July 28, 2019 at 1:49 pm #24069
July 28, 2019 at 3:03 pm #24070
Thank you Lal.
That is all quite clear. However, two questions came to mind.
When Ven. Ananda ‘flew through the air’ by abhinna powers to show the Arahants assembled for that first Council at Rajagraha that he had attained the Arahanthood,
– Can not even ordinary yogis and non-Buddhists develop those powers? It is no ‘proof’ of Arahanthood. I can only suppose he did that to get there on time (a seat awaited him, I read elsewhere). Still, the following question remains:
– If He travelled with the manomayakaya as described in the post, how was his physical body transposed to the Assembly? It is not the same case as when travelling to a deva or brahma realm, where one leaves the body behind. I take it that in the case of Ven. Ananda, He indeed flew through the air ‘body and all’. Is that correct?
(P.S. Please excuse my posting in ‘your’ General Information and Updates section. I knew I should not have, but there was no option – and if I delayed, the questions ‘as they hit me’ would have gone. Now…..that I am thinking of it….I could have just typed somewhere as a draft and waited.
July 28, 2019 at 3:46 pm #24073
I had explained this briefly in #10 of the post.
But your reference from the Tipitaka is a good one. I have revised #10 to include it as follows:
– One with even more developed abilities may be able to reduce one’s physical body to the suddhāshtaka level, go through the “solid object” and then “reassemble” at the other end. That sounds like science fiction (“teleportation”), but that is precisely how it may be done in the future with further progress in science. Of course, one with such abhiññā powers would be able to do that right now.
– P.S. An account from the Tipitaka regarding “teleportation”: Ven. Ananda attained the Arahanthood only the day before the first Buddhist Council held 3 months after the Parinibbana of the Buddha. Only Arahants were allowed to participate. Everyone was waiting for the arrival of Ven. Ananda. In order to remove any doubts of those who were present that he had indeed attained the Arahanthood — complete with all iddhi powers — Ven. Ananda is said to have entered the room through the keyhole in the door. So, this is an example of teleportation.
– I also added the following to #8:
P.S. If it is possible to take out all that empty space in our bodies (which of course is not possible), all the matter in the bodies of 9 billion humans in the world today can be fit inside a sugar cube!
(Regarding posting under “General Information and Updates”: In the future, just send me an email and I can open a new topic with the link).
July 28, 2019 at 4:12 pm #24076
Yes Lal. Thank you.
So that will be the case even when the Buddha, Ven.’s Moggallana and Sariputta visited the Tavatimsa. For surely devas do not greet and have a conversation with a manomayakaya. Is it to be inferred that when in a deva realm they ‘assumed’ a temporary deva body? However, I cannot see how that will apply also to brahma realms, seeing that brahmas have no aharajakaya anyway.
Is this correct?
July 28, 2019 at 4:51 pm #24078
“For surely devas do not greet and have a conversation with a manomayakaya.”
I cannot be certain, but it is probably with the manomaya kaya that visited the deva (or brahma) realms. It is not possible for a physical body to survive there.
– As I keep saying, we are stretching our imagination to “make sense” of such phenomena that we are not used to.
– Communications can be done with just the manomaya kaya, and identification too. Each brahma and deva are individual living beings.
July 29, 2019 at 2:45 pm #24091
And yet, Lal, when devas visited the Buddha illuminating the place all around (that is to say, in their deva bodies) they bowed, circled the Buddha keeping Him to the right, etc – all distinctive of their retaining a ‘physical presence’ of one sort or another. Conversations took place, not exchanges of thoughts via telepathy, as would be the case if they were present with only their manomayakaya. That is, IF verbal conversations took place.
In other passages in the suttas, devas could assume other forms when contacting humans. And for humans to be even aware of their presence, they (the devas) must have taken on not only a human appearance, but also the type of body, the ‘density’, had to be that which humans are made of. Else, they (the devas) would remain invisible. In some passages, the human in fact asks: ‘Are you (in truth) human or divine? (a deva) ‘
So why cannot it work the other way around as well? When the Buddha or an Arahant visits a deva world, the same courtesies and formalities take place. Is that consistent with the participants in the conversation being in only their manomayakaya body? For if the latter were the case, why bother to go there at all? The ‘contact’ can be made telepathically across space to that deva world. Or can it?
