KLESHAS (afflictions of mind) according to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

From the perspective of Yoga is is important to understand that emotional pain and its varied expressions, such as depression, stem from the desire, attachment, fear and certain unconscious universal constructs, existing in all unliberated human minds. These constructs form a basis on which all other more individualized neuroses are woven and re-woven through a complex association of desires, attachments, and experiences. If they can be removed through yoga practices, all of the individual neuroses which they support will crumble away. Called Kleshas (or afflictions), these five constructs or crystallized thought-forms are described by Patanjali at the beginning of Book 2 of the Yoga Sutra (1, 2, 4).

Once they are seen in a clear light they will disappear. The intellectual mind is not enough for this. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Prathyara, Dharana, Dhyana will lead the mind toward the necessary purification. But every road starts with the first step. Here the Kleshas are to quench the desire of the intellect.

Prepared according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and article by Sarasvati Buhrman: "Leaving Depression Behind-the Yogic Way Out", Yoga International, February/March 27, 1998.