Five Powers


1. Five Powers

The 5 Powers or 5 Strengths (pañca-balāni) in Buddhism are:

  1. faith,
  2. energy,
  3. mindfulness,
  4. concentration,
  5. wisdom.

They are one of the 7 sets of "qualities conducive to enlightenment" (Bodhi-pakkhiya-dhammā).

They are parallel facets of the 5 "spiritual faculties" (pañca indriya)

The opposites of the 5 Powers are:

  1. doubt,
  2. laziness,
  3. distraction,
  4. forgetfulness,
  5. confusion

Pañca (Sanskrit, Pāḷi) means "five."

Bala (Sanskrit, Pāḷi) means "power," "strength," "force."

2. Exegesis

Faith and Wisdom balance each other, as do Energy and Concentration.

The 5 Spiritual Faculties (pañca indriya) are controlling faculties because they control or master their opposites.

The 5 Faculties and 5 Powers are 2 aspects of the same thing:

The main distinction between the 5 Spiritual Faculties (pañca indriya) and 5 Powers is that a spiritual faculty is the foundation or the understanding of a quality, and a Strength is the drive to strive for that quality.

  1. Faith/Conviction (saddhā bala) - controls doubt
  2. Energy/Effort (viriya bala) – controls laziness
  3. Mindfulness (sati bala) - controls heedlessness
  4. Concentration (samādhi bala) - controls distraction
  5. Wisdom/Discernment (paññā bala) – controls ignorance