The Pali suttas often refer to feelings or 'vedana', as follows:

There are these three kinds of feeling: a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling and neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling. MN 74

There are these six classes of feeling: feeling born of eye-contact, feeling born of ear-contact, feeling born of nose-contact, feeling born of tongue-contact, feeling born of body-contact, feeling born of mind-contact. MN 9

Are such feelings always caused by ignorance?

  • Pubescent could how ever lead also to become adult. What feeling arises when reading such?
    – user11235
    Apr 28, 2017 at 8:12
  • 1
    Are you asking about the "Supporting Conditions" idea of the Upanisa Sutta, of which Ignorance is the lowest level, the support for everything else?
    – user2341
    Apr 28, 2017 at 11:56
  • I am closing in on what this question could mean. On one level the scriptures are clear: ignorance underlies all that exists. Perhaps that is too literal. Are you asking if enlightened people still have feelings in the sense of pleasant or painful? No, not if they are not attached. Are you asking if they still have sense-perception due to senses reporting contacts? I would have to say yes, unless they become unaware of everything. So the answer to your question is, I think: the removal of ignorance cures one of reacting to or clinging to whatever the sense organs report, unmoved. Yes?
    – user2341
    May 2, 2017 at 22:25
  • Ignorance underlies suffering. Ignorance does not underlie a Buddha. Enlightened people still have feelings, as quoted in my answer. Regards May 3, 2017 at 4:59

3 Answers 3


Passa Pacchaya Vedana ~ Paticca Samuppada

Feeling is caused by contact

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – user2424
    Jun 2, 2017 at 11:38

By touch (phassa) of the certain sense-base, certain recognition (viññāṇa) is caused or vici versa. If there is ground, meaning that mind takes it a object (ārammaṇa), as a whole or in detail, it leads to feeling (vedanā). If there is no ground, surface, having release as Object, such as suffering does not appear.

The meeting of ground here, the touch of ignorance (avijjāsamphasso, SN 22.81), should be understood.

A good, even it merely motivated to discuss about a certain teacher, Dhamma lesson can be found here: Phassa

People love philosophy since it does not require to let go of thought of "me, myself and I".

How comes that Arahants have impressions on pleasure and pain? (See also link "phassa

  • I marked your question down because it does not answer the question or is otherwise wrong. Also, your answer ends with a 'conceit' about "people", which is a defilement, self-view & a fetter. I will answer the question according to the Buddha-Dhamma of the Lord Buddha. Apr 28, 2017 at 6:12
  • No problem. Maybe you write wished answeres to select under your question. And if the last sentence had touched you and caused suffering, their might be good reason for it. Does saying "what a fool" for example nessesary reqires conceit? Yes please, answer your question for me.
    – user11235
    Apr 28, 2017 at 6:20
  • The last sentence of your answer was untrue because it is your own answer that is "philosophy" since it was untrue & not real. You wrote an answer inferring you do not engage in philosophy yet your answer was philosophy. Apr 28, 2017 at 6:25
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    The last sentence is required to let people know that there is Dhamma their, but its pupose is to entertain, render something around ignorance, philosophy, and one would waste preciouse time enjoying such mind stimulations back and for, like children playing with sand carstells.
    – user11235
    Apr 28, 2017 at 6:29
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    Dhammadhatu and Samana Johann - Comment section is not for discussion. I suggest you both adhere to the rules of this site and take your discussion/arguments elsewhere. Buddhism SE is not the place for this.
    – user2424
    Apr 28, 2017 at 19:27

Feelings are not always caused by ignorance because the Pali suttas state arahants & Buddhas experience feelings:

Here a bhikkhu is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed, the holy life fulfilled, who has done what had to be done, laid down the burden, attained the goal, destroyed the fetters of being, completely released through final knowledge. However, his five sense faculties remain unimpaired, by which he still experiences what is agreeable and disagreeable and feels pleasure and pain. It is the extinction of attachment, hate and delusion in him that is called the Nibbāna-element... Iti 44

Here, ruler of gods, a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to. When a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth adhering to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having directly known everything, he fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither pleasant or painful, he abides contemplating (observing) impermanence in those feelings, contemplating (observing) fading away, contemplating (observing) cessation, contemplating (observing) relinquishment (letting go). Contemplating (observing) thus, he does not cling (think about) to anything in the world. When he does not cling (think about), he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, there is no more coming to any state of being.’ Briefly, it is in this way, ruler of gods, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans. MN 37

On seeing a form with the eye, he does not lust after it if it is pleasing; he does not dislike it if it is unpleasing. He abides with mindfulness of the body established, with an immeasurable mind and he understands as it actually is the deliverance of mind and deliverance by wisdom wherein those evil unwholesome states cease without remainder. Having thus abandoned favouring and opposing, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, he does not delight in that feeling, welcome it, or remain holding to it. As he does not do so, delight in feelings ceases in him. With the cessation of his delight comes cessation of clinging; with the cessation of clinging, cessation of being; with the cessation of being, cessation of birth; with the cessation of birth, ageing and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering. MN 38

28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed. DN 16

  • You could say that not knowing is the pre-condition for knowing. If I already "knew" everything, it would not be necessary to feel. You can't have a universe except that "what happens next" is not yet known / experienced. Ignorance in this sense is built in to the fabric of reality.
    – user2341
    Apr 28, 2017 at 12:00

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