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(Skt., outflow; Pāli, āsava).

A group of basic impurities or defilements which are the cause of repeated rebirth. There is an original list of three in Pāli sources, namely sense-desires (kāmāsava), the desire for continued existence (bhavāsava), and wrong views (diṭṭhāsava). These are sometime supplemented by a fourth, namely ignorance of the truth (avijjāsava). The āśravas summarize the cognitive and affective impediments to the state of full perfection, and their destruction (āsavakkhaya) is equated with the attainment of Arhatship (see Arhat). In Pāli sources the four āsavas are also referred to by the alternative designation of ‘floods’ (ogha).

Subjects: Buddhism.

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