging to life

Fear of Death. Desire for body continuity. Though most of human life is pain, misery, sickness and woe, delusion gives most people an abnormal desire to live. The other four Kleshas help to strengthen the delusion. Every living body has a limited lifespan to live on earth, and humans are no exception to what are but natural laws.

Further reading

In The Open Door

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