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By Swami Harshananda

Mada literally means ‘intoxication’, ‘arrogance’.

Scriptures describe six evil qualities of the mind which are enemies in the path of moral and spiritual evolution. Hence they are called as ‘arisadvarga’.[1] Mada is one of them. It is generally placed as the fifth in the series.

Mada is intoxication born out of several factors. At the psychological level, it is translated as arrogance. Some of the factors which produce this mada or arrogance are:

  • Vidyā - Learning
  • Dhana - wealth
  • Kula - lineage
  • Yauvana - youth
  • Bala - physical strength
  • Rupa - beauty
  • Rājya - kingdom
  • Parivāra - large retinue
  • Adhikāra - power

Even tapas[2] and siddhis[3] can cause mada if one is not careful and vigilant.


  1. Ari means enemy and ṣaṭ means six.
  2. Tapas means austerities.
  3. Siddhis means psychic powers.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore