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pañcavidyā (T. rig gnas che ba lnga; C. wuming 五明), or "five sciences", are five major classes of knowledge (vidyā) which bodhisattvas are said to have mastered. This grouping is also known as pañcavidyāsthāna.[1]

The five sciences are:[2]

  1. the "science of language" (śabda vidyā; shēng-míng, 聲明);
  2. the "science of logic" (hetu vidyā; yīn-míng, 因明);
  3. the "science of medicine" (cikitsā vidyā; yào-míng, 藥明);
  4. the "science of fine arts and crafts" (śilpa-karma-sthāna vidyā; gōngqiǎo-míng, 工巧明);
  5. the "inner science" of spirituality (adhyātma vidyā; nèi-míng, 內明) which relates to the study of the Tripiṭaka.

A recognised master of all five sciences is afforded the title paṇḍita.


  1. Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. pañcavidyā
  2. Gold, Jonathan C. (5 June 2008). Dharma's Gatekeepers, The. SUNY Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780791479711. Retrieved 28 April 2019 – via Google Books. 
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