From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Pramāda literally means ‘heedlessness’.
In general, the word means heedlessness or carelessness and a blunder that arises out of it. However, in the Yogasutras of Patañjali, it is used as a technical term and listed as an obstacle to yoga or samādhi. It is defined as neither remembering nor practicing the basic virtues like ahiṅsā and satya, which are essential for attaining samādhi.
Once the mind is allowed to slip from the path of yoga due to pramāda, it can result in a total fall. The famous sage Sanatsujāta compares pramāda to mṛtyu or death since it ultimately leads to sansāra or trans-migratory existence.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore