Faculties

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According to the Abhidharma rigpawiki teachings, all physical and mental faculties (Skt. indriya; Tib. དབང་པོ་, wangpo, Wyl. rigpawiki dbang po) are encompassed by a list of twenty-two faculties.[1]

1-6) The six sense faculties

These six control the apprehending of their individual objects. They are:

  • Visual faculty (Skt. cakṣurindriya; Tib. མིག་གི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. mig gi dbang po)
  • Auditory faculty (Skt. śrotrendriya; Tib. རྣ་བའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. rna ba’i dbang po)
  • Olfactory faculty (Skt. ghrāṇendriya; Tib. སྣའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. sna’i dbang po)
  • Gustatory faculty (Skt. jihvendriya; Tib. ལྕེའི་དབང་པོ་ , Wyl. lce’i dbang po)
  • Tactile faculty (Skt. kāyendriya; Tib. ལུས་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. lus kyi dbang po)
  • Mental faculty (Skt. manendriya; Tib. ཡིད་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. yid kyi dbang po)

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7) Life faculty

The life faculty (Skt. jīvitendriya) controls the remaining in a similar class of sentient beings.

8-9) The male and female faculties

The

  • male sexual faculty (Skt. puruṣendriya) and
  • female sexual faculty (Skt. strīndriya)

form the respective physical supports for being male or female, are the basis for sexual pleasure, and control the unbroken continuity of births from a womb.

10-14) The five faculties of sensations

The five faculties of sensations control the experiences of the fully ripened results of karma. They are:

  • The faculty of pleasure (Skt. sukhendriyam; Tib. བདེ་བའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. rigpawiki bde ba’i dbang po)
  • The faculty of suffering (Skt. duḥkhendriyam; Tib. སྡུག་བསྔལ་གྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. sdug bsngal gyi dbang po)
  • The faculty of mental ease (Skt. saumanasyendriyam; Tib. ཡིད་བདེ་བའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. yid bde ba’i dbang po)
  • The faculty of mental discomfort (Skt. daurmanasyendriyam; Tib. ཡིད་མི་བདེ་བའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. yid mi bde ba’i dbang po)
  • The faculty of indifference or neutrality (Skt. upekṣendriyam; Tib. བཏང་སྙོམས་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. btang snyoms kyi dbang po).

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15-19) The five faculties that control mundane virtues

These faculties control the mundane virtues or the purity of detachment. They are: Template:Thirty-seven factors The five spiritual faculties (Pali: Template:IAST) are one of the seven sets of the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment.

Sanskrit tradition

In the Sanskrit tradition, the five spiritual faculties are:

  • The faculty of saddha (faith) (Skt. śraddhendriyam; Tib. དད་པའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. dad pa’i dbang po)
  • The faculty of viriya (diligence) (Skt. vīryendriyam; Tib. བརྩོན་འགྲུས་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. brtson ‘grus kyi dbang po)
  • The faculty of sati (mindfulness) (Skt. smṛtīndriyam, Tib. དྲན་པའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. dran pa’i dbang po)
  • The faculty of samādhi (concentration) (Skt. samādhīndriyam; Tib. ཏིང་ངེ་འཛིན་གྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. ting nge ‘dzin gyi dbang po)
  • The faculty of prajna (wisdom) (Skt. prajñendriyam; Tib. ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. shes rab kyi dbang po)

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This set of five faculties is one of the seven sets of the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment.

Pali tradition

In the Pali tradition, the five faculties (Pali: Template:IAST) are identified as:[2]

  • Faith (P. saddhindriyaṃ) is faith in the Buddha's awakening.[3]
  • Energy (P. viriyindriyaṃ) refers to exertion towards the four efforts.
  • Mindfulness (P. satindriyaṃ) refers to focusing on the four satipatthana.
  • Concentration (P. samādhindriyaṃ) refers to achieving the four jhanas.
  • Wisdom (P. paññindriyaṃ) refers to discerning the Four Noble Truths.[4]

In SN 48.51, the Buddha declares that, of these five faculties, wisdom is the "chief" (agga).[5]

Relation to the five powers

In the Sāketa Sutta, the Buddha declares that the five spiritual faculties are the five powers and vice-versa. He uses the metaphor of a stream passing by a mid-stream island; the island creates two streams, but the streams can also be seen as one and the same.[6] The Pali commentaries remark that these five qualities are "faculties" when used to control their spheres of influence, and are "powers" when unshakeable by opposing forces.[7]

The five spiritual faculties are ‘controlling' faculties because they control or master their opposites:

  1. Faith (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

Alternate translations

  • The five faculties (Dharmachakra)

References

  1. List based on Mipham Rinpoche rigpawiki’s Khenjuk rigpawiki, Gateway to Knowledge, vol. I (Hong Kong: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1984 & 1997), page 67 & Philippe Cornu's article facultés, in Dictionnaire encyclopédique du bouddhisme, nouvelle édition augmentée (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2006), page 218.
  2. Bodhi, Manual of Abhidharma
  3. Alternatively, SN 48.8 and AN V.15 identify "faith" as referring to the four-fold faith of the stream-enterer which Conze (1993), n. 28, and Nyanaponika & Bodhi (1999), p. 297, n. 9, identify as faith in the Triple Gem and "perfect morality."
  4. Bodhi (2000), pp. 1671-73; and, Thanissaro (1997a).
  5. Bodhi (2000), p. 1695.
  6. Bodhi (2000), pp. 1688-89.
  7. Bodhi (2000), p. 1511.

Sources

External links

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20-22) The three pure faculties that control supramundane virtues

The three pure faculties that control supramundane virtues of noble beings are:

  • the faculty of 'making all understood' (Skt. anājñātamājñāsyāmīndriya; Tib. ཀུན་ཤེས་པར་བྱེད་པའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. kun shes par byed pa’i dbang po)
  • the faculty of 'understanding all' (Skt. ajñendriya; Tib. ཀུན་ཤེས་པའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. kun shes pa’i dbang po)
  • the faculty of 'having understood all' (Skt. ajñātāvindriya; Tib. ཀུན་ཤེས་པ་དང་ལྡན་པའི་དབང་པོ་, Wyl. kun shes pa dang ldan pa’i dbang po)

These three are correlated to nine of the previous faculties (faith, diligence, mindfulness, concentration, wisdom, pleasure, suffering, mental ease and mental discomfort), of respectively, someone on the paths of seeing, meditation, and no-more-learning.

Other Divisions

  • The first five sense faculties (1-5) and the male and female faculties (8-9) are form faculties.
  • Mental faculty is main mind.
  • The five faculties of sensations (10-14) and the five faculties that control mundane virtues (15-19) are mental states.
  • Life faculty (7) is a formation that belongs neither to mind nor form.
  • The three pure faculties that control supramundane virtues (20-22) belong to mind and mental states.

References

Further Reading

Internal Links

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