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According to the Abhidharma teachings, all human physical and mental faculties (Skt. indriya; Tib. དབང་པོ་, wangpo, Wyl. dbang po) can be encompassed in a list of twenty-two faculties.[1]

  • 1-6) The six of the eye faculty, ear faculty, nose faculty, tongue faculty, body faculty the mind faculty. These six control the apprehending of their individual objects.
  • 7) The life faculty controls the remaining in a similar class [of sentient beings].
  • 8-9) The male and female faculties form the respective physical supports [for being male or female] and control the unbroken continuity of births from a womb.
  • 10-14) The five faculties of the sensations of pleasure, pain, mental pleasure, mental pain, and of neutral sensation control the experiences of the fully ripened results [of karma].
  • 15-19) The five faculties of faith, diligence, recollection, concentration, and discrimination control the mundane virtues or the purity [of detachment].
  • 20-22) The faculties of 'making all understood', of 'understanding all,' and of ‘having understood all' consist of faith and so forth in the stream-of-being of, [respectively, someone on the paths of] seeing, cultivation, and no-training. They control the supramundane purities [of noble beings].

Faculties are therefore called controlling faculties.


  1. List based on Mipham Rinpoche’s Khenjuk

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