This is why I thought that when visiting a particular realm, the visitor temporarily puts on a body made of the fabric that that realm is made of.
July 29, 2019 at 4:20 pm #24092
“So why cannot it work the other way around as well? When the Buddha or an Arahant visits a deva world, the same courtesies and formalities take place. Is that consistent with the participants in the conversation being in only their manomayakaya body? For if the latter were the case, why bother to go there at all? The ‘contact’ can be made telepathically across space to that deva world. Or can it?”
I am not sure what the question is.
– I am saying that it may not be practical to visit brahma (deva) realms with a physical body (no oxygen, etc). Why does there have to be a physical body if the manomaya kaya is sufficient?
– As I keep saying, we cannot perceive those realms the same we perceive things on the surface of the Earth. Those realms are located far away from the surface of the Earth.
August 31, 2019 at 11:37 am #24611
Re my post July 29, 2019 at 2:45 pm:
– This is why I thought that when visiting a particular realm, the visitor temporarily puts on a body made of the fabric that realm is made of- ….and all that preceded.
an8.69/en/sujato” Assemblies is relevant:
“I recall having approached an assembly of hundreds of brahmins, householders, ascetics, the gods under the Four Great Kings …the gods under the Thirty-Three …Māras …Brahmās. There too I used to sit with them, converse, and engage in discussion. AND MY APPEARANCE AND VOICE BECAME JUST LIKE THEIRS.”
Perhaps my point is clearer now.
August 31, 2019 at 1:01 pm #24612
That sutta describes what the Buddha did in a particular situation.
He did that to get his message across to various audiences that included aristocrats, brahmins … householders … ascetics … the gods under the Four Great Kings … the gods under the Thirty-Three … Māras … Brahmās.
– The first several categories were all human.
The point of that particular sutta was the following: The Buddha wanted to get his point across to those who were there at each of those assemblies without letting them know who delivered that message. Among those human assemblies, he appeared as a normal human, not as Buddha. Among deva assemblies, he appeared as a common deva, etc.
– I am not sure why the Buddha did not want to reveal his identity in those cases.
That does not mean others (including devas or brahmas) can do that or even need to do that. Some may be able to do that.
– Once a deva came to the Buddha ask a question. But with his fine body, he could not stand straight and was wobbling, just like a tall, cylindrical helium-filled balloon would sway back and forth.
– So, the Buddha asked that deva to “manifest in a human body”. Apparently that deva could do that and created a “human-like solid body” for himself. Then he was able to stand firm.
But of course, the Buddha would not appear in a brahma realm with his actual physical body. One normally visits those higher realms with the manomaya kaya (gandhabba kaya). Even then, those devas or brahmas normally know who it is (unless the Buddha willfully concealed his identity, like in the above case).
– It is probably not possible to appear in deva and brhama realms with one’s physical body. Those realms are located well-above the Earth’s atmosphere and there is no oxygen to support a physical body.
August 31, 2019 at 2:40 pm #24615
Thank you Lal.
Taking all that in as well, now it makes perfect sense.
Incidentally, the very last sentence in your reply brought to mind what I read in some commentary, namely:
that the deva realms, the higher ones in particular (to say nothing of the brahma realms!) lie at distances which, I made out, would place them somewhere beyond the orbits of Mars and the gas giants.
Are these estimates trustworthy at all? For then those deva realms would come within the gravitational pull of those nearer(to them) planets during the course of their orbits around the Sun rather than that of the Earth.
with deep Gratitude
August 31, 2019 at 5:24 pm #24617
“Are these estimates trustworthy at all? For then those deva realms would come within the gravitational pull of those nearer(to them) planets during the course of their orbits around the Sun rather than that of the Earth.”
For the reasons that you have given, I would not trust such estimates. I also do not see any benefit of knowing exactly where they are located either.
September 1, 2019 at 12:09 am #24620
Yes, that is my view as well – on both counts.
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