I thought it might be a good idea to transfer references to one of my favourite topics from elsewhere to here:
Samvega means a sense of urgency to escape the round of meaningless existence; and pasada, a clarity and serene confidence that allows one to proceed confidently towards the goal without lapsing into despair.
I am fairly certain samvega doesn't mean panic or anxiety attacks, or any strong uncontrolled emotion ~ but something like a steady and focused determination ....
Suttas about Samvega:
Samyutta Nikaya III.25 Pabbatopama Sutta 'The Simile of the Mountains'
Nipata II.10 Utthana Sutta 'On Vigilance'
Anguttara Nikaya III.91 Accayika Sutta 'Urgent'
Anguttara Nikaya V.77-80 Anagata-bhayani Suttas 'The Discourses on
Future Dangers' (four consecutive suttas)
Venerable Ledi Sayādaw Four Verses on Samvega
A modern day condition for Samvega?
And my favourite yet again - sorry, but there's no link - I just
think this translation is much more elegant than the one at ATI.
Majjhima Nikaya 131 Bhaddekaratta Sutta 'A Single Excellent Night'
(Bhikkhus Nanomoli and Bodhi trans.)
"Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes;
For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.
Instead with insight let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Today the effort must be made;
Tomorrow Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hordes away,
But one who dwells thus ardently,
Relentlessly, by day, by night -
It is he, the Peaceful Sage has said,
Who has had a single excellent night."
'Affirming the Truths of the Heart' The Buddhist Teachings on Samvega & Pasada ~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu
From Dhammanando Bhikkhu:
Here are some verses from the Theragāthā and Therīgāthā in which various arahant bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs describe the circumstances in which they experienced saṃvega. I have taken K.R. Norman's prose renderings (Elders' Verses I & II), but left saṃvega in Pali and made many changes for readability.
Putting over my shoulder a robe the colour of mango sprouts, sitting on an elephant's neck, I entered a village to beg.
Descending from the elephant's shoulder, then I experienced saṃvega; I was agitated, then calm, and the destruction of the cankers was attained by me.
Uruveḷa Kassapa Thera
Seeing the miracles of the famous Gotama, I did not at once fall down before him, being deceived by envy and pride.
Knowing my thoughts, the Charioteer of Men roused me. Then there arose in me amazing, hair-raising saṃvega.
Then, coming to despise the little supernormal power I had as a Jaṭila, I went forth in the Conqueror's Dispensation.
When I first saw the Teacher who has no fear from any quarter, saṃvega came upon me, having seen the best of men.
Possessed of faith I went forth in the Teaching of the Conqueror. My going forth was not unfruitful; free from debt I eat my food.
Regarding sensual pleasures as a thing on fire, and gold as a knife, seeing pain from the time of entry into the womb, and great fearfulness in hells,
knowing this peril, then I felt saṃvega. I was agitated, then calm, and the destruction of the cankers was attained by me.
The Teacher has been waited upon by me, the Buddha's Teaching has been done. The heavy burden has been put down; that which leads to renewed existence has been rooted out.
I have obtained that goal for which I went forth from the house to the homeless life: the destruction of all fetters.
And now the nuns...
Twenty-five years had passed since my going forth. I did not attain peace of mind for even one moment.
Not obtaining peace of mind, being without mastery over the mind, then I reached a state of saṃvega, remembering the teaching of the Conqueror.
Delighting in diligence because of many painful dhammas, the destruction of craving has been attained by me. The Buddha's teaching has been done. Today it is the seventh night since my craving dried up.
Having gone forth in faith from the house to the homeless life, I wandered here and there, greedy for gain and honour.
Having missed the highest goal, I pursued an inferior goal. Falling under the mastery of the defilements, I did not know the goal of the ascetic life.
Then I had saṃvega: while sitting in my little dwelling [the thought arose] "I have entered upon the wrong path, I have come under the mastery of craving. My life is short. Old age and sickness are destroying it. There is no time for me to be careless before this body breaks up."
Seeing as it really is the arising and passing away of the aggregates, I stood up, my mind completely released. The Buddha's teaching has been done.
