Panca Indriya and Panca Bala – Five Faculties and Five Powers

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    • #16561
      Tobias G
      Participant

      In the post Panca Indriya and Panca Bala – Five Faculties and Five Powers it is said under #2:

      “…The five mental faculties (indriya) are saddha (faith), viriya (effort), sati (mindfulness), samadhi (concentration), and pañña (wisdom), and there are five corresponding powers (Bala).”

      In the Saṃkhitta Sutta (AN5.1) the Pali text says:
      “Pañcimani, bhikkhave, sekhabalani. Katamani pañca? Saddhabalam, hiribalam, ottappabalam, viriyabalam, paññabalam— imani kho, bhikkhave, pañca sekhabalani.”

      https://suttacentral.net/an5.1/en/sujato

      The Pali version mentions the panca balas (“balam”). Two of them do not correspond to the post above (hiri and ottappa instead of sati and samadhi). Can someone explain this? Is hiri/ottappa same as sati/samadhi?

    • #16566
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Good question.

      There is at least one sutta defining panca bala the other way: “Punakūṭa Sutta (AN 5.16)“:

      Pañcimāni, bhikkhave, balāni. Katamāni pañca? Saddhābalaṃ, vīriyabalaṃ, satibalaṃ, samādhibalaṃ, paññābalaṃ—imāni kho, bhikkhave, pañca balāni. Imesaṃ kho, bhikkhave, pañcannaṃ balānaṃ etaṃ aggaṃ etaṃ saṅgāhikaṃ etaṃ saṅghātaniyaṃ, yadidaṃ paññābalaṃ. Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, kūṭāgārassa etaṃ aggaṃ etaṃ saṅgāhikaṃ etaṃ saṅghātaniyaṃ, yadidaṃ kūṭaṃ. Evamevaṃ kho, bhikkhave, imesaṃ pañcannaṃ balānaṃ etaṃ aggaṃ etaṃ saṅgāhikaṃ etaṃ saṅghātaniyaṃ, yadidaṃ paññābalan”ti.”

      On the other hand, the sutta Tobias quoted is about Sekha bala.

      I am not sure what the difference is. But a Sekha means “one in training”, basically anyone below the Arahant stage.

    • #16627
      Akvan
      Participant

      Hi Tobias / Lal,

      These differences in the bala are mentioned in the sekkhabala vagga and the bala vagga.

      In the sekkha bala vagga https://suttacentral.net/an5.2/pli/ms hiri and otappa are explained as follows;

      (2) “And what is the power of moral shame? Here, a noble disciple has a sense of moral shame; he is ashamed of bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct; he is ashamed of acquiring evil, unwholesome qualities. This is called the power of moral shame.
      (3) “And what is the power of moral dread? Here, a noble disciple dreads wrongdoing; he dreads bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct; he dreads acquiring evil, unwholesome qualities. This is called the power of moral dread.

      In the Thathagatha Bala Sutta (Named as Ananussutasutta in Sutta Central) https://suttacentral.net/an5.11/pli/ms the buddha says that the 5 bala (Saddha, viriya, hiri, otappa and pragna) helped him attain enlightenment.

      In the Bala Vithaththa Sutta https://suttacentral.net/an5.14/pli/ms the 5 powers are mentioned as Saddha, viriya, sati, Samadhi, pragna. Here sati and Samadhi are explained as follows;

      (3) “And what is the power of mindfulness? Here, the noble disciple is mindful, possessing supreme mindfulness and alertness, one who remembers and recollects what was done and said long ago. This is called the power of mindfulness.
      (4) “And what is the power of concentration? Here, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination. With the subsiding of thought and examination, he enters and dwells in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination. With the fading away as well of rapture, he dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences pleasure with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhāna of which the noble ones declare: ‘He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.’ With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and dejection, he enters and dwells in the fourth jhāna, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity. This is called the power of concentration.

      From this I think hiri and otappa are for trainees (sekkha) and may be even for anariyas. Sati and Samadhi are for ariyas? An ariya would keep away from immoral deeds more with understanding while an anariya will do it more because or shame and being scared. Hence, the panca bala in the 37 factors for enlightenment include sati and samadi.

      Does that make sense?

      Thank Tobias for pointing this out. I had read these suttas before but it never occurred to me.

    • #16638
      Lal
      Keymaster

      @Akvan: Yes. You are right when you said: “From this I think hiri and otappa are for trainees (sekkha) and may be even for anariyas”.

      Without hiri (shame of immoral deeds) and otappa (fear of the consequences of immoral deeds), it is not possible to cultivate sati and samadhi.

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