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Template:Bodhipakkhiyadhamma

In Buddhism, the Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Pali: satta bojjha or satta sambojjha; Skt.: sapta bodhyanga) are:

  • Mindfulness (sati) i.e. to be aware and mindful in all activities and movements both physical and mental
  • Investigation (dhamma vicaya) into the nature of dhamma
  • Energy (viriya)
  • Joy or rapture (piti)
  • Relaxation or tranquillity (passaddhi) of both body and mind
  • Concentration (samadhi)
  • Equanimity (upekkha), to be able to face life in all its vicissitudes with calm of mind and tranquillity, without disturbance.

This set of seven enlightenment factors is one of the "Seven Sets" of "Enlightenment-related states" (bodhipakkhiyadhamma).

The Pali word bojjhanga is a compound of bodhi ("enlightenment") and anga ("factor").[1]

Canonical sourcesEdit

In the Suttapitaka's Samyutta Nikaya, the bojjhangas refer to wholesome, mundane factors leading to enlightenment. In the Abhidhamma and Pali commentaries, the bojjhangas tend to refer to supramundane factors concurrent with enlightenment.[2]

During meditation, one may study, think and deliberate on the Seven Factors of Enlightenment as well as on their antithesis, the Five Hindrances.[3]

Again according to the Samyutta Nikaya, once when the Buddha was gravely ill he asked Venerable Mahacunda to recite the Seven Factors of Enlightenment to him. In such a way the Buddha was cured of his illness.[4]

Commentarial literatureEdit

In the Visuddhimagga, in a section discussing skills needed for the attainment and maintenance of absorption (jhana), Buddhaghosa identifies the bojjhangas in the following fashion:

  • "Strong mindfulness ... is needed in all instances...."
  • "When his mind is slack with over-laxness of energy, etc., then ... he should develop those [three enlightenment factors] beginning with investigation-of-states..." (i.e., dhamma vicaya, viriya, piti).
  • "When his mind is agitated through over-energeticness, etc., then ... he should develop those [three enlightenment factors] beginning with tranquillity..." (i.e., passaddhi, samadhi, upekkha).[5]

See also Edit

Notes Edit

  1. For instance, see Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 490, entry for "Bojjhanga" (retrieved 10 Jul 2007).
  2. Bodhi (2000), p. 1499.
  3. For an example of a discourse that includes the juxtaposition of these two sets of phenomena, see the Satipatthana Sutta. For a group of discourses in which these two sets of phenomena are juxtaposed, see SN 46.31 to 46.40 (Bodhi, 2000, pp. 1501, 1589-94).
  4. Gilana Sutta (SN 46.16) (Piyadassi, 1999; Piyadassi, n.d.).
  5. Buddhaghosa & Ñāṇamoli (1999), pp. 129, 131. Note that Buddhaghosa clearly references the last six bojjhangas in the last two cited statements. The first statement about sati (mindfulness), while immediately preceding mention of the bojjhangas, is technically in reference to the five spiritual faculties (indriya).

Sources Edit

  • Buddhaghosa, Bhadantacariya & Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli (trans.) (1999). The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga. Seattle, WA: BPS Pariyatti Editions. ISBN 1-928706-00-2.

External links Edit


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