|Chinese||勤(T) / 勤(S),
精進(T) / 精进(S)
(RR: geun, jeongjin)
(Wylie: brtson 'grus;
Virya (Sanskrit: vīrya; Pāli: viriya) is a Buddhist term commonly translated as "energy", "diligence", "enthusiasm", or "effort". It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities, and it functions to cause one to accomplish wholesome or virtuous actions.
In Buddhism, virya generally refers to a practitioner's "energy" or "exertion," and is repeatedly identified as a necessary prerequisite for achieving liberation.
The paramita of virya (viriya) is identified as:
- one of the six paramitas of the Mahayana tradition
- one of the ten paramis of the Theravada tradition
Within the Abhidharma teachings, virya is identified as:
- One of the six occasional mental factors within the Theravada Abhidharma
- One of the eleven virtuous mental factors within the Abhidharma-samuccaya of the Sanskrit Mahayana tradition
- One of the ten omnipresent wholesome factors within the Abhidharma-kosa of the Sanskrit Mahayana tradition
The Visuddhimagga (XIV, 137) gives the following definition:
- Energy (viriya) is the state of one who, is vigorous (vira). Its characteristic is marshalling (driving). Its finction is to consolidate conascent states (the accompanying citta and cetasikas). It is manifested as non-collapse. Because of the words "Bestirred, he strives wisely" (Gradual Saying II. I l5), its proximate cause is a sense of urgency; or its proximate cause is grounds for the initiation of energy. When rightly initiated, it should be regarded as the root of all attainments.
The Abhidharma-samuccaya states:
- What is virya? It is the mind intent on being ever active, devoted, unshaken, not turning back and being indefatigable. It perfects and realizes what is conducive to the positive.
In the context of the Mahayana Abhidharma, virya is commonly translated as diligence.
In the Kīṭāgiri Sutta (MN 70), the Buddha instructs his followers:
- ... For a faithful disciple who is intent on fathoming the Teacher's Dispensation, it is natural that he conduct himself thus: 'Willingly, let only my skin, sinews, and bones remain, and let the flesh and blood dry up on my body, but my energy [Pali: viriya] shall not be relaxed so long as I have not attained what can be attained by manly strength [purisa-tthāmena], manly energy [purisa-viriyena], and manly persistence [purisa-parakkamena]...."
- Ñāṇamoli & Bodhi (2001), "Kīṭāgiri Sutta" (MN 70), pp. 583-4.
- Ireland (1998)
- Walshe (2009)
- See, e.g., Bullitt (2005), entry for "viriya," which defines this term as: "Persistence; energy. One of the ten perfections (paramis), the five faculties (bala; see bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma), and the five strengths/dominant factors (indriya; see bodhi-pakkhiya-dhamma)." Retrieved 3 Feb. 2011 from "ATI" at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html#viriya .
- Thanissaro (2005).
- Piyadassi (1999).
- See, e.g., Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), entry for "Viriya," which defines viriya as: "lit. 'state of a strong man,' i. e. vigour, energy, effort, heroic exertion." Retrieved 3 Feb. 2011 from "U.Chicago" at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.3:1:1885.pali .
- Guenther (1975), Kindle Locations 578-580.
- Kunsang (2004), p. 25.
- See, e.g., which Monier Williams (1899), entry for "Vīyà," defines vīyà in part as: "manliness, valour, strength, power, energy, RV [ Rig Veda ] &c. &c.; heroism, heroic deed, ibid.; manly vigour, virility, semen virile, MBh. [ Mahabharata ]; Kāv.&c; ...." Retrieved 3 Feb. 2011 from "U.Cologne" at http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/cgi-bin/monier/serveimg.pl?file=/scans/MWScan/MWScanjpg/mw1006-virabhaTa.jpg .
- Gorkom (2010), Cetisakas: adhimokkha and viriya
- Bullitt, John T. (2005). A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms. Available from "Access to Insight" (ATI) on-line at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/glossary.html .
- Griffith, Ralph T.H. (1896). Rig Veda. Available from "Wikisource" at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Rig_Veda .
- Guenther, Herbert V. & Leslie S. Kawamura (1975), Mind in Buddhist Psychology: A Translation of Ye-shes rgyal-mtshan's "The Necklace of Clear Understanding". Dharma Publishing. Kindle Edition.
- Ireland, John D. (trans.) (1998). "Meghiya Sutta: Meghiya" (Ud. 4.1). Retrieved 7 Feb. 2011 from "Access to Insight" at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/ud/ud.4.01.irel.html .
- Kunsang, Erik Pema (translator) (2004). Gateway to Knowledge, Vol. 1. North Atlantic Books.
- Monier-Williams, Monier (1899; rev. 2008). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. A general on-line search engine for this dictionary is available from "U. Cologne" at http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/monier/index.html.
- Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu (trans.) & Bhikkhu Bodhi (ed.) (2001). The Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-072-X.
- Piyadassi Thera (1999). "Gilana Sutta: Ill (Factors of Enlightenment)" (SN 46.14). Retrieved 7 Feb. 2011 from "Access to Insight" at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.014.piya.html .
- 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/.
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu (trans.) (2005). "Kitagiri Sutta: At Kitagiri" (MN 70). Retrieved 6 Feb. 2011 from "Access to Insight" at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.070.than.html .
- Walshe, Maurice O'Connell (trans.) (2009). "Pade Sutta: In the Foot " (SN 48.54). Retrieved 7 Feb. 2011 from "Access to Insight" at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn48/sn48.054.wlsh.html .
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