Ahamkara, aka: Ahaṅkāra, Ahaṃkāra, Ahankara, Aham-kara; 12 Definition(s)


Ahamkara means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Ahamkara in Shaktism glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Ahaṃkāra (अहंकार, “ego”):—In Hindu iconology, Kālī (‘goddess of time’) holds a
severed head in one of her hands. The head represents the ego (the notion of individuality). The severed head reminds all living beings that there is no escape from time (which is represented as Kālī).

Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Ahamkara in Shaivism glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Ahamkara: Buddhi generates Ahamkara (the I-doer) or ego, which has the sense of possessiveness. Ahamkara determines whether an object is his or not. Its dominant quality is Rajas.

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Ahamkara in Yoga glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Ahaṃkāra (अहंकार) is a Sanskrit word referring to the “individuality, ego”. It is one of the fourteen Adhyātma (pertaining to the body) mentioned in the Subālopaniṣad (fifth section). The corresponding Ādhibhūta (pertaining to the elements) is called ahaṃkartavya (that which is done by the self) and the corresponding Adhidaivata (presiding deity) is rudra. Accordingly, “the nādis form their bond (or connect them). He who moves in the ego (ahaṃkāra), in ahaṃkartavya, in rudra, in the nādis, in prāṇa, in vijñāna, in ānanda, in the ākāśa of the heart and within all else—That is Ātman. It is that which should be worshipped. It is without old age, death, fear, sorrow or end.”

Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Ahamkara in Purana glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Ahaṃkāra (अहंकार) refers to the “cosmic ego”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.6, while explaining and enumerating the principles (tattvas):—“from Prakṛti came into being the Mahat (cosmic Intellect), from Mahat the three Guṇas. Ahaṃkāra (the cosmic ego) arose therefrom in three forms according to the three Guṇas”.

Note: The Ego (Ahaṃkāra) is threefold according to the qualities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. In the present enumeration it is counted as one.

Source: archive.org: Siva Purana - English Translation

Ahaṅkāra (अहङ्कार).—One of the tatvas; description of.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 103. 38; Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 2, 36-46.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Ahamkara in Hinduism glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Ahamkara (अहंकार): A Sanskrit term that refers to the ego of one's self, the identification of one's own ego.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Ahaṅkāra literally means ‘egoism’. Ahaṅkāra is that which produces abhimāna, the sense of I and ‘mine.’ According to Sāṅkhyan metaphysics, a large part of which is accepted by Vedānta, ahaṅkāra is the principle of individuation that arises after mahat or buddhi in the process of evolution from prakṛti (nature). It is regarded as a substance since it is the material cause of other substances like the mind or the sense-organs. Through its action the different puruṣas (individual selves) become endowed each with a separate mental background. These puruṣas identify themselves with the acts of prakṛti through ahaṅkāra.

At the individual level it makes the puruṣa feel that he receives the sensations through the senses and the mind, and decides about appropriate action, through the intellect. At the cosmic level, the five senses of cognition (jñānendriyas), the five organs of action (karmendriyas), the mind (manas) and the five subtle elements like the earth (tanmātras) are produced out of ahaṅkāra.

In some works of Vedānta, ahaṅkāra is considered as a function of antahkaraṇa (internal instrument or mind), responsible for ego-sense and possessiveness.

Source: Hindupedia: The Hindu Encyclopedia

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Ahamkara in Pali glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

ahaṃkāra : (m.) egotism; arrogance.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Ahaṃkāra refers to: selfishness, egotism, arrogance (see also mamaṃkāra) M.III, 18, 32; S.II, 253; III, 80, 136, 169 sq.; IV, 41, 197, 202; A.I, 132 sq.; III, 444; Ud.70; Nett 127, and frequent passim. (Page 91)

Note: ahaṃkāra is a Pali compound consisting of the words ahaṃ and kāra.

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Marathi-English dictionary

Ahamkara in Marathi glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

ahaṅkāra (अहंकार).—m (S) Pride, haughtiness, conceit. 2 Conscious feeling or regard; apprehension of self as an existence distinct from the Deity or from the World without; assertion or assurance of personality.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

ahaṅkāra (अहंकार).—m Pride; conscious feeling; conceit; assertion of personality.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Ahamkara in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [A] · next »

Ahaṅkāra (अहङ्कार).—m.

(-raḥ) 1. Pride. 2. Individuality, sense of self. 3. One of the elements of creation, consciousness, individualization. E. aham 1, and kāra what makes; thinking highly of one’s self.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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