virodhi svarupam — The Obstacles to Spiritual Practice. The spiritual path is metaphorically described in the Upanishads as “the edge of a razor” (kshurasya dhara) because of all the dangers inherent upon it. The spiritual path is beset with difficulties, obscuration and obstructions and as such is traversable only by those with courage, determination and insight. There are five categories of obstacles upon the spiritual path which have to be recognised and avoided by the aspirant. These hindrances arise from various misconceptions that we have accumulated over lifetimes of misinformation and indoctrination.
1. svarupa-virodhi — Mistaken identity.
2. paratva-virodhi —- Theological misconceptions.
3. purushartha-virodhi — Misconceptions about the purpose of life.
4. upaya-virodhi — Ignorance of the means to Liberation.
5. prapatti-virodhi — Offenses of commission and omission.
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