Definition - What does Viparyaya mean?

Viparyaya is a Sanskrit word meaning “reversed,” “absence," "non-existence” or “loss of consciousness.” The term refers to wrong knowledge that stems from incorrect thoughts or perceptions and is one of the five kleshas.

By developing concentration through meditation and increasing self-awareness via a yoga practice, yogis can become aware of and correct viparyaya.

Yogapedia explains Viparyaya

Yogis can perceive knowledge incorrectly through personal and cultural biases or misunderstanding of the truth. Viparyaya can lead to impurities of the mind such as egoism, hate, fear of death, attachment and ignorance.

By cultivating awareness of viparyaya, yogis can correct wrong thinking before it becomes destructive or leads to strengthening the kleshas. Many yogis believe that if they ask the mind for assistance in discerning viparyaya, the mind will help to correct the misperceptions.

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