(though included in the bhikkhunīs' verses this is actually a dialogue between the bhikkhu Vaḍḍha and his mother who attained arahatta before him)
"May you not have, Vaḍḍha, at any time, craving for the world. Child, do not be again and again a sharer in pain.
Happily indeed, Vaḍḍha, dwell the sages, free from lust, with doubts cut off, become cool, having attained self-taming, being free of cankers.
O Vaḍḍha, devote yourself to the way practised by seers for the attainment of insight, for making an end of suffering."
"Forthrightly indeed you speak this matter to me, mother. Now indeed, I think craving is not found in you, mother."
"Whatever formations there be, Vaḍḍha, low, high, or middle, (for them) no craving, even minute, even miniscule, is found in me.
All my cankers were destroyed, while diligent and meditating. The three knowledges have been obtained. The Buddha's teaching has been done."
"Truly my mother, on account of her sympathy, applied an excellent goad to me, (namely) verses connected with the highest goal.
Hearing her utterance, the instruction of my mother, I reached a state of saṃvega in the Dhamma, for the attainment of security from bondage.
I, being resolute for exertion, not relaxing day or night, being urged on by my mother, attained supreme peace."
Both of us, mother and daughter, were co-wives. Then I had saṃvega, amazing, hair-raising! Woe upon sensual pleasures, impure, stinking, with many thorns, for which we, mother and daughter, were co-wives.
In the commentaries the most common gloss on sa.mvega is "[insight] knowledge accompanied by dread of wrong-doing, or just dread of wrong-doing itself" ('sa.mvego' ti sahottappa.m ñaa.na.m, ottappameva vaa; e.g., Dhammasanganii Muulatiikaa 135-42).
So that would make it either the mental factor of dread of wrong-doing (ottappa cetasika) or the mental factor of understanding (paññaa cetasika), or both considered together.
The Niddesa to the Attadaṇḍasutta glosses saṃvega with the words:
ubbega: agitation (can be from either from joy or grief).
pīḷana: oppression, being pressed on.
Abhidhānappadīpikāṭīkā (a 13th century Pali thesaurus) gives the synonyms:
vimhaya: astonishment, amazement
'saṃvego' ti jātibhayaṃ jarābhayaṃ byādhibhayaṃ maraṇabhayaṃ. saṃvejaniyaṃ ṭhānanti jāti jarā byādhi maraṇaṃ.
'Saṃvega' is fear with respect to birth, ageing, sickness, death. The saṃvega-worthy grounds are birth, ageing, sickness, death.
Atthasālinī (Dhammasaṅganī Atthakathā):
(saṃvega as proximate cause of viriya)
ussāhalakkhaṇaṃ vīriyaṃ, sahajātānaṃ upatthambhanarasaṃ, asaṃsīdanabhāvapaccupaṭṭhānaṃ, "saṃviggo yoniso padahatī" ti vacanato saṃvegapadaṭṭhānaṃ, vīriyārambhavatthupadaṭṭhānaṃ vā. sammā āraddhaṃ sabbāsaṃ sampattīnaṃ mūlaṃ hotīti daṭṭhabbaṃ.
Energy has exerting as its characteristic, strengthening the co-existent states as function, and opposition to giving way as manifestation. It has been said: "He in whom saṃvega is present exerts himself properly," hence energy has saṃvega, or the basic condition of making energy as proximate cause. Right exertion should be regarded as the root of all attainments.
(this is also the commonest definition in all the ṭīkās to the Suttas)
'saṃvego' ti sahottappaṃ ñāṇaṃ, ottappameva vā.
Saṃvega is a term for [insight] knowledge accompanied by dread of wrong-doing, or just dread of wrong-doing itself
'aṭṭha saṃvegavatthūni' nāma jātijarābyādhimaraṇāni cattāri, apāyadukkhaṃ pañcamaṃ, atīte vaṭṭamūlakaṃ dukkhaṃ, anāgate vaṭṭamūlakaṃ dukkhaṃ, paccuppanne āhārapariyeṭṭhimūlakaṃ dukkhanti.
Eight grounds for saṃvega: four are birth, ageing, sickness and death; the fifth is the suffering in the lower realms; suffering in the past rooted in the round [of saṃsāra], suffering in the future rooted in the round [of saṃsāra], and suffering in the present rooted in the need to search for nutriment.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---