The Seven Factors of Enlightenment
Size: 5.5” X 8.5”
Pages: 31 pages
Published with permission from Bhikkhu Bodhi of Buddhist Publication Soceity 1998
The Tipitaka, the Buddhist Pali Canon, is replete with references to the factors of enlightenment expounded by the Enlightened One on different occasions under different circumstances. In the Book of the Kindred Sayings (V) -- Samyutta Nikaya -- we find a special section under the title Bojjhanga Samyutta wherein the Buddha discourses on the bojjhangas in diverse ways. In this section we read a series of three discourses or sermons which have been recited by Buddhists ever since the time of the Buddha as a protectio againt pain, disease and adversity, etc..
"Bojjhanga! Bojjhanga! is the saying, Lord.
Pray, Lord, how far is this name applicable?"
queried a monk of the Buddha.
"They conduce to enlightenment, monk,
that is why they are so called,"
was the succinct reply of the Master.
This essay offers an overview of the seven factors of enlightenment (satta bojjhanga), one of the Buddha's own lists of his most important teachings.
Nayaka Mahathera Piyadassi is a Buddhist monk, a native of Sri Lanka, a land that has fostered Buddhism for close to 2,300 years. He was educated at Nalanda College, one of the important centers of Buddhist education in Sri Lanka, and thereafter at the University of Sri Lanka. At the age of twenty he entered the Buddhist Order and mastered the religion and philosophy of Buddhism under the tutorship of the Venerable Vajiranana, Sangha Nayaka, founding-superior of the Vajirarama, Colombo, a most well-known authority on Buddhism. He also attended the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, USA, as a Research Student.
Today, Venerable Mahathera Piyadassi is one of the world’s most eminent Buddhist monks, a forceful preacher of great renown, an indefatigable Dhamma-duta. In his long years of service to the Dhamma he has represented Sri Lanka at several international religion and cultural conferences. Having traveled widely carrying the message of the Buddhamma, both to the East and to the West, he is able to write in a style that has universal appeal.