arishadvarga — the six passions of mind or enemies of desire, kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride) and matsarya (jealousy), the negative characteristics which prevent man from realizing the atman (Reality that is his True Being).

  • kama — lust, craze, desire
  • krodha — anger, hatred
  • lobha — greed, miserliness, narrow minded
  • moha — delusory emotional attachment
  • mada or ahankara — pride, stubborn mindedness
  • matsarya — envy, jealousy, show or vanity, and pride

Kama and krodha or lust and anger are responsible for all kinds of difficult experiences which we have in our lives.

With the false ego ("I-ness") up and active, all our acting in the world becomes selfish and evil. Hence there is no other factor causing the illusory duality and the repeated pain and delusion it entails than the psychological ego-sense. When the materially identified ego has sided with the materialistic forces of creation (Maya), it is said to have the following faults: kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada or ahankara, and matsarya. Also called evil passions, man's Spiritual heritage constantly gets looted by these internal thieves (and their numerous variations), causing him to lose knowledge of his True Being.

If a fellow is virtually a prisoner of arishadvargas (the six internal enemies of kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya) then his life is totally governed by the destiny. As a person moves ahead on the path of self-realization, the grip of the destiny over him loosens and he gets more and more leverage to change his destiny. When a person identifies himself with the self, then, he becomes part of the destiny power. His power of mere sankalpa is good enough to materialize and change any situation either for good or bad according to his sankalpa.


Kama Krodascha Lobhascha Dehe Thishtanthi Taskarah Jnana Ratno-paharaya Tasmat Jagrata Jagrata.
Desire, anger, greed, attachment, pride, jealousy—these dacoits are residing within your own body. They are not outside. They are residing as fifth column enemies within you. And, why are they there? To loot you of the Jnana-Ratna, to rob you of the precious gem of spiritual wisdom or atma-jnana, to loot you and deprive you of the precious gem of Self-awareness and make you forget your Self and weep and wail and be in ignorance. In order to deprive you of this jewel of atma-jnana, they are there. Therefore, oh man, oh Sadhak, Jagrata, Jagrata. Beware, beware. In this way, from the submerged level of the chitta or the deep within, various samskaras and vasana are brought into activity.
Adi Sankaracharya



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