Last modified on 13 July 2016, at 20:33

Three poisons

The Three poisons or in Sanskrit either triviṣa or triklesha, in Tibetan dug gsum, is an expression from Buddhism and Tibetan medicine that refers to the most common emotional - mental afflictions that beings experience.

They are featured in the center of the archetypal Tibetan Buddhist tangkha painting called the Wheel of Life and there are represented as a pig, snake and bird representing ignorance, anger and desire.

The trivisha or triklesha are variously explained as:

  1. Greed - desire - lust - attachment. Related to wind element, as in "winds of desire"
  2. Anger - hate - related to fire element
  3. Ignorance or stupidity - related to earth element

Alternate translation

  • 'destructive emotions'