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Five Strengths

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Title: Five Strengths  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Zen Master, Faith in Buddhism, Mindfulness, Satipatthana, Vīrya
Collection: Buddhist Philosophical Concepts, Buddhist Terminology, Mindfulness (Buddhism)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Five Strengths

The Five Strengths (Sanskrit, Pali: pañca bala) in Buddhism are faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom. They are one of the seven sets of "qualities conducive to enlightenment." They are parallel facets of the five "spiritual faculties."


  • Translation 1
  • Exegesis 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


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


Faith and Wisdom balance each other, as do Energy and Concentration. The Five Faculties are ‘controlling' faculties because they control or master their opposites. The faculties and powers are two aspects of the same thing.

  1. Faith/Conviction (saddha) - controls doubt
  2. Energy/Effort/Persistence (viriya) – controls laziness
  3. Mindfulness (sati); - controls heedlessness
  4. Concentration (samādhi) - controls distraction
  5. Wisdom/Discernment (pañña, prajña) – controls ignorance

See also

  • Bodhipakkhiyadhamma - lists the 32 qualities conducive to Enlightenment, which includes the Five Powers.
  • Five Wisdoms
  • Indriya - "faculty," includes extended discussion of the Five Spiritual Faculties.


  1. ^ See Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 387, entry for "Pañca," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Chicago" at and, Monier-Williams (1964), e.g., p. 579, entry "Pañcaka," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Cologne" at
  2. ^ See Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 482, entry for "Bala," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Chicago" at and, Monier-Williams (1964), p. 722, entry "Bala," retrieved 2008-03-11 from "U. of Cologne" at


  • Monier-Williams, Monier (1899, 1964). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary. London: Oxford University Press. An on-line search engine for the MWD is available from the "U. of Cologne" at
  • Rhys Davids, T.W. & William Stede (eds.) (1921-5). The Pali Text Society’s Pali–English Dictionary. Chipstead: Pali Text Society. An on-line search engine for the PED is available from "Chicago U." at

External links

  • The Way of Wisdom - The Five Spiritual Faculties, by Edward Conze
  • The Five Spiritual Powers, Dharma talk by Sarah Doering
  • Indriyas from Encyclopedia of Spiritual Knowledge
  • The Secret of 5 Powers, Comic Book - Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh

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