- Emotional obscurations are defined according to their essence, cause and function.
- "Thoughts such as avarice and so on,
- These are the emotional obscurations."
Their cause is grasping at a personal ego, or the “self of the individual”.
They function to prevent liberation from samsara.
- Cognitive obscurations are also defined according to their essence, cause and function.
In essence, they are thoughts that involve the three conceptual ‘spheres’ of subject, object and action. The Gyü Lama says:
- "Thoughts that involve the three spheres,
- These are the cognitive obscurations."
Their cause is grasping at phenomena as truly existent, or, in other words, the “self of phenomena”.
Their function is to prevent complete enlightenment.