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  • bala

'powers'

Among various groups of powers the following five are most frequently met with in the texts:

  • (1) faith (saddhā),
  • (2) energy (viriya),
  • (3) mindfulness (sati),
  • (4) concentration (samādhi),
  • (5) wisdom (paññā).

Their particular aspect, distinguishing them from the corresponding 5 spiritual abilities (indriya), is that they are unshakable by their opposites:

  • (1) the power of faith is unshakable by faithlessness (unbelief);
  • (2) energy, by laziness;
  • (3) mindfulness, by forgetfulness;
  • (4) concentration, by distractedness;
  • (5) wisdom, by ignorance (see Pts.M., ñāna Kathā).

They represent, therefore, the aspect of firmness in the spiritual abilities.

According to A.V.15,

  • (1) the power becomes manifest in the 4 qualities of the Stream-winner (sotāpannassa angāni),
  • (2) in the 4 right efforts (s. padhāna),
  • (3) in the 4 foundations of mindfulness (satipatthāna),
  • (4) in the 4 absorptions (jhāna),
  • (5) in the (full comprehension of the) 4 Noble Truths (sacca).

Cf. S.XLVIII.43; S.L. (Bala Samyutta).

In A.VII.3, the powers of moral shame (hiri) and moral dread (ottappa) are added to the aforementioned five Several other groups of 2 (s. patisankhāna-bala), 4, 5 and more powers are mentioned in the texts. -

About the 10 powers of a Buddha, s. dasa-bala.


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