The Second Discourse giving an Analysis [of the Faculties]
(Dutiyavibhaṅgasuttaṁ, Indriyasaṁyuttaṁ, SN 48.10)

Translated by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu

(November 2008/2552)

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The Second Discourse giving an Analysis [of the Faculties]

“(There are), monks, these five Faculties. Which five? The Faculty of Faith, the Faculty of Energy, the Faculty of Mindfulness, the Faculty of Concentration, the Faculty of Wisdom.

And what, monks, is the Faculty of Faith?

Here, monks, a noble disciple is faithful, he has faith in the Realised One's Awakening (thus): ‘Such is he, the Gracious One, the Worthy One, the Perfect Sambuddha, the one endowed with understanding and good conduct, the Fortunate One, the one who understands the worlds, the unsurpassed guide for those people who need taming, the Teacher of gods and men, the Buddha, the Gracious One.’ Given the method that is followed with the other faculties below we would really expect the four Factors of Stream Entry (cattāro Sotāpattiyaṅgāni) to be inserted at this point, but they are not. In short they comprise perfect confidence in the Buddha (as expressed in the formula repeated above), the Dhamma (svākkhāto...), the Saṅgha (supaṭipanno...), and the ability to maintain their virtuous practices (sīla) unbroken.01

This, monks, is called the Faculty of Faith.

And what, monks, is the Faculty of Energy?

Here, monks, a noble disciple lives with energy aroused for the giving up of unwholesome things, for the establishment of wholesome things, being firm, making strong endeavour, and having persistence in regard to wholesome things.

He This part of the definition is identical with the definition of Sammāvāyāmo, Right Endeavour, the 6th step in the Noble Eightfold Path.02 generates desire for the non-arising of bad and unwholesome things that have not yet arisen, (in this regard) he endeavours, instigates energy, exerts his mind, and makes an effort.

He generates desire to give up bad and unwholesome things that have already arisen, (in this regard) he endeavours, instigates energy, exerts his mind, and makes an effort.

He generates desire for the arising of wholesome things that have not yet arisen, (in this regard) he endeavours, instigates energy, exerts his mind, and makes an effort.

He generates desire for the endurance of wholesome things that have arisen, their non-forgetting, multiplicaton, extension, development, and fulfilment, (in this regard) he endeavours, instigates energy, exerts his mind, and makes an effort.

This, monks, is called the Faculty of Energy.

And what, monks, is the Faculty of Mindfulness?

Here, monks, a noble disciple is mindful, endowed with superior mindfulness and carefulness, remembering and recalling what was done a long time ago and what was said a long time ago.

He This part of the definition is the same as the outline section of the Ways of Attending to Mindfulness, see the text and translation of Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṁ elsewhere on this website. It will be noticed that sati is characterised as both the ability to recall, and to pay careful attention to whatever is arising in consiousness. 03 dwells contemplating (the nature of) the body in the body, ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

He dwells contemplating (the nature of) feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

He dwells contemplating (the nature of) the mind in the mind, ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

He dwells contemplating (the nature of) things in (various) things ardent, clearly knowing, and mindful, after removing avarice and sorrow regarding the world.

This, monks, is called the Faculty of Mindfulness.

And what, monks, is the Faculty of Concentration?

Here, monks, a noble disciple, having relinquished sense objects, attains concentration, attains one-pointedness of mind.

He, This part of the definition is the definition of the four Absorptions (Jhāna), which occurs in many places throughout the discourses. 04 quite secluded from sense desires, secluded from unwholesome things, having thinking, reflection, and the happiness and rapture born of seclusion, dwells having attained the first absorption.

With the ending of thinking, and reflection, with internal clarity, and one-pointedness of mind, being without thinking, without reflection, having the happiness and rapture born of concentration, he dwells having attained the second absorption.

With the fading away of rapture he dwells equanimous, mindful, clearly knowing, experiencing happiness through the body, about which the Noble Ones declare: “He lives pleasantly, mindful, and equanimous,” (thus) he dwells having attained the third absorption.

Having given up pleasure, given up pain, and with the previous disappearence of mental well-being and sorrow, without pain, without pleasure, and with complete purity of mindfulness owing to equanimity, he dwells having attained the fourth absorption.

This, monks, is called the Faculty of Concentration.

And what, monks, is the Faculty of Wisdom?

Here, monks, a noble disciple is wise, endowed with wisdom concerning rise and fall, having noble penetration into the right way leading to the destruction of suffering.

He The previous part of the definition characterises the practice of insight meditation (vipassanā), while this part is identical with the short form of the definition of the Four Noble Truths. 05 knows as it really is “this is Suffering”.
He knows as it really is “this is the Origination of Suffering”.
He knows as it really is “this is the Cessation of Suffering”.
He knows as it really is “this is the Practice Leading to the Cessation of Suffering”.

This, monks, is called the Faculty of Wisdom.

These, monks, are the Five Faculties.