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According to Śaiva Siddhānta theology, an essential and beginningless impurity which is tied to the soul (ātman); along with karma and māyā, it occludes the soul's true nature, and causes further rebirth. Through successive lives, mala is said to ‘ripen’, and so gets worn away. In the Kashmiri form of Śaiva Siddhānta, it is thought to be destroyed by the act of initiation (dīkṣā).

Subjects: Hinduism.

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