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What is Sankara?

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  • What is Sankara?

    Dear Venerable sirs,

    Earlier I was doing some other meditation for about 4 years where I was told to sit for long hours without moving and endure pleasure & pain with equanimity to remove my good & bad Sankaras.
    1. What is Sankara?
    2. Are there good and bad Sankara?
    3. Should one remove all Sankaras to get liberated?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Dear Prashanth,

    It sounds to me as if you have been practicing the Goenka method! - I believe they speak of removing sankharas. I am no expert on the Goenka method, but I would guess that they are referring to the removing of past kamma. If this is correct, then it is not really how the Buddha described the path.

    The suttas make it quite clear that whatever we do that leads to an increase in wholesome qualities - that is, we become kinder, more mindful, improve our samadhi, etc. - is correct practice, and whatever we do that leads to an increase in unwholesome qualities should be avoided. Pleasure and pain should also be measured against this standard, and should not be accepted blindly.

    The word sankhara, in its sutta usage, means the will or intention. A good sankhara is will motivated by kindness and peace (cf. the second factor of the noble eightfold path), whereas a bad sankhara is motivated by the unwholesome: anger, greed, or delusion.

    To get libeated one should practice the noble eightfold path.

    With metta,
    Ajahn Brahmali


    • #3
      Dear Ajahn Brahmali,
      Thank you for your response. You have cleared my doubt.
      With metta



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