2

I understand feelings as feeling happy, sad, elated, down - more like an emotion.

Sensations I understand as hot, cold, tingly, numb, all kinds of body pains or pleasant sensations in the body.

Which ones does the Buddha refers to in the Suttas?

I believe they are the sensations in the body and not feelings.

For example is I see a beautiful woman, eye and form, contact -> pleasant sensation in the abdomen -> craving(lust) -> clinging -> becoming and at this stage feeling happy with the beautiful woman form and then a bit sad when I dont see her and prompted by craving I start looking for another beautiful form to cling to and then happy, sad, repeating the cycle again and again.

In my understanding sensations are vedana and not feelings.

  • The dejection of not seeing her again is 'death' ('marana'). Eye and form, contact -> pleasant sensation in the abdomen -> craving(lust) -> clinging -> becoming -> birth as lover -> death of lover -> sorrow, saddness, despair, grief, dukkha. This is the cycle of birth & death; gain & loss; samsara. – Dhammadhatu Sep 10 '17 at 10:14
1

This question is about words. The Pali words are 'vedana' ('feelings') & 'sankhara' ('formations').

Happy, sad, elated, down - more like an emotion = sankhara ('formations'). To quote:

When one abides inflamed by lust, fettered, infatuated, contemplating gratification, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are built up for oneself in the future; and one’s craving—which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that—increases. One’s bodily and mental troubles increase, one’s bodily and mental torments increase, one’s bodily and mental fevers increase and one experiences bodily and mental suffering (kāyadukkhampi cetodukkhampi paṭisaṃvedeti). MN 149

Hot, cold, tingly, numb, all kinds of body pains or pleasant sensations = 'vedana'. To quote:

And why, bhikkhus, do you call it feeling (vedanaṃ)? ‘It feels (vedayatī),’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called feeling. And what does it feel? It feels pleasure, it feels pain, it feels neither-pain-nor-pleasure. ‘It feels,’ bhikkhus, therefore it is called feeling. SN 22.79

But some body pains are formations, such as when due to anger, stress, anxiety, etc. To quote:

When one abides inflamed by lust, fettered, infatuated, contemplating gratification, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are built up for oneself in the future; and one’s craving—which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that—increases. One’s bodily and mental troubles increase, one’s bodily and mental torments increase, one’s bodily and mental fevers increase and one experiences bodily and mental suffering (kāyadukkhampi cetodukkhampi paṭisaṃvedeti). MN 149

The core feature of 'vedana' ('feelings' or 'sensations') is they arise from sense contact. To quote:

‘The six classes of feeling should be understood.’ So it was said. And with reference to what was this said? Dependent on the eye and forms, eye-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. Dependent on the ear and sounds, ear-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. Dependent on the nose and odours, nose-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. Dependent on the tongue and flavours, tongue-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. Dependent on the body and tangibles, body-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. Dependent on the mind and mind-objects, mind-consciousness arises; the meeting of the three is contact; with contact as condition there is feeling. So it was with reference to this that it was said: ‘The six classes of feeling should be understood. ’ This is the fifth set of six. MN 148

Where as formations arise from defilement (craving) & thinking (sankhara). To quote:

What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present & future forms cognizable via the eye. MN 18

  • So I think you're saying that, saying that "That is a tingling feeling" is a vedana. What about saying "That tingling is a nice feeling or a nasty feeling" ... is that vedana too? I'm not sure I've caught the difference between vedana, sanna, and sankhara. – ChrisW Sep 10 '17 at 11:47
  • That is Papanka, but formations can arise without craving and defilement as the Buddha and Arahants speak and think without defilement and craving – user4878 Sep 10 '17 at 15:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy