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Raga Dvesha In Hinduism

Attraction and aversion is known as Raga Dvesha in Hinduism and it is an important philosophical teaching. The importance of overcoming raga dvesha is described in the Bhagavad Gita (Chater III.34). It leads to a state of mind called prasada (chapter II.64), which is said to bring freedom from misery that leads to stability of mind (II.65).

In Nyaya Vaisesika philosophy among the twenty four gunas (qualities), five qualities are said to belong to the self. These are iccha (desire) or raga; devsha (aversion), sukha (pleasure), duhkha (pain) and prayatna (effort).

Raga and dvesha are included among the five kleshas (afflictions) recognized in the Yoga philosophy.

Patanjali in Yoga Sutra (II.3) has listed five afflictions, which are present in the human mind. They are called anadi (beginningless). The five afflictions are avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga (attachment), dvesha (aversion) and abhinivesha (fear of death).

Raga and Dvesha constitute the process of desire, which is the most influential characteristic of a human mind.

Patanjali has defined raga as the craving arising from experience of objects of pleasurable enjoyment (II .8)

The process of trishna (desire) is said to be the main cause responsible for suffering in human life.

The klesha (afflictions) are called cittamala (impurities of the mind). To remove them is one of the main objects of Patanjali’s yoga. They are removed by dhyana (contemplation) (II.11.) Thereby, viveka (discriminative knowledge) arises in the mind, which results in freedom from the cycle of rebirth.

Path of Blessedness (1973) Swami Chidananda – Divine Life Society Rishikesh
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VIII page 371 - IHRF