Klesha: the Obstacles

The kleshas cover a good chunk of The Yoga Sutras (II. 2-13).  They are the obstacles that get in the way of our practice.  Kriya Yoga provides the methods to overcome these kleshas (sutra II.1-2).  When the kleshas are allowed to go unchallenged they will create much suffering.

The five kleshas as listed in sutra II.3 are:  

1. AVIDYA means ignorance or incorrect knowledge of what is real.  The real doesn’t change, and what changes isn’t real.  It is the root cause of the other four kleshas.

2. ASMITA becomes an obstacle when the ego becomes inflated.  We then see ourselves as separate entities from the rest of the world and feel isolated. 

3. RAGA is attachment to things we like.  Our ego then begins to identify with things we like.  We become too sheltered in our own comfort zones.

4. DVESHA is aversion to things we dislike.  This leads to hatred towards unfamiliar things.

5. ABHINIVESHA is attachment to life which causes a fear of death.  Caught in fear, we can not enjoy the moment.  This will prevent us from true surrender.