By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Kasaya, KaSAya, Kashaaya
Kaṣāya literally means ‘that which upsets’.
The word ‘kaṣāya’ is used in several senses depending upon the particular branch of knowledge. It represents or indicates:
- astringent taste in the culinary sciences
- the boiled and decanted essence of medicinal herbs in Ayurveda
- weaknesses and impurities of mind which are obstacles to spiritual evolution in the philosophical works
They can be either in a potential state or manifested fully. For instance:
- Rāga - attachment
- Dveṣa - hatred
It is only the person who has transcended the kaṣāyas is fit for mokṣa or liberation.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore