According to the Sāṅkhyadarśana, one of the more well-known systems of Hindu philosophy, there are two types of creation: the elemental creation and creation of buddhi. The latter, called pratyaya-sarga, is fourfold: viparyaya (ignorance), aśakti (incapacity), tuṣṭi (contentment) and siddhi (perfection or powers). Andhatā-misra is a subdivision of viparyaya and is manifested as fear of death or self-destruction. Eighteen varieties of this are mentioned. There are five gross objects of pleasure enjoyed through the five organs of perception (e.g., śabda or sound by śrotra or ear etc.) and five subtle objects, their counterparts, enjoyed in higher worlds like heaven. There are also eight siddhis or powers like aṇimā (capacity to become atomic in size) and so on. The fear that these siddhis may be lost is andhatāmisra.

In the Yoga system of Patañjali this is called abhiniveśa (excessive attachment or clinging to life).

The words tāmisra and andhatāmisra have also been used in the purāṇas to indicate certain hells into which people committing certain types of heinous crimes and sins (like suicide, usurping the wealth and women of other people) are cast.