By Swami Harshanand
Viparyāya literally means ‘contrariety’.
This is a technical term used in the Yogasutras. The cittavrttis or the modifications of the mind, though they appear to be infinite, can be classified into five broad groups:
- Pramāṇa - means of valid knowledge
- Viparyāya - contrariety
- Vikalpa - mere concept
- Nidrā - sleep
- Smṛti - memory
Viparyaya, the second, is defined as mithyājñāna or false knowledge. It is not based on reality. When we see a snake in twilight in a rope lying on the ground, it is viparyāya, seeing one thing for another. Avidyā is an another name for it.
- Yogasutras 1.6, 8
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore