Ego and Ahaṁkāra: Self and Identity in Modern Psychology and Indian Thought

Kiran Kumar K. Salagame

‘Know thy self’ and ‘ko'ham’ (who am I?) probably epitomize the Western and Indian approaches to the problem of human identity from ancient times. While the dictum, ‘know thy self’, is an injunction from the ‘other’, ko'ham, is an inquiry from ‘within’. Though both of them aim at realizing the nature of one's true identity, they may be considered as representing the second person and first person or objective and subjective perspectives, and have formed the foundations of two different types of self—psychologies offering different perspectives on human nature per se. Ego and ahaṁkāra are representative concepts from Western and Indian traditions, ...

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