The 5 Faculties and the 5 Strengths (part of the 7 Sets series!)

English: Vietnamese devotional statue of the h...

Vietnamese devotional statue of the historical Buddha

The 5 Faculties and the 5 Strengths are the same 5 items. (7 Sets index) Really this is one set. The difference is only whether you have attained the virtues.

Some translations have Faculties and Strengths, while others have 5 Roads to Power and 5 Pillars of Strength. It’s a road to power when you’re on it and a pillar of strength when you have attained it.

Or you could say it’s a road to power when you’re cultivating it and a pillar of strength when you’re using it. Since using these virtues and attaining them are inimately linked, there is probably a good reason the Buddha linked them the way he did.

The 5 Pillars of Strength, the 5 Roads to Power, are:

1. Conviction
2. Persistence
3. Mindfulness
4. Concentration
5. Insight

Sometimes #5 is translated “discernment.”

Insight, #5, is the most useful and important. Making this point seems to be the Buddha’s primary purpose in mentioning this set.

The reason insight is the best of these is that it naturally leads to cultivation of the other 4.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. keiththegreen
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 14:02:41

    I am glad to see that you recognize that all paths are focused on the same goals spiritually. It does not matter which path that we choose, it is that we embrace the path we have chosen.

    Reply

  2. Conrad Cook
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 07:41:21

    Different people often have different goals — or anyway radically different ideas of what their goals are. However, I believe the spiritual is real. There is **a** spiritual reality governing realization of our goals.

    Reply

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