Five spiritual faculties
|Thirty-seven factors of enlightenment|
|Sets of factors|
|1-4: Four foundations of mindfulness|
|5-8: Four right exertions|
|9-12: Four bases of miraculous power|
|13-17: Five spiritual faculties|
|18-22: Five powers|
|23-29: Seven aspects of enlightenment|
|29-35: Eightfold path|
The five spiritual faculties (Pali: pañca indriyāni) are one of the seven sets of the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment.
In the Pali tradition, the five spiritual faculties (Pali: pañca indriyāni) are:
- The faculty of saddha (faith) (Skt. śraddhendriyam; Tib. དད་པའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. dad pa’i dbang po)
- The faculty of viriya (diligence) (Skt. vīryendriyam; Tib. བརྩོན་འགྲུས་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. brtson ‘grus kyi dbang po)
- The faculty of sati (mindfulness) (Skt. smṛtīndriyam, Tib. དྲན་པའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. dran pa’i dbang po)
- The faculty of samādhi (concentration) (Skt. samādhīndriyam; Tib. ཏིང་ངེ་འཛིན་གྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. ting nge ‘dzin gyi dbang po)
- The faculty of prajna (wisdom) (Skt. prajñendriyam; Tib. ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. shes rab kyi dbang po)
This set of five faculties is one of the seven sets of the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment.
In the Pali tradition, the five faculties (Pali: pañca indriyāni) are identified as:
- Faith (P. saddhindriyaṃ) is faith in the Buddha's awakening.
- Energy (P. viriyindriyaṃ) refers to exertion towards the four efforts.
- Mindfulness (P. satindriyaṃ) refers to focusing on the four satipatthana.
- Concentration (P. samādhindriyaṃ) refers to achieving the four jhanas.
- Wisdom (P. paññindriyaṃ) refers to discerning the Four Noble Truths.
In SN 48.51, the Buddha declares that, of these five faculties, wisdom is the "chief" (agga).
Relation to the five powers
In the Sāketa Sutta, 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. 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.
The five spiritual faculties are ‘controlling' faculties because they control or master their opposites:
- Faith (saddha) - controls doubt
- Energy/Effort/Persistence (viriya) – controls laziness
- Mindfulness (sati); - controls heedlessness
- Concentration (samādhi) - controls distraction
- Wisdom/Discernment (pañña, prajña) – controls ignorance
- The five faculties (Dharmachakra)
- Bodhi, Manual of Abhidharma
- Alternatively, SN 48.8 and AN V.15 identify "faith" as referring to the four-fold faith of the stream-enterer which Conze (1993), n. 28, and Nyanaponika & Bodhi (1999), p. 297, n. 9, identify as faith in the Triple Gem and "perfect morality."
- Bodhi (2000), pp. 1671-73; and, Thanissaro (1997a).
- Bodhi (2000), p. 1695.
- Bodhi (2000), pp. 1688-89.
- Bodhi (2000), p. 1511.
- Bodhi, Bhikkhu (trans.) (2000). The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-331-1.
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1996, 1998). Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon. Retrieved 2007-05-27 from "Access to Insight" at: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/wings/index.html.
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1997a). Indriya-vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of the Mental Faculties (SN 48.10). Retrieved 2007-05-27 from "Access to Insight" at: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn48/sn48.010.than.html.
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (1997b). Sona Sutta: About Sona (AN 6.55). Retrieved 2008-04-15 from "Access to Insight" at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.055.than.html.
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