Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: November 28, 2023

Why We Love


Ahankara is an important concept in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. It is a Sanskrit word that refers to the individual’s sense of self or identity. It is one of the fourteen Adhyātma, which are related to the body and mind. Ahankara is also referred to as ego and evolves from Mahat-tattva, one of the four Antaḥkaraṇa (functions of the mind).

Ahankara is a vritti, or thought stream, that arises in the mind. It is part of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and it is associated with separation and differentiation. Ahankara focuses on “I” or self and can be seen as a form of attachment to one’s own identity. In Hinduism and yogic philosophy, ahankara is one of the four aspects of antahkarana, or inner organ, through which thinking, reasoning, feeling and willing take place.

In Samkhya philosophy, ahankara is divided into three categories: Rajasika Ahamkara (passionate ego), Tamasika Ahamkara (ignorant ego) and Satvika Ahamkara (pious ego). Rajasika Ahamkara involves attachment to material objects while Tamasika Ahamkara involves ignorance or lack of knowledge about spiritual matters. Satvika Ahamkara involves knowledge about spiritual matters as well as positivity and discipline.

Ahankara plays an important role in understanding our sense of self and how we interact with our environment. By recognizing its presence in our lives we can strive for balance between attachment to material objects and detachment from them in order to achieve spiritual growth.