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From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Vikṣepa literally means ‘throwing,’ ‘distracting’.

Vikṣepa as per Nyāya Philosophy[edit]

This is a technical word used in several senses. In the Nyāya philosophy, it is interpreted as ‘evasion’. When a person, who is involved in a disputation, finds himself on the losing side and tries to escape by saying that he has to go on some urgent business, it is called ‘vikṣepa’.[1]

Vikṣepa as per Yogasutras[edit]

In the Yogasutras,[2] the word is used to indicate those nine factors such as vyādhi,[3] pramāda[4] and avirati[5] which acts as antarāyas or obstacles to the practice of yoga.

Vikṣepa as per Advaita Vedānta[edit]

In the Advaita Vedānta, vikṣepa is one of the two śaktis[6] of avidyā.[7] For instance, avidyā covers the real nature of the rope as rope by its āvaraṇaśakti[8] and makes it appear as a snake by its vikṣepaśakti.[9]


  1. Nyāyasutras 5.2.19
  2. Yogasutras 1.30
  3. Vyādhi means illness.
  4. Pramāda means heedlessness.
  5. Avirati means absence of renunciation.
  6. Śaktis means powers.
  7. Avidyā means nescience.
  8. Āvaraṇaśakti means covering power.
  9. Vikṣepaśakti means power of projection.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore