Cetanā (Sanskrit, Pali; Tibetan Wylie: sems pa) is a Buddhist term commonly translated as "volition", "intention", "directionality", etc. It can be defined as a mental factor that moves or urges the mind in a particular direction, toward a specific object or goal. Cetanā is identified within the Buddhist teachings as follows:
- One of the seven universal mental factors in the Theravada Abhidharma.
- One of the Ten mahā-bhūmika in Sarvastivada Abhidharma.
- One of the five universal mental factors in the Mahayana Abhidharma.
- The most significant mental factor involved in the creation of karma.