If memory serves correctly, the historical Buddha did mention contemplating/investigating energy (viriya). Also remember mention of energy leading to the cessation of dukka.

But does the Buddha, or other Buddhist teachings, ever expound upon energy in-depth, specifically techniques on how to raise/rouse energy — perhaps with the same level of detail the Abhidhamma does with the 121 types of consciousness — other than by intention? (as in:

“What is virya? It is the mind intent on being ever active, devoted, unshaken, not turning back and being indefatigable. It perfects and realizes what is conducive to the positive.” via: The Abhidharma-samuccaya from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vīrya )

  • 3
    Do you mean energy as vitality, effort,... or energy as defined in science?
    – Codosaur
    Nov 26, 2018 at 16:32
  • Thanks Codosaur and @SarathW — updated question from the input.
    – vimutti
    Nov 28, 2018 at 0:28

3 Answers 3


Buddha's many life stories are about the teaching of energy. More information from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C4%ABrya


As I hear it daily, energy is the antidote to laziness:

Furthermore, a mendicant lives with energy roused up for giving up unskillful qualities and gaining skillful qualities. They are strong, staunchly vigorous, not slacking off when it comes to developing skillful qualities. --dn33/en/sujato (Tens)


Energy in science is tejo, form, in Buddhism.

The encouragement is indriya and bala in Buddhism. This is the method of jhāna meditation. It was used before the Buddha enlightened by jhāna practitioner. However, the enlightenment of Buddhism is jāna, supra-mundane jhana (lokuttara), as well, so the encouragement was mentioned in tipitaka and atthakatha as leading to the cessation of dukka.

For every 5 encouragements, see lakkhaṇādicatukka in the path of purification, some in aggregates lesson and some in kasiṇa lesson.

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