Klesha, Kleśa, Klesa: 22 definitions


Klesha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Kleśa can be transliterated into English as Klesa or Klesha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Kleśa (क्लेश) refers to “misery” (e.g., the misery occasioned by penance), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.5.—Accordingly, after Goddess Śivā (i.e., Umā/Durgā) granted a boon to Menā:—“Saying so, the Goddess Śivā vanished from there even as Menā was watching. O dear one, on getting the desired boon from the Goddess, Menā attained immeasurable joy. Her misery occasioned by penance [i.e., tapas-kleśa] vanished. Bowing down in that direction, the chaste lady of delighted mind returned to her abode repeating the benedictory word “Jaya” (be victorious)”.

Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions (yoga)

Kleśa (क्लेश) refers to “suffering”, according to the Haṭhatattvakaumudī, an 18th-century text on Haṭhayoga consisting of fifty-six chapters and approximately 1680 verses.—The Haṭhatattvakaumudī has five chapters on prāṇāyāma (9, 10, 12, 37–38), namely, the preliminary auxiliaries and rules of practice for prāṇāyāma, an explanation of the names, nature and characteristics of kumbhakas, breathing methods for quelling suffering (kleśa-ghna), necessary rules for prāṇāyāma and an explanation of prāṇāyāma, which total more than 240 verses.

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Kleśa (क्लेश) refers to “affliction”, according to the Bhāṣya (commentary) on the Pātañjalayogaśāstra (i.e., The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali).—Accordingly: “Yoga is not perfected by one who does not practise Tapas. Impurity, which is of various kinds because of beginningless Karma, affliction (kleśa) and habitual tendencies and because of which the network of sense objects stands opposed [to Yoga], is not weakened without Tapas. Thus, the mention of Tapas [in the root text]”.

Yoga book cover
context information

Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

Kilesa (“defilements”), are mind-defiling, unwholesome qualities. Vis.M. XXII, 49, 65: There are 10 defilements, thus called because they are themselves defiled, and because they defile the mental factors associated with them.

They are:

  1. greed (lobha),
  2. hate (dosa),
  3. delusion (moha),
  4. conceit (māna),
  5. speculative views (ditthi),
  6. skeptical doubt (vicikicchā),
  7. mental torpor (thīna),
  8. restlessness (uddhacca);
  9. shamelessness (ahirika),
  10. lack of moral dread or unconscientiousness (anottappa)."

For 1-3, s. mūla; 4, s. māna; 5, s. ditthi; 6-8, s. nīvarana; 9 and 10, s. ahirika-anottappa.

The ten are explained in Dhs. 1229f and enumerated in Vibh. XII.

No classification of the k. is found in the Suttas, though the term occurs quite often in them. For the related term, upakkilesa ('impurities') different lists are given - (App.).

context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Kleśa (क्लेश, “afflictions”).—The Bodhisattvas (accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata) excelled in destroying various the afflictions (kleśa) according to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 13. The afflictions (kleśa) are called kleśa (in Chinese, fan nao) because they vex (fan) and torment (nao) the mind.

There are two types of kleśa:

  1. inner attachment (ādhyātmikasaṅga),
  2. outer attachment (bāhyasaṅga).

The kleśas of inner attachment are the five dṛṣṭis, doubt (vicikitsā), pride (māna), etc.; the kleśas of outer attachment are lust (rāga), hatred (dveṣa), etc. Ignorance (avidyā) is both inner and outer.

Source: academia.edu: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Kleśa (क्लेश) refers to “vices”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “[...] Then again, the Bodhisattva, the great being Gaganagañja uttered these verses to that Bodhisattva, the great being Guṇarājaprabhāsa: ‘(25) [...] The one who never falls back from firm vigour, bravely conquers conceit, the māra, and enemies, and purifies the impurities of vices (kleśa) of oneself and others, I ask the beautiful one (sudarśana) for the sake of them. [...]’”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

1) Kleśa (क्लेश) refers to the “six defilements” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 67):

  1. rāga (passion),
  2. pratigha (repulsion),
  3. māna (conceit),
  4. avidyā (ignorance),
  5. kudṛṣṭi (bad view),
  6. vicikitsā (doubt).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., kleśa). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

2) Kleśa or Kleśamāra refers to the “defilements destroyer” and represents one of the “four destroyers” (māra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 80).

3) Kleśa or Kleśāvaraṇa refers to the “obstruction of defilements” and represents one of the “two obstructions” (āvaraṇa) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 115).

Source: DLMBS: Buddhānusmṛti

kleśa [kilesa] defilement, impurity or delusion. According to Buddhist psychology, mind is fundamentally pure but it is defiled by unwholesome qualities known as defilements that come from without. The defilements stand in the way of spiritual practice and obstruct wisdom. When they are latent and inactive in mind, they are known as residue (anuśaya) [anusaya]; when they become distinct, they are known as paryavasthāna [pariyuṭṭhāna].

According to the Abhidhamma the ten defilements are as follows.

