Antarāyas

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Antarayas, AntarAyas, Antaraayas


Antarāyas literally means ‘those which come in between’.

Yoga or union (yuj = to yoke) of the individual self with the Supreme Self can be attained through yoga or perfect concentration (yuj = to get samādhi or superconscious state). All attempts of controlling the vagaries of the mind which is constantly rising in the form of vṛttis or wave-like modifications are foiled by antarāyas or ‘intruders’ which are actually obstacles in the path of yoga.

Antarāyas in Patañjali

Patañjali lists them as nine in number[1] :

  1. Vyādhi or illness
  2. Styāna or languor of the mind
  3. Saṅśaya or doubt
  4. Pramāda or heedlessness
  5. Ālasya or laziness of the body
  6. Avirati or absence of dispassion
  7. Bhrānti-darśana or false perception and hallucination
  8. Alabdhabhṅmikatva or non-attainment of yogic states
  9. Anavasthitatva or instability of a yogic state when obtained.

Vikṣepa-sahabhuvah

There is a second set of such antarāyas[2] which ‘co-exist with mental distractions’ and are hence called ‘vikṣepa-sahabhuvah.’ They are classified into five parts :

  1. Duhkha or sorrow
  2. Daurmanasya or disappointment
  3. Aṅgamejayatva or restlessness of limbs
  4. Śvāsa or forcible inhalation
  5. Praśvāsa or forcible exhalation

All these disturb the mind and hence prove to be obstacles to the attainment of yoga.

References

  1. Yogasutras 1.30
  2. Yogasutras 1.31
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore