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Title: Vikṣepa  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kasaya (attachment), Mental factors (Buddhism), Outline of Buddhism
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Translations of
English: distraction,
mental wandering,
Sanskrit: vikṣepa, vikshepa
Tibetan: རྣམ་པར་གཡེང་བ།
(Wylie: rnam par g.yeng ba;
THL: nampar yengwa
Glossary of Buddhism

Vikṣepa (Sanskrit; Tibetan phonetic: nampar yengwa) is a Buddhist term that is translated as "distraction", "mental wandering", etc. In the Mahayana tradition, vikṣepa is defined as the mental motion or wandering towards an object which causes the inability to remain one-pointedly on a virtuous objective.[1][2]

Vikṣepa is identified as:


Mipham Rinpoche states:

Distraction [vikṣepa] belongs to the categories of the three poisons. It is the mental motion or wandering towards an object which causes the inability to remain one-pointedly on a virtuous objective. It can be defined as distraction towards the outer, towards the inner, and towards status.[1]

The Abhidharma-samuccaya states:

What is desultoriness? It is to be it scatter-brain and belongs to the categories of passion-lust (raga), aversion-hatred (dvesha), and bewilderment-erring (moha). Its function is to obstruct one from becoming free of passion-lust (raga).[2]

Alexander Berzin explains:

Mental wandering (rnam-par g.yeng-ba) is a part of longing desire (raga), hostility (dvesha), or naivety (moha). It is the subsidiary awareness that, due to any of the poisonous emotions, causes our mind to be distracted from its object of focus. If we are distracted due to longing desire, the object of our desire need not be something we are already familiar with, as in the case of flightiness of mind.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Kunsang (2004), p. 29.
  2. ^ a b Guenther (1975), Kindle Locations 986-987.
  3. ^ Berzin (2006)


  • Berzin, Alexander (2006), Mind and Mental Factors: The Fifty-one Types of Subsidiary Awareness
  • Guenther, Herbert V. & Leslie S. Kawamura (1975), Mind in Buddhist Psychology: A Translation of Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan's "The Necklace of Clear Understanding" Dharma Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  • Kunsang, Erik Pema (translator) (2004). Gateway to Knowledge, Vol. 1. North Atlantic Books.
  • Nina van Gorkom (2010), Cetasikas, Zolag

External links

Mahayana tradition:

  • Mind and Mental Factors: The Fifty-one Types of Subsidiary Awareness
  • rnam par g.yeng baRanjung Yeshe wiki entry for
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