Indian concepts of personality

Adhikari Srikanta Dash & Mamata Rout
Centre of Advanced Study in Psychology
Utkal University, Bhubaneswar.

Indian psychology contains a vast and rich literature on the theories, determinants, dimensions, types and traits of personality. Indian psychology clearly distinguishes between individuality and personality. Individuality is our consciousness, because that is our being - the unchangeable existence or Atman, which is Sat-Chit-Ananda by nature. Personality is the sum total of all our thoughts, feelings, passions, desires, and everything that comes up in our conscious being. When the self or Atman puts on the mask of a particular person, which is related to a particular body and sense powers, with a language, with a nationality and with all the relations in connection with the home, parents, and personal life and so on, then all these make up our personality. All of us have some characteristics in common with other people, but in each of us these are combined in special ways and unite with less common characteristics to form a set of behaviours and experiences that are distinct from all others. This paper will explore the concept of personality as put forward by different schools of thought.

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This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002