According to this answer:

Kilesa has a residual impression which is called vāsanā which even arhats have. Only a Buddha eliminates that. This is what drives habits. Many habits are reflexive and there no much thoughts of the intention behind it. If it is purely reflexive it does not have karmic consequences.

Are vasana or residual impressions found in the Pali Canon? Preferably in the Sutta Pitaka.

What about the statement that arhats or arahants still have vasanas, but Buddha does not? Is this also in the Pali Canon?

Would arahants still have impressions although they had eliminated latent tendencies (anusaya)?

  • What habit is reflexive? Like sneezing? Like when the doctor hits your knee with the hammer? Like when food comes and you like or don't like it? Does the Buddha or arahant like food and is mindful of that liking at all times or does liking just no longer arise?
    – Lowbrow
    Oct 6, 2019 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


Vasana (Tendency Continues Life After Life)

Predisposition plays a role in a person's life, past or present. Tendency to proliferate bad habits in promoted by kelisa (mental defilement). Vasana based on morality or good deeds is classified as samma chanda (wholesome wish). This vasana is inherent in the mind-continuum of all beings. Thus in your past kamma actions if you have cultivated greed along with them, your vasana will now be greedy in nature. If you do not reform this bad tendency in this existence, raga carita vasana will continue to dominate you in your future births as well. Dosa, moha, and vitakka characters also, will continue to dominate likewise. If you are endowed with paññā carita now and if you cultivate wisdom continually, this tendency will produce its own result here and hereafter. You will be reborn a person with paññā in forthcoming existences.

Abhidhamma in Daily Life by Ashin Janakabhivamsa


The dictionaries say the word Vāsanā is from the words 'vasati' and 'vāsa', which are commonly found in the Pali sutas in 'pubbenivasa'. Other related words are "abhinivesa" ("adherences") in SN 12.15; SN 22.3, etc and "vasa" ("abodes") in AN 10.20. Vasana is found in Snp 4.15, to mean clothing (or otherwise lodging).

If "vasana" means "recollection from the past" then obviously the Buddha had recollection from the past. But if "vasana" means "tendencies" or "adherences from the past" then both Buddha and Arahants do not have them.

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