The Five Kleshas are the root causes of suffering, the obstacles on the path towards enlightenment. By traveling to foreign places, learning about new cultures and other ways of living we will understand our avidya, ignorance, which is the underlying force of all forms of suffering.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is undoubtedly the best assistance anyone can get for those who enjoy practicing Yoga. Sutra II.3 Book Two, Sadhana Pada, the following is mentioned:
- avidya = absence or forgetfulness of spirituality, ignorance of our true nature
- asmita = egoism, I, me, myself, associations
- raga = attachment, desirability or pulling toward, addiction
- dvesha = aversion, dislike or rejecting hatred
- abhinivesha = resistance toward loss or fear of death, craving for permanence
- pancha = five
- klesha = tinted, stricken, tainted, painful; the root klish means to cause problems; (klesha is a noun from the adjective klishta)
As translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda this sutra means ignorance, conceit, connected, abhorrence, and grabbing onto physical life, and they are the five obstacles.
The Five Kleshas
The pancha kleshas are also known as five obstacles or troubles of the mind. Avidya or ignorance, the first and the biggest hurdle is the one that gives birth to all other obstacles. Ignorance gives birth to self-obsession or attachment towards things. When you lose those things or don’t get what you expect, you become hateful.
Attachment for things makes one afraid of death and makes people attach to their physical bodies. This state of mind is the ignorance of knowledge, which makes one forget the true self of things and impermanent things are termed as permanent, impure things show up as pure, painful things appear to be pleasant ones, and non-self seems to be self. True self is eternal, which most of the people forget. Self is not just the physical body, which most of us forget.
Continuous Disturbance of Obstacles
In a modern and westernized society, the kleshas or obstacles are always aggravating the average human being. One’s self is ignorant and infinite — and this should never be forgotten. An individual affected by the kleshas places more importance on his physical body and appearance and materialistic attitude but seeking happiness in external things and creating barriers. This ultimately leads to the disturbance in ones’ living standards, and a human being doesn’t put sufficient effort into coming out of this state. One should always focus on how they can make the world a better place or helping and serving others, — instead of thinking or serving themselves and how they can improve their physical state.
Good Qualities Can Be Cultivated Through Yoga and Travel
From a personal point of view, yoga is a way of life. Yoga and traveling to other countries like Nicaragua can help us to enhance our good qualities and contribute to making our surroundings and the universe a better place. Practicing yoga helps us differentiate ourselves from the negativity that shrouds our inner being. We can certainly control the kleshas or obstacles by surrendering ourselves into the practice of yoga. Yoga is a spiritual path and can help dissipate the vices in us. We reveal our true inner self when we let go of our ignorance and ego, which is possible when we practice yoga or travel.
Traveling helps a person to observe and get better at differentiating truth from illusion. If a person immerses themselves in the beauty of nature in the form of landscapes, they will get to meet new people, and experience the togetherness of working together experiences a new culture, they are humbled. These observations connect of the person with the real world and their true self. Thus, yoga and travel help cleanse ones’ mind, diverts distracting thoughts, breaks ignorance, shatters ego and takes us steps closer to the attainment of enlightenment. This dissolution of darkness brought forth by the kleshas are shed by yoga and travelling, and enlightens a person about his true self and the divinity that lies in nature and all natural things.
We offer yoga teacher trainings on the Pacific Coast in Nicaragua. We welcome all yoga practitioners to join our ever growing community of yoga and nature lovers. Make your teacher training experience special and plan a trip to Nicaragua. Allow enough time before or after the intensive training so that you can explore the country. Nicaragua is a small country making it easy to travel from one coast to another in just a few days.