Translations of
Englishaggregate, mass, heap
Paliखन्ध (khandha)
Sanskritस्कन्ध (skandha)
Bengaliস্কন্ধ (skandha)
Burmeseခန္ဓာ (ငါးပါး)။
(IPA: [kʰàɴdà])
Chinese(T) / (S)
(rōmaji: un)
(RR: on)
([khan2 thaa2])
(phung po lnga)
VietnameseNgũ uẩn
Glossary of Buddhism

Skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi) means "heaps, aggregates, collections, groupings".[1] In Buddhism, it refers to the five aggregates of clinging (Pancha-upadanakkhanda), the five material and mental factors that take part in the rise of craving and clinging. They are also explained as the five factors that constitute and explain a sentient being’s person and personality,[2][3][4] but this is a later interpretation in response to sarvastivadin essentialism.

The five aggregates or heaps are: form (or material image, impression) (rupa), sensations (or feelings, received from form) (vedana), perceptions (samjna), mental activity or formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vijnana).[5][6][7]

In the Theravada tradition, suffering arises when one identifies with or clings to the aggregates. This suffering is extinguished by relinquishing attachments to aggregates. The Mahayana tradition asserts that the nature of all aggregates is intrinsically empty of independent existence.


Skandha (स्कन्ध) is a Sanskrit word that means "multitude, quantity, aggregate", generally in the context of body, trunk, stem, empirically observed gross object or anything of bulk verifiable with senses.[1][8] The term appears in the Vedic literature.

The Pali equivalent word Khandha (sometimes spelled Kkhanda)[3] appears extensively in the Pali canon where, state Rhys Davids and William Stede, it means "bulk of the body, aggregate, heap, material collected into bulk" in one context, "all that is comprised under, groupings" in some contexts, and particularly as "the elements or substrata of sensory existence, sensorial aggregates which condition the appearance of life in any form".[1][note 1] Paul Williams et al. translate skandha as "heap, aggregate", stating it refers to the explanation of the psychophysical makeup of any being.[10]

Johannes Bronkhorst renders skandha as "aggregates."[11] Damien Keown and Charles Prebish state that skandha is phung po in Tibetan, and the terms mean "collections or aggregates or bundles."[12]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Skandha
العربية: سكاندا
भोजपुरी: खंध
čeština: Skandha
dansk: Skandhaer
Deutsch: Skandha
eesti: Skandha
español: Cinco agregados
français: Skandha
한국어: 온 (불교)
Bahasa Indonesia: Khandha
italiano: Skandha
עברית: סקנדה
Кыргызча: Скандха
lietuvių: Skandha
magyar: Szkandha
मराठी: स्कंध
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ခန္ဓာငါးပါး
Nederlands: Vijf khandhas
日本語: 五蘊
norsk: Skandha
ភាសាខ្មែរ: បញ្ចក្ខន្ធ
português: Cinco agregados
русский: Пять скандх
slovenčina: Skandha
српски / srpski: Гомила (будизам)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pet gomila
suomi: Skandha
ไทย: ขันธ์
Türkçe: Skandha
українська: Скандга
Tiếng Việt: Ngũ uẩn
中文: 蘊 (佛教)