Pancabala, Pañcabala, Panca-bala, Pañcabalā, Pancan-bala: 8 definitions


Pancabala means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Panchabala.

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Pancabala in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Pañcabala (पञ्चबल) refers to the “five forces” (of Kāma) [?], according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.3.17 (“The dialogue between Indra and Kāmadeva”).—Accordingly, as Kāma said to Brahmā: “[...] O dear friend, I shall cause the downfall of that enemy of yours who is performing a severe penance to usurp your position. [...] I can undoubtedly make Brahmā and Viṣṇu go astray. Others are of no consideration. I shall make even Śiva fall. I have only five arrows that are soft and flowery. My bow is of three types. That too is flowery. The bowstring consists of bees. My support and strength is my beloved wife Ratī. Spring is my minister. O god, I am having five forces [i.e., pañcabalapañcabalodevā]. The moon, the storehouse of nectar, is my friend. [...]”.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pancabala in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Pañcabala (पञ्चबल) or Bala refers to the “five strengths” and represents one of the seven classes of the thirty-seven auxiliaries to enlightenment (bodhipākṣika), according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XXXI.—Accordingly, “when a mind of sharp knowledge (tīkṣṇajñāna-citta) is acquired, there is “powers” (bala)”. Also, “when the five faculties (pañcendriya) have been developed (vṛddha), they are able to intercept the afflictions (kleśa): this is like the power of a big tree (mahāvṛkṣa) that is able to block off water. These five faculties, when they have been developed, are able to gradually penetrate the profound Dharma (gambhīradharma): this is called ‘power’ (bala)”.

Also, “when the five faculties (pañcendriya) have increased and are no longer troubled by the affictions (kleśa), they take the name of strengths (bala). See what has just been said about the five faculties. The five faculties (pañcendriya) and the five strengths (pañcabala) come under the aggregate of volition (saṃskāra-skandha), are always associated, are mental events accompanying the mind; they arise with the mind, endure with the mind and perish with the mind. When one possesses them, the mind is in right concentration (samyaksamādhi); when one does not possess them, the mind falls into wrong concentrations (mithyāsamādhi)”.

Source: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Samādhiprajñā (समाधिप्रज्ञा) refers to the “concentration and insight”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, as the Lord said to Brahmā Prabhāvyūha: “[...] (11) Further, ‘the root of good’ is the entrance into the ability of faith, ‘merit’ is in accordance with vigour, recollection, and awareness, and ‘knowledge’ is the cultivation of concentration and insight (samādhiprajñā). (12) Further, ‘the root of good’ is to be established in the five powers, ‘merit’ is to understand the limbs of awakening, and ‘knowledge’ is to know the entrance into the path. [...]”.

Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pancabala in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Pañcabala (पञ्चबल) refers to the “five strengths” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 48), itself forming part of the “thirty-seven things on the side of awakening” (bodhipākṣika-dharma).

The five strengths (pañcabala) are:

  1. śraddhā (faith),
  2. vīrya (energy),
  3. smṛti (mindfulness),
  4. samādhi (concentration),
  5. prajñā (wisdom).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., pañca-bala). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pancabala in Pali glossary
Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

pañcabala : (nt.) five mental forces.

Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pancabala in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pañcabalā (पञ्चबला).—five medicinal herbs, namely बला, नागबला, महाबला, अति- बला (balā, nāgabalā, mahābalā, ati- balā) and राजबला (rājabalā).

Derivable forms: pañcabalāḥ (पञ्चबलाः).

Pañcabalā is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pañcan and balā (बला).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Pañcabala (पञ्चबल):—[=pañca-bala] [from pañca] n. the 5 forces (viz. faith, energy, recollection, self-concentration, reason), [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 50.]

2) Pañcabalā (पञ्चबला):—[=pañca-balā] [from pañca] f. the 5 plants called Balā (viz. balā, nāga-b, mahā-b, ati-b, and rāja-b), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

[Sanskrit to German]

Pancabala in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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