Questions on the selected Subject, selected Topic:

Is there a summary of factors needed for Enlightenment, and a complete overview?

Other Topics Under selected SUBJECT:

1. Unsub-divided General Information
2. Merit and Goodness in Society
3. Kamma (and Merit)
4. Developing along Path, Details & Elaborations
5. Meditation
6. More perspective and perspectives
7. Stages on the Path to Enlightenment

SUBJECT: II. Comprehensive Intro. to Buddhism (from the Buddha and B. Bodhi)


Topic: 8. Requisites of Enlightenment & Concepts Overview

The currently selected QUESTION:

Is there a summary of factors needed for Enlightenment, and a complete overview?



(2003-09-01). A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma: The Abhidhammattha Sangaha (Vipassana Meditation and the Buddha's Teachings)
Pariyatti Publishing.

Compendium of Requisites of Enlightenment

"Thirty-seven factors into which the Buddha compressed the practice of his teaching."
"These factors are called 'requisites of enlightenment' because they conduce to the attainment of enlightenment,
which is the knowledge of the four supramundane paths. The thirty-seven requisites, as shown, fall into seven groups."

1. (1) the foundation of mindfulness in contemplation of the body; (2) the foundation of mindfulness in contemplation of feelings;
(3) the foundation of mindfulness in contemplation of consciousness; (4) the foundation of mindfulness in contemplation of mental objects.
"The four foundations of mindfulness form a complete system of meditative practice for the development of mindfulness and insight.
The four foundations of mindfulness have a single essence, which consists of mindful contemplation of phenomena."

"They are differentiated insofar as this mindful contemplation is to be applied to four objects—the body, feelings,
states of consciousness, and mental objects. The latter comprises such factors as the five hindrances, the five aggregates,
the six sense bases, the seven enlightenment factors, and the Four Noble Truths. Mindfulness is identical with right mindfulness
as the seventh factor of the Noble Eightfold Path."

2. "Four supreme efforts: (1) the effort to discard evil states that have arisen, (2) the effort to prevent the arising of
unarisen evil states, (3) the effort to develop unarisen wholesome states, (4) the effort to augment arisen wholesome states.
Here one mental factor, energy, performs four separate functions. This fourfold effort is identical with right effort,
the sixth factor of the Noble Eightfold Path."

3. "Four means to accomplishment: the means to accomplishment consisting of (1) desire, (2) energy, (3) consciousness,
(4) investigation."
"(iddhipādā) [, means to accomplishment, ] signifies all sublime and supramundane states to be accomplished by applying effort to
the practice of the Buddha’s teaching. "
"The principal methods of achieving these are called the means of accomplishment. These are identical with the four predominants" ...
"However, while those states become predominants (adhipati) on any occasion when they are instrumental in accomplishing a goal,
they become iddhipādas only when they are applied to achieving the goal of the Buddha’s teaching. The expression iddhipāda
extends to both mundane and supramundane states."

4. "Five faculties: the faculties of (1) faith, (2) energy, (3) mindfulness, (4) concentration, (5) wisdom."

5. "There are five powers: the powers of (1) faith, (2) energy, (3) mindfulness, (4) concentration, (5) wisdom."

"The 5 faculties and 5 powers comprise the same five factors, though different functions are attached to the two categories.
The faculties are factors which exercise control in their respective domains, while the powers are these same factors considered
as being unshakable by their opposites. Thus the five faculties exercise control in the respective spheres of resolution
(adhimokkha), exertion (paggaha), awareness (upaṭṭhāna), non-distraction (avikkhepa), and discernment (dassana); in doing so
they help to overcome their opposites—indecision, laziness, negligence, agitation, and delusion. The five powers are these
same states considered as unwavering and as incapable of being overcome by their opposites." ... "Strong mindfulness is always
necessary, for mindfulness oversees the development of the other faculties and ensures that they are kept in balance."

6. "Seven factors of enlightenment: the enlightenment factors of (1) mindfulness, (2) investigation of states, (3) energy,
(4) zest, (5) tranquility, (6) concentration, (7) equanimity." ...
"Investigation of states (dhammavicaya) is a designation for wisdom (paññā), insight into mental and material phenomena
as they really are. Tranquility (passaddhi) means tranquility"

7. "There are eight path factors: (1) right view, (2) right intention, (3) right speech, (4) right action, (5) right livelihood,
(6) right effort, (7) right mindfulness, (8) right concentration." ...

