Klesha, aka: Kleśa, Klesa; 6 Definition(s)

Introduction

Klesha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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 Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

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.).

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
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).

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

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): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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.

General definition (in Buddhism)

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 (eg., 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): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

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].
(Source): DLMBS: Buddhānusmṛti

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

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

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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.

Relevant definitions

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