An excerpt from The Way to Peace and Happiness by Ven. Yogavacara Rahula
In the development of the Noble Eightfold Path the Buddha has specified Five Spiritual Powers, or faculties, which are to be developed and balanced so that concentration and mindfulness can be cultivated and wisdom developed, thereby destroying the fetters and enabling us to realize the fruits of the Path (Sotapanna, Arahatship). These Five Spiritual Powers are faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom, which are described in the following suttas.
What is the power of faith? Herein, monks, a noble disciple has faith: he believes in the enlightenment of the Buddha: This indeed is the Blessed One, holy, fully Enlightened, endowed clear vision and pure conduct, sublime, the knower of worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and holy.
”So long, monks, as faith exists in things wholesome, that which is evil and unwholesome will not gain entry. But when faith [in the good] has vanished and there is no belief [in the good] then what is evil will gain entry.
What is the power of energy? Herein, monks, a noble disciple lives with energy set upon the abandoning of everything unwholesome and acquiring of everything wholesome; he is steadfast and strong in his efforts, not shirking his task in doing things that are good and wholesome [the effort of purifying his mind of lust, hate, delusion, and the like]
So long as there is energy directed to things good and wholesome, then what is evil and unwholesome will not gain entry. But when such energy and perseverance has vanished and indolence concerning the good takes a hold and prevails, then what is evil and unwholesome will gain entry.
What is the power of mindfulness? Herein, a noble disciple is mindful; he is equipped with the keenest mindfulness and circumspection; he remembers well and keeps in mind what has been said and done long ago. What is the power of concentration? Herein, a noble disciple has cast away the five hindrances … he enters and abides in the first … second … third … fourth meditative absorption.
What is the power of Wisdom? Herein, a noble disciple is wise; he is furnished with that wisdom which sees into the impermanence and soullessness of all phenomena which is noble and penetrating, and leads to the complete destruction of suffering.
So long as there is wisdom concerning things wholesome, then what is evil and unwholesome will not gain entry. But when such wisdom has vanished and ignorance concerning things good and wholesome takes a hold and prevails in one’s mind, then what is unwholesome will gain entry.