Pali khandha

In Buddhism, any of the five elements that constitute an individual's mental and physical existence.

They are rupa (physical matter), vedana (feeling), samjna (perception; Pali sanna), samskara (mental formations; Pali sankhara), and vijnana (consciousness; Pali vinnana). The four mental aggregates are perceived to be the personality or ego but are in fact only processes in a state of continuous change, subject to the effects of karma. At death the mental skandhas dissociate from the rupa and find a new physical base, resulting in a new birth.

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Sanskrit“aggregates”Pāli  Khandha 

      according to Buddhist thought, the five elements that sum up the whole of an individual's mental and physical existence. The self (or soul) cannot be identified with any one of the parts, nor is it the total of the parts. They are: (1) matter, or body (rūpa), the manifest form of the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water; (2) sensations, or feelings ( vedanā); (3) perceptions of sense objects (Sanskrit: saṃjñā; Pāli: saññā); (4) mental formations (saṃskāras/sankhāras); and (5) awareness, or consciousness, of the other three mental aggregates (vijñāna (vijñāna-skandha)/viññāṇa). All individuals are subject to constant change, as the elements of consciousness are never the same, and man may be compared to a river, which retains an identity, though the drops of water that make it up are different from one moment to the next.

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Universalium. 2010.

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