Vedana

Definition - What does Vedana mean?

Vedana is a Sanskrit word meaning “sensation” or “feeling.” In Buddhism, it is one of the five skandhas (aggregates or states of impermanence) and one of the universal mental factors. Vedana is perceiving through the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking/intellegence. These sensations – emotional and physical – can be categorized as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.

Vedana is also one of the four aspects of mindfulness upon which the yogi meditates to observe and to prevent cravings that lead to suffering.

Yogapedia explains Vedana

As one of the skandhas, vedana is one of the key concepts of Buddhism. It is believed that all mental and physical activity is impermanent and that suffering is the result of both aversion and attraction to these skandhas. To overcome suffering, the Buddhist practices mindful meditation. Freedom from the skandhas leads to nirvana.

The five skandhas are:

  • Rupa – known as “form” or the physical body
  • Vedana – all of the emotions and physical sensations observed through the senses
  • Samjna – recognition and perception of concepts and physical objects
  • Samskara – desires, beliefs and other mental activity
  • Vijnana – consciousness or awareness of the other skandhas
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