Anava Mala

Definition - What does Anava Mala mean?

Anava mala is one of the three malas, or impurities, in Shivaism, one of the major branches of Hinduism. The malas are aspects of consciousness that act as cloaks that prevent a yogi from seeing and experiencing his true nature or the true Self. They are the result of illusion, or maya.

Connected to the heart, anava mala is associated with insecurity, sadness, feelings of not being good enough, and unworthiness. Anava mala does not allow the yogi to recognize the divine within.

Yogapedia explains Anava Mala

Malas create a sense of separateness from the higher Self, the universe or the divine, depending on one's belief system. In addition to anava mala, the other two impurities are:

  • Mayiya mala (connected to the mind), which is associated with jealousy, anger, comparisons to others, not feeling good enough, and feeling separate from others
  • Karma mala (connected to the body), which is associated with worry and the veil of feeling like one's accomplishments are one's true worth
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