avirati

(‘absence of renunciation’)

Patañjali (200 B. C.) the great teacher of yoga, lists nine serious obstacles to the attainment of yoga (vide Yogasūtras 1.30) of which ‘avirati’ or absence of the spirit of renunciation is one. Yoga is ‘citta-vṛtti-nirodha’ or suppressing the modifications of the mind. These modifications continue to rise as long as their causes like kāma or desire for the pleasures of the senses exist. Kāma has to be controlled by ‘virati’ or dispassion or an intense spirit of renunciation. If this virati is absent, then, that state is called ‘avirati’ which is a serious obstacle to yoga.