"Of the eight factors of the Noble Eightfold Path, right view (sammādiṭṭhi) is the cetasika [(mental factor)] of wisdom exercised in understanding
the Four Noble Truths. Right intention (sammāsankappa) is the cetasika of initial application (vitakka) directed towards
renunciation, good will, and harmlessness. Path factors (3)-(5) are identical with the three abstinences. Right effort is the
same as the four supreme efforts." ... "Right mindfulness is the same as the four foundations of mindfulness." ...
"Right concentration is defined in terms of the four jhānas of the Suttanta system "

( End of Requisites of Enlightenment Section )

----------------------------------------------- To Review the Whole Site : -----------------------------------------------

28 MAJOR LISTS (directly from the words of the Buddha) YOU SHOULD KNOW
(or at least search for and find for review)
(in approximate order of appearance in text):

3 roots of unwholesome behavior

3 Bases of merit (bases for meritorious deeds)

4 Noble Truths and how to come to process each

8-fold Noble Path (also list as factored into 3 groups)

Fulfillment of desire to be based on ethical principles
(2 aspects for present welfare and 4 aspects for future welfare):
LIST these principles

6 Principles of harmony & 6 Principles of Cordiality

5 Precepts

Characteristics of persons in service of whom you become better (10)
and three additional precepts for monks

4 Divine Abodes

4 good reasons for giving and 5 characteristics of BEST giving

8 streams of merit

5 facets of Right View (understanding) at its best

10 kinds of unwholesome behavior (re: 'kamma')

10 steps of Progress in Virtuous Behavior

7 Things needed for higher knowledge

5 Hindrances

Facts about Serenity and Insight

7 Aids to meditation -- aids to inducing concentration

6 Recollections

4 Establishments of Mindfulness

7 Factors of Enlightenment

3 tier conditioned basis of Wisdom

8 Conditions for Wisdom

Domain of Wisdom, by way of 5 aggregates

12 'classic' steps of Dependent Origination

4 Stages on Path to Enlightenment and the positive changes at each stage

Minimum required for one (trainee) to be good for the multitude

37 Factors for Enlightenment *



Approaches or Techniques for Understanding (for eliminating suffering):
come to know how to:

Understand : gratification, danger, and escape

Use 4-truth pattern used to examine the nature of phenomenon

Note the arising and cessation of phenomenon (if you are able,
   also notice the conditions of the arising and/or feeling-tone)

Understand phenomenon as unsatisfactory, impermanent, and non-self

Notice instances of wise attention and unwise attention

HERE (this link) is a way to organize and remember the 28 lists.

To summarize the 37 Factors for Enlightenment into 140 characters: Here is the result:

4FM;4SE;faith* desire energy**+ consciousness mindfulness*+ investigation+ concentration*+ wisdom*;
+zest +tranquility +equanimity:7FE ->8NP

FM = Foundations of Mindfulness
SE = Supreme Efforts
FE = Factors of Enlightenment
NP = Noble Path

Each * is for each other additional occurrence in a separate list (but see parenthetical note, below)
"+" means: also pt. of FE (Factors of Enlightenment) (the plus (+) follows the Factors which are in other lists
but precedes the 3 seemingly unique FE's; a trailing + is not double-represented by an additional * though
it is like a + -- but in those cases the "additional separate list" is the Factors of Enlightenment)

THEN I tried to 'reduce' this to a useful mnemonic:

Short useful mnemonic to remember the 37 Factors for Enlightenment in Buddhism:
(this is much more useful than the above):


It may be easier to remember this major summary of content by recalling the
4,4,4,5,5,7,8 pattern shown in this quote (and thusly recalling the quote):

The Buddha: "What do you think, Ananda? These things that I have
taught you after directly knowing them - that is, the four foundations
of mindfulness, the four right kinds of striving, the four
bases for spiritual power, the five faculties, the five powers, the
seven enlightenment factors, the Noble Eightfold Path - do you
see, Ananda, even two bhikkhus who make differing assertions
about these things?" Ananda: "No, Bante I do not ..."
(Source: Majjhima Nikaya (Middle Length Discourses) #104)


Added by Brad on Tue 17th February 2015 5.02PM

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