Definition – What does Avarana mean?
Avarana is a Sanskrit term which translates as ‘covering’ or ‘obstruction’. It is considered to be one of the three defects of the mind that hinder spiritual progression. Avarana is a veil of ignorance that dulls the mind and prevents us from seeing our true self or higher self. Without lifting the veil of Avarana, it is not possible to know Atman or Brahman.
On explains Avarana
Avarana can be found throughout Ayurvedic literature and scriptures such as the Susruta-Samhita and the Caraka-Samhita. It is one of three doshas or ‘defects’ of the mind which are said to be obstacles to spiritual advancement. The three doshas are:
- Mala (impurity)
- Vikshepa (‘tossing’ or agitations in the mind)
- Avarana (veil of ignorance)
Avarana prevents us from knowing our true self, Atman and Brahman. It is symbolic of our doubts, fears, and incorrect perceptions of the world around us. Avarana makes it impossible to know the pure mind, and leaves us in a lower level of consciousness. It is possible to remove the veil of Avarana by practicing Jnana yoga, or self-study of Vedantic literature.