The Five Kleshas – the roots of pain and suffering

1.Avidya – Ignorance

Being ignorant of our true nature, we experience pain and suffering. So, what is our true
nature? It’s that part of you that is always loving, peaceful, and unchanging. It’s that good seed that is always there, but with life’s many distractions it can easily get covered up just like clouds filling up a clear sky.

2.Asmita – Egoism

When we forget our true nature, we begin to overly identify with I, me, and mine. We forget that we are all one and and at our core we are connected. We may also take things too personally and have self-deprecating thoughts.

3. Raga – Attachments

When we have inflated or bruised egos, we can also develop strong attachments to our desires. Desires can be healthy, but the attachment to desires is what can cause us pain and suffering. For some people this will also play out as an obsession with perfectionism. As we know deep down there is no such thing as perfection. However, there is always room for compassionate growth.

4. Dvesa–Aversions

When we are controlled by strong desires, we will also develop strong aversions when those desires are not fulfilled. They are two sides of the same coin; they rely on each other.

5. Abhinidvesa – Fear

When our attachments and aversions are firmly set in place, we will naturally fear change. We experience pain and suffering when we realize we lack the ability to control life. Deep down we know that the only thing constant in life is change, yet it is one of the most common fears especially the fear of death.


Eliminate all ignorance!

One of the best paths to eliminate ignorance is through yoga, which includes postures,
meditation and breathing practices. It will continually bring you back to your true nature.

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