Virya Buddhism


Vīrya (devanagari: वीर्य; Pali: viriya; Tibetan tsöndrü: བརྩོན་འགྲུས།, Wylie: brtson 'grus) is a Sanskrit word meaning "effort", "perseverance", "diligence", "vigor", "energy" or "heroism". . In Buddhism, it refers to the practice of cultivating perseverance which corresponds to one of the Perfections (paramita): right effort or perseverance.

In Buddhism, vīrya is one of the 5 abilities of control (indriya), one of the 5 forces (bala), one of the 6 or 10 paramitas, one of the 7 factors of enlightenment (bodhyanga) and corresponds to the right effort of the Noble Eightfold Path (aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo,aṣṭāṅga mārga).

Virya represents the intense and sustained effort to overcome negative, misguided states of mind leading to suffering (akusala dhamma) such as sensuality, hostility, or malfeasance (see, for example, ahimsa and nekkhamma).

It represents right effort seeking to attain dhyāna. In the absence of sustained effort in meditation practice, desire creeps in and the meditator comes under its influence.

Virya can also mean courage and physical strength. It was cultivated by the Buddhist guards, especially the Shaolin monks. It signifies strength of character and persistent effort for the welfare of others, as well as the ability to defend the Three Jewels (triratna) from attack.

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