'Five aggregates', Five components or in Sanskrit Pañcaskandha or simply Skandhas are a key concept in the Buddhist philosophy of mind called Abhidharma. They are the five psycho-physical aggregates (or "coming together" as in aggregation), which according to Buddhist philosophy are the basis for self-grasping. They include:
- Rūpa: Form or Body
- Vedanā: Feelings, Sensations
- Saṃjñā: Cognition, Thinking, Mentation, Perception
- Saṃskāra: Habits, Impulses, Mental formations, Compositional factors
- Vijñāna: Consciousness
Traditional Buddhist Commentary
When we look more deeply at what refer to as "I", we see it includes multiple elements or constituents. It is not simply the parts that make up our physical bodies, but also our various senses and our minds.
Vedana: Feelings or Sensations
The aggregate referred to in English and feelings does not mean emotional feelings, but refers more to sensations. These vedana are either neutral, pleasurable or painful in the body and pleasant or unpleasant sensations in the mind. Buddhist philosophy says that the mind's neutral sensations are not counted separately since they are indistinguishable and inseparable from the body's neutral sensations. At every single moment, we are experiencing sensations, predominantly neutral ones, but also pleasant and painful ones.
- Seven tissues, Five senses, Five sense consciousnesses, Five sense objects of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy of mind
- Kangyur Rinpoche, Treasury of Precious Qualities. Boston: Shambhala Press, 2001. 'Appendix 4'.
- Appendix 7, 'The Five Aggregates' pp. 183–185 in The Light of Wisdom Volume 1. Root text by Padmasambhava and commentary by Jamgon Kongtrul the Great. Published by Shambhala Publications ISBN 0-87773-566-2