Seven aspects of enlightenment
|Factors of Enlightenment|
The seven aspects of enlightenment (Skt. sapta bodhyaṅga; P. satta bojjhaṅgā; T. byang chub kyi yan lag bdun བྱང་ཆུབ་ཀྱི་ཡན་ལག་བདུན་) are:
- Mindfulness (sati)
- Investigation of phenomena (dhammavicaya)
- Diligence/energy (vīrya)
- Joy/rapture (pīti)
- Agility/tranquility (Skt. praśrabdhi; P. passaddhi)
- Concentration (samādhi)
- Equanimity (upekkha)
This group of seven factors is one of "seven sets" of the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment.
The Garland of Radiant Light states:
- The seven aspects of enlightenment are mindfulness, fully discerning phenomena, diligence, joy, agility, meditative absorption, and equanimity. The knowledge that fully discerns phenomena is referred to as the aspect of nature, owing to the fact that the knowledge that perceives the truth of the intrinsic nature is the essence of the path of seeing. Therefore, it is referred to as the essence, or nature, of enlightenment. Mindfulness is the aspect of the basis of enlightenment because it is the basis of good qualities. Diligence is the aspect of definitive emergence because it allows one to transcend the conflicting factors. Joy is the aspect of benefit, the desirable quality that is obtained by [practicing] the paths. Agility, meditative absorption, and equanimity are aspects that are free from affliction. To elaborate, agility is taught to be the foundation for freedom from affliction; meditative absorption, the state of freedom from affliction; and equanimity, the essential nature of freedom from affliction.
Bhikkhu Bodhi states:
- There are seven factors of enlightenment: the enlightenment factors of (1) mindfulness, (2) investigation of states, (3) energy, (4) zest, (5) tranquillity, (6) concentration, (7) equanimity.
- Among the seven factors of enlightenment, investigation of states (dhammavicaya) is a designation for wisdom (paññā), insight into mental and material phenomena as they really are. Tranquillity (passaddhi) means tranquillity both of consciousness and of the mental body (see II, §5). Equanimity (upekkhā) here means mental neutrality (tatramajjhattatā), one of the universal beautiful cetasikas, not neutral feeling. The three factors of investigation, energy, and zest are opposed to mental sluggishness; the three factors of tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity counteract mental excitation. Mindfulness assures that the two groups occur in balance, neither exceeding the other.
- Bhikkhu Bodhi, ed. (2000), A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma, Pariyatti Publishing
- Dharmachakra Translation Committee (2007), Middle Beyond Extremes: Maitreya's Madhyantavibhaga with Commentaries by Khenpo Shenga and Ju Mipham, Snow Lion Publications
- Rhys Davids, T.W. & William Stede (eds.) (1921-5). The Pali Text Society’s Pali–English Dictionary. Chipstead: Pali Text Society. A general on-line search engine for this dictionary is available at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/pali/.
- Seven elements for enlightenment
- The Himalayas (On the Factors for awakening) Himavanta Sutta (SN 46:1), Dhammatalks.org
- Seven Factors of Enlightenment by Ven Vimalaramsi
- The Seven Factors of Enlightenment by Ven Piyadassi
- The Seven Factors of Enlightenment by Ven Ariyadhamma
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