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Saṃjñā (Sanskrit; Devanagiri: संज्ञा) and sañña (Pāli; Devanagiri: सञ्ञा) can be translated as "perception" or "cognition."
In the Pali literature
In Buddhism, sañña is the third of the Five Aggregates (Skt.: skandha; Pali: khandha) which can be used to skillfully delineate phenomenological experiences during meditation. Whether as one of the Five Aggregates, meditative concentration (samadhi) on the passing and rising (vipassana) of sañña can lead to mindfulness (sati), clear comprehension (sampajanna) and even enlightenment and Arhantship (see Table).
In the Pali Canon, sañña is frequently defined as:
- "It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white."
In post-canonical Pali commentaries, the Visuddhimagga likens sañña to "a child without discretion."
- Buddhaghosa, Bhadantācariya (trans. from Pāli by Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli) (1999). The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga. Seattle, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions. ISBN 1-928706-00-2.