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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Raga

A Sanskrit term usually translated as “passion” or “affection.” It is derived from the root rañj which signifies literally the act of dyeing or coloring, esp. red. By extension, it came to mean “inflammation” and “love” or “desire”; later, it denoted a musical mode or scale in Indian classical music. Its opposite is dvea, “dislike,” “repugnance,” or “hatred” (from the root dvi, be hostile toward). In Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras (2.3), these are identified as two of the five afflictions (KLEŚAS) which must be overcome in order to attain Self-realization. Rāga is the “attraction which accompanies pleasure” while dvea is the “repulsion which accompanies pain” (The Science of Yoga by I. K TAIMNI, pp. 147-150). Both these kleas bind us to things (attachment) and hence bind us to the lower levels of consciousness instead of rising to the transcendent levels.

R.W.B.

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