NAMO TASSA BHAGAWATO ARAHATO SAMMASAMBUDDHASSA VEDANA A PATH TO IMBIBE BUDDHA’S DOCTRINE Prof. Sudhakar Arjun Pawar VEDANA Vedana is a word in Pali language which means “ the Sensation”. The invention of Vedana” is regarded as One of the Greatest Discovery of The Buddha. The Vedana is also considered as An Unparalleled gift of The Buddha to the humanity. 1.0: INTRODUCTION The Vedana is a feeling that makes the person to generate anger, hatred, passion, fear, etc. These are mental impurities and cause tension, worries, prejudices etc. These are outcome of craving and aversion. In Pali, these are known as Sukh-vedana, Dukkh-vedana & Adukkhamsukh-vedana. Using sensation as a tool one can eradicate the mental impurities and get liberation from miseries. Vedana is not bodily pain or discomfort for which we need to see a physician. 2.0: BACKGROUND “anto jata bahi jata, jataya jatila paja Tam tam gotam pucchami, ko emam vijataye jatam ti” “Sile patitthaya naro, sampanno chitam panyamcha bhavayam Atapi nipako bhikkhu, so emam vijataye jatam ti”1 The Buddha’s teaching is pragmatic, logical and scientific. The basic principle are morality(Sila), Control of mind (Samadhi) and wisdom (Panna). Dhammiko & Dhammittho’. The process of learning is known as the Art of Vipassana It is “vedana paccaya tanha. 3.0: WHAT IS VEDANA – DEFINITION The Pali word “Vedana” is derived from the root ‘vid’ meaning to experience Vedana is a sensation that leads to thirst (tanha, in Pali) Vedana is the pivotal phenomenon in a. the five aggregates (five khandas), b. one of the twelve chains of the Cause and Effect Theory. Vedana, is the tool for liberation from suffering. We see a very comprehensive definition of Vedana, below, namely, “Ya vedayati ti vedana, sa vedayita lakkhana anubhavanarasa”2 meaning a. That which feels the object is vedana. b. Its characteristics is to experience. c. Its function is to realize the object 4.0: HOW IS VEDANA GENERATED Contact of sense organs with their respective sense objects generate the sense specific consciousness . Together they generate sensations which in turn causes craving or aversion. The characteristics of vedana are: a. anicca - impermanence b. dukkha – suffering c. anatta – substancelessness. These are understood by experiencing and not on intelectual basis. 5.0: TYPES OF VEDANA “Tisso ima bhikkhave, vedana. Katama tisso? Sukha vedana, dukha vedana, adukkhamasukha vedana. Ima kho bhikkhave, tisso“3 meaning there are three types of vedana. Sukha vedana (pleasant sensation) and Dukkha vedana (unpleasant sensation) are felt on body. The physical aspect of sensation is more direct to experience the impermanent nature of sensation, the Buddha gave more importance to bodily sensations Mental sensations were not ignored,. Bahu-vedaniya sutta ( majjim nikaya) explains sensations to be six, eighteen, thirtysix and one hundred eight. 6.0: IMPORTANCE OF VEDANA “Sa vedana parinnaya, ditthe dhamma anasava, kayassa bheda dhamottho sankham nopeti vedagu ti”4 “Constant observation of arising and passing away of sensations in body with awareness of mind (mindfulness), wisdom and through understanding of impermanence enables one to eradicate all the defilements and attain liberation (nibban, in Pali) Yam kinci dukkham sambhoti, sabbam vedanapaccaya ti, vedananam tveva asesaviraganirodha, natthi dukkhassa sambhavo ti”5 7.0: OTHER CAUSES OF VEDANA “pittam semham ca vato ca, sannipata utuni ca, visamam opakkamikam, kammavepakena atthamiti”6 meaning: Physical pain arising from Pittam (bile), increase of Phlegm (semha), excessive Vato (wind) in the body, Imbalance of all above & resultant chemical reaction i.e. Sannipata, Utu ( sudden seasonal changes and its effects), Visamam ( imbalance of mind and body), Opakkamikam (bodily punishment) and Kammavipakenna (result of deeds of previous birth are eight reasons of arising of such other vedana. The siddharth Gautama also followed such tradition & practiced penance for six years before the enlightenment and becoming the Buddha. 8.0: VEDANA AND FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS Four Noble Truths is one of the unique invention of the Buddha “Yam kinci vedayitam, tam pi dukkhasmim”7 The Buddha taught that craving or aversion (tanha) is not only dukkha but dukkha-samudaya. i.e. tanha is not merely the origin of suffering but the suffering itself. One must understand suffering, arising of suffering, cessation of suffering and the path that leads to cessation of suffering, using sensations as a tool. 9.0: VEDANA AND PATICCASAMUPPADA Paticcasamuppada denotes chain of continuity of Cause & Effect theory. Craving or aversion compells every person to linger in wheel of becoming. The wheel of becoming has twelve links. The First link is avijja (ignorance), the twelve being jara-marana (dekay & death). On attaining enlightenment, the Buddha realized that the crucial link which could be broken was “vedana paccaya tanha” The Buddha taught that instead of “vedana paccaya tanha” it shall be understood to mean as “vedana paccaya panna”. 10.0: VEDANA & NOBLE EIGHT FOLD PATH The Noble Eight fold path is the way leading to the cessation of sensation”. The Buddha also told that “Ekayano ayam maggo bhikkhave”8 “sabbapapassa akaram, kusalassa upasampada, sacittapariyodapanam, etam buddham sasam”9 11.0: RELEVANCE AND PRACTICAL ASPECT OF VEDANA IN MODERN DAYS The Globalization , Liberaliion, the Technical advancement and the privatization has created stiff competition and urge to keep continuously performing. Heart-attacks, cases of hypertensions, diabetics and other related deceases are reported to be the outcome of increased stress and tensions. The habit pattern of person is to generate craving. & aversion One can reduce or fully overcome these impurities by learning the art of vipassana meditation and practicing it regularly. 12.0: CONCLUSION The personality individual depends on mind (nama) & matter (rupa). The nama consists of consciousness (vinnana), sensation (vedana), perception (sanna) and formation (sankhara). If one develop awareness and understand the three characteristics of sensations i.e. anicca (impermence), dukkha (suffering) and anatta ( no “I”, no ‘Mine”), the craving or aversion will not be generated The discovery of sensation two thousand six hundred years ago is still relevant and valid and applies in modern days.