Ancient Wisdom on Wellness

There is a Sanskrit word pronounced as kleśa. It is used in the Yogasūtra of Patanjali, a systemization of the vedic school of thought called Yoga.

The word kleśa implies a toxic, unpleasant and undesirable state of mind-body associated with a wide spectrum of conditions ranging from simple unhappiness degenerating to disorders such as pain, anguish, affliction, stress, distress, toxicity, poisonousness and fatality.

Patanjali, in the third sutra (aphorism) of the second chapter of his Yogasūtra, identifies five kleśas:

  1. Existential Misunderstanding
  2. Finitude
  3. Likes
  4. Dislikes, and
  5. Fear.

It may be noted that the first kleśa on the list is a matter of our worldview, while the other four are feelings of the mind flowing from it.

Consistent with the vedic notion of understanding as the bedrock of feeling and action, the account that follows explains how the understanding upon which our worldview is based determines the feelings which drive our behaviour.

Health and wellness being a consequence of what we do and how we feel, indirectly the consistency of our worldview with the truth is the real determinant of human health and wellness.