Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article
Ahaṃkāra (Skt., ‘I maker’). In Indian (especially Sāṃkhya) philosophy, the principle of the ego. In general ahaṃkāra is the ego or ego principle responsible for one's individuality, one's self-awareness. In Sāṃkhya, ahaṃkāra is understood as the second evolution of unmanifest prakṛti and the immediate product of the buddhi (or mahat) principle. The products of ahaṃkāra predominant in tamas (also called bhutādi) are the five subtle elements (tanmātras), the building blocks of the objective world.