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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Ālasya literally means ‘lassitude’.

Ālasya or laziness is the worst enemy of man. Even material well-being is blocked by it. How can the lazy one hope for spiritual progress is a question. That is why Patañjali, the great teacher of Yoga, has listed it as an antarāya or obstacle in the path of yoga.[1] Since it is caused by an excess of tamas (dark element among the guṇas), it is to be overcome by rajas (activity) and sattva (dynamic goodness).

Suśruta, the great teacher of Ayurveda (medicine and surgery), considers ālasya as a condition which inclines a man more towards pleasure and less towards work even if capable of it.[2]


  1. Yogasutras 1.30
  2. Suśruta Samhitā, Sārirasthāna, 4.51
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore