Five powers

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The five powers (Skt. pañcendriya; Tib. དབང་པོ་ལྔ་, wangpo nga, Wyl. dbang po lnga) are the fourth group of practices in the thirty-seven factors of enlightenment, practised on the first two stages of the path of joining. They are:

  1. faith (Skt. śraddhā; Tib. དད་པ་, Wyl. dad pa)
  2. diligence (Skt. vīrya; Tib. བརྩོན་འགྲུས་, Wyl. brtson 'grus)
  3. mindfulness (Skt. smṛti; Tib. དྲན་པ་, Wyl. dran pa)
  4. concentration (Skt. samādhi; Tib. ཏིང་ངེ་འཛིན་, Wyl. ting nge 'dzin)
  5. wisdom (Skt. prajñā; Tib. ཤེས་རབ་, Wyl. shes rab)

The Sutra of the Ten Bhumis says:

"One trains in the power of faith, remaining in isolation, etc. Similarly, for the power of diligence, the power of mindfulness, the power of concentration, and the power of wisdom, one remains in isolation, one remains free from attachment, etc."

Khenpo Namdrol says:

"The powers occur during the stages of warmth and summit on the path of joining. They are called powers since they control the phenomena of total purity (Wyl. rnam byang). Of course, the bodhisattvas on the path of accumulation have faith, diligence and so on, but they have not yet become powers. When the bodhisattva reaches the path of joining they become powers, but they are still susceptible to their opposing factors.
As with the four miraculous limbs, these are applied to the four noble truths."

Alternative Translations

  • Five spiritual faculties