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Vedana In Buddhism


Vedana is one of the five aggregates for interpreting human personality. It is one of the pancha skandha through which Buddhists explain the human personality. Vedana in this context means feelings.

For interpreting the human personality, as Buddha declined to accept the conception of atma, he introduced the theology of “five aggregates.” His refusal to accept the eternal existence of atma and is empirically conditioned form as the nature of human personality led him to understand its real nature.

Through his active meditations, Buddha understood that the human personality is an aggregate of five constituents. According to Pali Buddhism they are vedana (feeling), sanna (perception), sankhara (disposition), rupa (form0 and vinnana (consciousness).

He also observed that all these constituents are impermanent, and thus the satisfaction one can draw from them is limited. He was clear that the attachment implicitly developed by the human being towards these elements of human personality leads to severe dissatisfaction and dukha (suffering).

When we examine the process of sense perception, the natural course of experience gets solidified into a metaphysical concept because of the overstretched activity of emotions. The solidified emotional stage is misinterpreted as the eternally existing self that is considered as an agent behind all experiences. The doctrine further says that each of the elements in the five aggregates influences the others, or each is dependent on the others in the process of characterizing the human personality.

In the case of Vedana, the process of contact with the world works together with ignorance and sankhara (dispositional tendency) in a person to generate tanha (desire). It is possible to explain pratityasamutpada (dependent arising) with the doctrine of pancha skandha.



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