Last Updated: November 1, 2017

Definition - What does Bala mean?

Bala is a Sanskrit word that has several meanings: “young,” “powerful,” “strength of mind” and “child-like,” among others. In Hinduism, the term appears most often when referring to youth, as in bala Krishna ("young Krishna") and balasana ("child's pose").

Buddhism and some yogic traditions tend to use the term to mean power or strength. The pancha bala are the five strengths and, together, comprise one of the sets of qualities that can lead to enlightenment.

Yogapedia explains Bala

Bala Tripurasundari, or Bala for short, is a Hindu child goddess. Balasana honors this child spirit. From a kneeling position, the practitioner sits on his heels with the big toes touching and the knees hip-width apart. The body then folds forward, relaxing the spinal column. The arms either rest overhead or alongside the body.

In Buddhist and yogic texts, the pancha bala are:

  1. Saddha (faith)
  2. Viriya (energy or effort)
  3. Sati (mindfulness or attention)
  4. Samadhi (concentration)
  5. Panna (wisdom)

Some of the balas may dominate, but balance among the balas is needed for a stable and harmonious life.

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