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Are sensation and feeling different or the same? 

by | Oct 25, 2022 | Awareness, Body, Consciousness, Dreams, Existence, Illusion, Knowledge, Matter, Mind, Sakshi Bhav/Witness, Sensations, Thoughts

Question:

What is sensation? What is feeling? Are they different or the same?

 

Answer:

A sensation is simply ‘knowledge’. A feeling is simply ‘knowledge’.
A pleasant sensation is only knowledge. An unpleasant sensation is simply knowledge. A physical sensation is simply knowledge. A mental feeling is simply knowledge. All sensations and feelings are mere knowledge… awareness…

Let’s experiment on Sensation/Feeling. Here is an example.

Sensation = Vedana in Pali

The root of the word ‘Vedana’ is ‘Ved’.  The meaning of the word ‘Ved’ is Bodh or Knowledge. A simple translation of Bodh = Knowing.

    • Sukha Vedana – Knowledge of pleasant physical sensation
    • Dukha Vedana – Knowledge of unpleasant physical sensation
    • Somanassa Vedana – Knowledge of pleasant mental feeling
    • Domanassa Vedana – Knowledge of unpleasant mental feeling
    • Upekkha – Equanimity [Absence of the knowledge of sensation and feeling]

Sensations are simply knowledge. Feelings are mere knowledge. There is no direct experiential proof of the existence of a physical body-mind made of matter that experiences sensations and feelings. There is only direct proof of knowledge of sensations and knowledge of feelings. Knowledge is simply thought. Knowledge is not personal. Hence sensations and feelings are not personal.

The world of sensations and feelings is merely a thought. One is never in control of sensations and feelings as one is never in control of thought. It only appears to be so, just like a dream appears to be real. The idea of a physical body-mind made of matter experiencing sensations and feelings is simply an illusion.

The only issue with the world of sensations and feelings is that it is assumed to be made of solid matter. It is assumed to be an independently existing entity existing outside of me, and apart from me. This is not the truth. The only truth is that ‘I am therefore the world is’. Attempt to see this in your own direct experience through self-inquiry.

Start with recognizing that holding on to this wrong idea is called belief. Justifying the belief of the existence of a body-mind made of matter with the proof of sensations and feelings is pointless as it is the opposite of direct experience. If it is still unclear, then attempt a truth experiment.

Ask yourself:

    • Closing my eyes and focussing only on touch, can I figure out where the sensation of touch ends and the object begins?
    • Can I demarcate between the toucher, the sense of touch, and the object of touch, or are all these simply knowledge of sensation?
    • Does touching prove that the object exists independent of my awareness?
    • Have I directly experienced the world separate from my awareness/consciousness/witnessing field?

Similarly, do a self-inquiry for a feelings that you see arising at the moment.

Once this becomes experientially clear after experimenting on sensations and feelings, you will recognize that there is simply proof of knowledge and nothing else. You will clearly see that sensations and feelings exist in the dream state as well. It will be clear that there is no difference between the waking and the dream worlds. Thus the supreme truth is that the world as I conceive of it is an illusion – Jagat Mithya! This is the sweetest Nectar that antidotes the poison of the belief of an assumed world of sensations and feelings!

May you be able to relish this Nectar!

 

#AdvaitaVedanta #Non-Duality #AstavakraSamhita

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