Saṅkhāra (Pali; Devanagari: सङ्खार) or saṃskāra (Sanskrit; Devanagari: संस्कार) is a word meaning ‘that which has been put together’ and ‘that which puts together’. In the first (passive) sense, saṅkhāra refers to conditioned phenomena generally but specifically to all mental “dispositions”. These are called ‘volitional formations’ because they are formed as a result of volition. In the second (active) sense of the word, saṅkhāra refers to that faculty of the mind/brain apparatus (sankhara-khandha) that puts together those formations. English translations for saṅkhāra in the first sense of the word include ‘conditioned things,’ ‘determinations,’ ‘fabrications’ and ‘formations’ (or, particularly when referring to mental processes, ‘volitional formations’).
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