  1. greed (lobha),
  2. hatred (doṣa) [dosa],
  3. delusion (moha),
  4. conceit (māna),
  5. false views (kudṛṣṭi) [diṭṭhi],
  6. doubt (vicikitsā) [vicikicchā],
  7. mental torpor (styāna) [thīna],
  8. restlessness (auddhatya) [uddhacca],
  9. shamelessness (to do evil) (āhrīkya) [ahirika],
  10. lack of fear (to do evil) (anotrapya) [anottappa].

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

klēśa (क्लेश).—m (S) Affliction or distress: also pains, labor, trouble. Gen. in pl.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

klēśa (क्लेश).—m Affiction or distress, also pains.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kleśa (क्लेश).—[kliś-bhāve ghañ]

1) Pain, anguish, suffering, distress, trouble; किमात्मा क्लेशस्य पदमुपनीतः (kimātmā kleśasya padamupanītaḥ) Ś.1; क्लेशः फलेन हि पुनर्नवतां विधत्ते (kleśaḥ phalena hi punarnavatāṃ vidhatte) Kumārasambhava 5.86; Bhagavadgītā (Bombay) 12.5.

2) Wrath, anger.

3) Care, trouble.

4) Worldly occupation.

5) Sin (in the Buddhist sense); अविद्याऽस्मितारागद्वेषाभिनि (avidyā'smitārāgadveṣābhini)शाः क्लेशाः (śāḥ kleśāḥ) Yoga Sūtra 2.3. अपि च क्लेशान् विहाय मम शत्रुबुद्धिरे (api ca kleśān vihāya mama śatrubuddhire) नान्यत्र (nānyatra) Nāg.3; अनुकम्प्यतामसौ राज्यस्य कृते क्लेशदासीकृतो तपस्वी (anukampyatāmasau rājyasya kṛte kleśadāsīkṛto tapasvī) ibid.

Derivable forms: kleśaḥ (क्लेशः).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Kleśa (क्लेश).—(also semi-MIndic kileśa), m. (= Pali kilesa), impurity, depravity; on relation to anuśaya, q.v., see especially LaVallée Poussin, Abhidharmakośa v.1 note 4; Dharmasaṃgraha 67 six kleśa: rāga, pratigha, māna, avidyā, kudṛṣṭi, vicikitsā; Abhidharmakośa v.2, six anuśaya, same list (for the last two, the synonyms dṛṣṭi, vimati); Kāraṇḍavvūha 80.5, read, katimāḥ ṣaṭ kleśāḥ (no list given); the word is extremely common, but usually vague and undefined; Mahāvyutpatti 862; Lalitavistara 8.18; 11.5; 12.12, etc. etc.; kileśa, Mahāvastu i.299.16 (verse; mss. kilena, em. Senart), and others, § 3.109. A discussion in Burnouf, Lotus, 443 ff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kleśa (क्लेश).—m.

(-śaḥ) 1. Pain, affliction or distress. 2. Pain from disease, anguish. Worldly occupation, care, trouble. 4. Wrath, anger. E. kliś to suffer or inflict pain, affix ghañ.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kleśa (क्लेश).—i. e. kliś + a, m. Pain, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 2, 227.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kleśa (क्लेश).—[masculine] affliction, pain, distress.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Kleśa (क्लेश):—[from kliś] a m. pain, affliction, distress, pain from disease, anguish, [Śvetāśvatara-upaniṣad; Manu-smṛti; Yājñavalkya; Mahābhārata] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] (in Yoga [philosophy] five Kleśas are named, viz. a-vidyā, ‘ignorance’, asmi-tā, ‘egotism’, rāga, ‘desire’, dveṣa, ‘aversion’, and abhiniveśa, ‘tenacity of mundane existence’ [Yoga-sūtra; Prabodha-candrodaya; Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]; the Buddhists reckon ten, viz. three of the body [murder, theft, adultery], four of speech [lying, slander, abuse, unprofitable conversation], three of the mind [covetousness, malice, scepticism] [Buddhist literature; Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha])

3) [v.s. ...] wrath, anger, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] worldly occupation, care, trouble (= vyavasāya), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) b etc. See √kliś.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kleśa (क्लेश):—(śaḥ) 1. m. Pain; care; anger.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Kleśa (क्लेश) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Kilesa.

[Sanskrit to German]

Klesha in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Kleśa (क्लेश) [Also spelled klesh]:—(nm) anguish; affliction; pain; misery; ~[kara] painful, irksome; ~[dāyaka/dāyī] painful, troublesome, imparting misery.

context information


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Kannada-English dictionary

Source: Alar: Kannada-English corpus

Klēśa (ಕ್ಲೇಶ):—

1) [noun] great suffering, as from worry, grief or pain; agony; anguish.

2) [noun] (phil.) any of the five types of obstacles that cause anguish (they being ignorance, self-conceit; passion, hatred, and instinctive clinging to worldly life).

3) [noun] intense anger; rage; fury; wrath.

4) [noun] the quality or fact of being thoughtful, cautious or guarded.

5) [noun] worldly occupation; mundane affairs.

context information

Kannada is a Dravidian language (as opposed to the Indo-European language family) mainly spoken in the southwestern region of India.

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