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Pañca Niyama – Laws of Existence

By learning to comprehend different relations between mind and matter (as shown in the post on the Paṭṭhāna conditions), as consciousness grows ever grander and more-encompassing, it may slowly come into a position to gain insight into the laws governing the entirety of phenomenal existence.

And those are the Niyāma of which the Buddhist System distinguishes five.

The method of their contemplation will be precisely the same as before. As a person gained a solid enough comprehension of various conditions that exist throughout various (in themselves) differing phenomena, he might slowly render his mind capable of comprehending unchangeable and eternal laws.

In this blog I will only enumerate the Five Niyāma and give a brief summary of each. But they have been treated more elaborate in other posts (the link to which can be found under each).

Utu Niyama

The first law is called Utu Niyama, is the law of physical nature or physical existence. This is the law, that governs the coming into being and evolution of the physical Universe.

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Bija Niyama  - Law  of Organic Life

The second law, called Bīja Niyāma or the law of heredity and growth, is a law that comes into play after the physical universe has reached a certain stage of evolution and balance. It is the natural law that governs the growth and reproduction of the various species from plant life to higher beings.

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Citta Niyama - Law of Mind

The third law, Citta Niyāma, is the law that governs the appearance and sequence in regard to all mental phenomena. This will come into play, when life has evolved to such a degree, that it is capable of sustained growth and the building upon an inheritance of reasonably well functioning faculties.

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Kamma Niyama - Law of Karma

The fourth, Kamma Niyāma, is the law of cause and effect, specifically in regards to mind and intention. This too builds upon the previous ones, in that, through thinking and the creation of ideas, an intention develops, especially so in relation to the three periods of time, that is, past, present, and future.

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Dhamma Niyama - Law of Perfection

The last law described, Dhamma Niyāma is the law of purification and perfection. It is the law that comes into play when a person becomes skillful in using the law of kamma. That is, a person, based on acquired learning about the imperfect nature of material or worldly life and the possibility of perfecting his being, is setting before himself to transcend this material or worldly life and works to become such perfected being.

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Note: For the clearest understanding of the Five Niyāma and how they fit into the larger scheme of the Abhidhamma, I strongly recommend downloading my book Paramattha (download link here), where the reader is prepared in a gradual, step-by-step manner for their understanding.

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