What is Characteristic of the 5 Mental Abilities?
The Blessed Buddha once said:
Bhikkhus, there are these 5 mental abilities (indriya). What five?
And what, Bhikkhus, is the Faith ability?
It is when the Noble Disciple is convinced by the reality of the unexcelled
enlightenment of the Tathagata thus: The Blessed One is indeed an Arahat,
perfectly self-enlightened, consummated in knowledge and behaviour, well
transcended, knower of all worlds, unsurpassable trainer of those who can
be tamed, teacher and guide both of devas and as well of humans, the self
Enlightened Buddha, the all Blessed One... This is called the Faith ability!
And what, Bhikkhus, is the Energy ability?
It is when the Noble Disciple lives while enthusiastically eliminating any
detrimental mental state and while gradually achieving advantageous mental
states. In this he is strong, determined, not shirking any good opportunity to
cultivate advantageous mental states... This is called the Energy ability!
And what, Bhikkhus, is the Awareness ability?
It is when the Noble Disciple is aware by possessing supreme awareness
of the present and memory of the past. He is one who remembers and
recollects both what actually was done and what was said long, long ago.
This is called the ability of Awareness...
And what, Bhikkhus, is the Concentration ability?
It is when the Noble Disciple gains Concentration, gains absorption into
the object, having made release the object. This is indeed called the
And what, Bhikkhus, is the Understanding ability?
It is when the Noble Disciple is clever by possessing understanding of
the continual arising & passing away, which is Noble & cutting through,
leading to the complete destruction of Suffering. This is indeed called
the Understanding ability...
These fine five qualities, Bhikkhus & Friends, are the 5 mental abilities!
On These Five Mental Abilities (indriya) see:
Source of reference (edited extract):
The Grouped Sayings of the Buddha. Samyutta Nikāya.
Book [V: 197] 48 The Mental Abilities (Indriya): 9 Analysis..