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(Skt, formation; Pāli, saṇkhāra). The constructing activities that form, shape or condition the moral and spiritual development of the individual. The saṃskāra-skandha is the fourth of the five aggregates (skandha) that constitute the human person, and also the second link (nidāna) in the twelvefold scheme of Dependent Origination (pratītya-samutpāda). The term refers in particular to volitions and intentions (which may be morally good, bad, or neutral) and the way that these contribute to the formation of individual patterns of behaviour or traits of character. Repetition imprints a particular saṃskāra on the psyche and the imprint is carried over into the next life. The aim of Buddhist practice is to replace negative imprints with positive ones.

Subjects: Religion

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