Definition - What does Vicchinna mean?

Vicchinna is a Sanskrit word that translates as “ended,” “separated,” “inconsistent” and “alternating.” In the context of yoga, it is one of the four stages of the kleshas (negative mental states) mentioned in the Yoga Sutras that must be understood in order for the yogi to overcome the kleshas. Kleshas limit a yogi's spiritual growth and prevent enlightenment.

The four stages are tanu (the attenuated stage), udaram (the active stage), vicchinna (the separated stage) and parsupta (the dormant stage).

Yogapedia explains Vicchinna

In the vicchinna stage, the klesha is inactive temporarily or weakened because the yogi has separated himself/herself from it mentally, or because it has become unimportant for a time. But, the klesha may become active again under the right circumstances. For example, the yogi whose life is going well may not feel attachment to worldly things, but this stage (vicchinna) is only temporary. When his fortunes change, he may find comfort in material possessions, and the klesha becomes active.

In the right environment, the klesha in parsupta, vicchinna or tanu can move to the udaram stage. The order of these states can vary, but typically follow this progression:

  • Udaram, the klesha's natural, active state.
  • Vicchinna, weak
  • Tanu, the state in which the klesha is simply not strong enough to agitate the mind, but it exists in the subconscious.
  • Parsupta, the state in which the klesha is dormant because it either was not cultivated or the yogi has reached a level of awareness that has caused it to be dormant.
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