From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Kasaya, KaSAya, Kashaaya

Kaṣāya literally means ‘that which upsets’.

The word ‘kaṣāya’ is used in several senses depending upon the particular branch of knowledge. It represents or indicates:

  • astringent taste in the culinary sciences
  • the boiled and decanted essence of medicinal herbs in Ayurveda
  • weaknesses and impurities of mind which are obstacles to spiritual evolution in the philosophical works

They can be either in a potential state or manifested fully. For instance:

  1. Rāga - attachment
  2. Dveṣa - hatred

It is only the person who has transcended the kaṣāyas is fit for mokṣa or liberation.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore