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By Swami Harshananda

Aṣtapaśas literally means ‘eight fetters’.

The tantras, the secondary scriptures advocating the worship of the Divine Mother, give a list of the ‘aṣṭapāśas’ or the eight ‘bonds’ or ‘fetters’ which obstruct our spiritual progress. They are :

  1. Ghṛiṇā - Animosity
  2. Lajjā - Bashfulness
  3. Bhaya - Fear
  4. Śaṅkā - Doubt
  5. Jugupsā - Aversion
  6. Kula - Family
  7. Śīla - Conduct, Uprightness
  8. Jāti - Birth or caste
  9. Māna - Honor
  10. Tṛiṣā - Desire
  11. Kāma - Lust
  12. Lobha - Greed

While approaching God, all these though being virtues under certain conditions, should be given up. For instance, lajjā or bashfulness, is necessary in civilized society. But while dancing, taking the name of God, there should be no lajjā.


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