From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sanśaya literally means ‘that which sleeps or remains in the mind".

Sanśaya or doubt is created when two kinds of knowledge, opposite to each other, arise in the mind. In the Yogasutras[1] of Patañjali,[2] it is listed as one of the nine obstacles to yoga. It has to be overcome by faith in the scripture and the teacher.

The Bhagavadgitā[3] declares that a doubting person loses this world and the next. He ultimately destroys himself. Some technical treatises classify sanśaya into seven categories such as:

  1. Śuddhasanśaya - doubt in general
  2. Dharmasanśaya - doubt regarding dharma
  3. Etc.


  1. Yogasutras 1.30
  2. He lived in 200 B. C.
  3. Bhagavadgitā 4.40
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore