In this following context, what does the phrase 'driving power' mean?

Does it mean 'force' or momentum'?

Does the word 'direct' use with the phrase 'driving forec' as modifier?


For example, if a man, being filled with greed or anger, is induced by his infatuation and delusive thoughts to commit various crimes, such as murder, theft, adultery, etc., in that case avijjå is the direct inducement and driving power for the subsequent arising of all those bad manifestations of will, i.e. of all those unwholesome kamma-formations.

Source: Fundamentals of Buddhism Four Lectures by Nyanatiloka Mahåthera

  • Direct modifies inducement, driving modifies power. Mar 22, 2023 at 9:23
  • I think it's a poor translation (a lot of the phrasing is non-idiomatic). It should be driving force. The important point is that text is not a good source if you're trying to learn English. Mar 22, 2023 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


"Driving power" refers to the force to push something forward.

This can be a literal, physical manifestation such as the horsepower of a car engine, or the power behind an electric tool, or it can be metaphorical like in the example you have given.

The term "Driving force," is also common, and means the same thing. which sounds more natural may be a regional thing.

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