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By Swami Harshananda

Mala literally means ‘impurity’.

According to the Pāśupata sect of Śaivism, jīva, the bound soul, technically called as ‘paśu’ is fettered by three kinds of impurities called malas. They are:

  1. Āṇava-mala
  2. Māyīyamala
  3. Kārmamala

With the help of yoga, the paśu or the jīva can get rid of them.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore