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Five powers

(Redirected from Five Strengths)

The five powers (Sanskrit, Pali: pañca bala), or five strengths are:

  • Saddha-bala: power of faith
  • Viriya-bala: power of energy
  • Sati-bala: power of mindfulness
  • Samadhi-bala: power of concentration
  • Prajna-bala: power of wisdom

These powers are one of the seven sets of the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment. They are parallel facets of the five spiritual faculties.

Etymology

Pañca (Sanskrit, Pali) means "five."[1] Bala (Sanskrit, Pali) means "power," "strength," "force."[2]

Relations between the powers

Faith and Wisdom balance each other, as do Energy and Concentration.

Relation to the five faculties

In SN 48.43, the Buddha declares that the five spiritual faculties are the five powers and vice-versa. He uses the metaphor of a stream passing by a mid-stream island; the island creates two streams, but the streams can also be seen as one and the same.[3] The Pali commentaries remark that these five qualities are "faculties" when used to control their spheres of influence, and are "powers" when unshakeable by opposing forces.[4]

Notes

  1. See Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 387, entry for "Pañca," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Chicago" at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.2:1:971.pali; and, Monier-Williams (1964), e.g., p. 579, entry "Pañcaka," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Cologne" at http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MWScan/MWScanpdf/mw0578-paJcAGguri.pdf.
  2. See Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 482, entry for "Bala," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Chicago" at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.2:1:3245.pali; and, Monier-Williams (1964), p. 722, entry "Bala," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Cologne" at http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/cgi-bin/serveimg.pl?file=/scans/MWScan/MWScanjpg/mw0722-barAsI.jpg.
  3. Bodhi (2000), pp. 1688-89.
  4. Bodhi (2000), p. 1511.

References

External links