Can we know what kind of Samskars are being eradicated from the kind of sensation? Like while doing Vipassana I feel cooling or stretched sensation on forehead; itching on throat; burning & tingling in other parts. (for now).

So is there any way to know the kind of Samskars these sensations represent?

  • Tamas. if you read this could you explain to us what did your question meant please? See the conversation/comments between me and Sankha Kulathantille, under Sankha's answer below.
    – breath
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 19:48

3 Answers 3


You are not supposed to relate any physical sensation (or feeling) to any sankhara for a good reason. Because in vipassana you are practicing to see the reality as it is. This is the keystone of vipassana, to see the reality as it is, in order to discover three characteristics of all phenomenon (i.e. anicca, anatta, dukkha). Trying to find the corresponding sankhara to every feeling and sensation distracts you from this and if you insist on doing it, after a while you will find yourself playing a mental game and you'll be running in the opposite direction of vipassana's purpose.

Moreover, I think quite different sankharas can create the same physical feelings. Also many a times a neutral feeling may arise because of physical conditions (how you sit, temperature, what you ate, etc.) so it's literally impossible to find an exact sankhara for each and every sensation. Of course, on the other hand, if you're doing vipassana and memories arises, they should not be oppressed but simply you should let them come, observe them and calmly come back to the object of meditation.

As you progress your reactions in real life will show you how you've progressed and which sankharas has been eliminated and which ones still remains.


I assume you mean "what fetters are eliminated". You cannot decipher the eradication of fetters by any physical feeling. You are not supposed to give meanings to any feelings. You are only supposed to note them as they rise and fall. When the fetters are eliminated, you will know because they no longer arise in the mind. Here's a related answer.

  • Its intersting do you think "Fetter" are ilimintated or its just a change of view ? my teacher who is a monk in the same tradition as ven.yuttdhammo said to me that in practice we eliminate the hinderneces one by one and that in some part of the retreat you take out whole brancese (if you know what im talking about) .... but whenver i ask about this people deny that it works this way
    – breath
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 2:17
  • every time i ask someone else about this he says that the practice is more like changing of response to fetters when they arise and not a gradual reduction of fetters
    – breath
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 2:18
  • It depends on the stage of the enlightenment. At the first stage you eliminate the first 3 fetters. At the 2nd stage you only weaken the 4th and 5th fetters. At the 3rd stage you eliminate 4th and 5th. Last five fetters are eliminated when one attains Arahantship. But once a fetter is eliminated it is gone for good. There's no dispute about that among mainstream Theravada teachers. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 3:11
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    yes i know that - the question is do i eliminate small parts of fetters in a retreat as someone who isnt even a sotapana (which is what the OP is talking about in his question and describing such a thing)
    – breath
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 3:19
  • Well, you can weaken your fetters. But until you eliminate them, they can always grow back except in the case of Sakadagami. A person who attends a retreat can be born in hell next life. Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 3:25

It is called Satipatthana Practice, the result is Vipassana loosely "clear-vision". Satipatthana is translated usually as "Frames of Reference" or "Foundations of Mindfuless", however translation there is Four of them: States of the Body, Mindstates, States of Feelings and Particular States (Hindrances). The practice is discernment of various experiences within the Four

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