The ancient yogis identified kleshas as mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describe five main kleshas:
• Ignorance (avidya): lack of discernment; not understanding the way of things
• Attachment (raga): attachment or desire for what we like
• Aversion (dvesha): aversion for what we don’t like, or for what prevents us from getting what we like
• Pride (mana): having an inflated opinion of oneself and a disrespectful attitude toward others
• Envy (irshya): being unable to bear the accomplishment or good fortune of others
Traditional yoga philosophy, much like Buddhism, teaches how to overcome the mental afflictions resulting from kleshas through its practices of meditation, asana, pranayama and insight. By fully understanding the true nature of the kleshas, the Self, and the Mind, the disturbing emotions lose their power to distract the mind.