U M B E R G R O U P S ·· F I V E H I N D R A N C E S
R E S O U R C E S
|INTRO | 5 HINDRANCES | 10 PARAMITAS | 5 KHANDHA | 4 BRAHMA VIHARAS | 8 WORLDLY WINDS | 3 CONDITIONS | OTHERS|
"five hindrances" (pańcanivarana): sensual desire, ill will, dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and worry, and doubt. They receive the name "hindrances" because they block the path to liberation; they grow up and over the mind preventing calm and insight, the primary instruments for progress. The first two hindrances, sensual desire and ill will, are the strongest of the set, the most formidable barriers to meditative growth, representing, respectively, the unwholesome roots of greed and aversion. The other three hindrances, less toxic but still obstructive, are offshoots of delusion, usually in association with other defilements.
Sensual desire is interpreted in two ways. Sometimes it is understood in a narrow sense as lust for the "five strands of sense pleasure," i.e., agreeable sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches; sometimes a broader interpretation is given, by which the term becomes inclusive of craving in all its modes, whether for sense pleasures, wealth, power, position, fame, or anything else it can settle upon. The second hindrance, ill will, is a synonym for aversion. It comprises hatred, anger, resentment, repulsion of every shade, whether directed towards other people, towards oneself, towards objects, or towards situations. The third hindrance, dullness and drowsiness, is a compound of two factors linked together by their common feature of mental unwieldiness. One is dullness (thina), manifest as mental inertia; the other is drowsiness (middha), seen in mental sinking, heaviness of mind, or excessive inclination to sleep. At the opposite extreme is the fourth hindrance, restlessness and worry. This too is a compound with its two members linked by their common feature of disquietude. Restlessness (uddhacca) is agitation or excitement, which drives the mind from thought to thought with speed and frenzy; worry (kukkucca) is remorse over past mistakes and anxiety about their possible undesired consequences. The fifth hindrance, doubt, signifies a chronic indecisiveness and lack of resolution: not the probing of critical intelligence, an attitude encouraged by the Buddha, but a persistent inability to commit oneself to the course of spiritual training due to lingering doubts concerning the Buddha, his doctrine, and his path.
- Kama-chanda: sensual desires, taking pleasure in sensual objects (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, ideas) and sensual moods (such as passion, aversion, and delusion). -- Byapada: ill will, malevolence, hatred. -- Thina-middha: torpor, lethargy, drowsiness, listlessness. -- Uddhacca-kukkucca: restlessness and anxiety. -- Vicikiccha: doubt, uncertainty.
"Remove the fuel, and the fire won't blaze."