The Five Hindrances are but five defilements of what are called Medium Kilesa. The five are:
1. the desire for sensual pleasures,
3. indolence (laziness),
4. worry, and
The Pali Canon illustrates the effect of these hindrances with the help of five eloquent similes:
1. The mind overpowered by the desire for sense pleasures is compared to coloured water which prevents a true reflection of a thing on the water. Thus a man obsessed with the desire for sense pleasures is unable to get a true perspective of either himself or other people or his environment.
2. The mind oppressed by anger is compared to boiling water which cannot give an accurate reflection. A man overpowered by anger is unable to discern an issue properly.
3. When the mind is in the grip of indolence, it is like moss covered water: light cannot even reach the water and a reflection is impossible. The lazy man does not even make an effort at correct understanding.
4. When worried, the mind is like wind-tossed turbulent water, which also fails to give a true reflection. The worried man forever restless is unable to make a proper assessment of an issue.
5. When the mind is in doubt it is compared to muddy water placed in darkness which cannot reflect an image well. Thus all the Five Hindrances deprive the mind of understanding and happiness and cause much stress and suffering.
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