July 6, 2019 at 7:20 am #23820
I don’t know if this topic already exists. But i started to read through the whole website and i found one, and I’ve come across a few others before. So i thought i might as well make a topic for it and post the little i find here.
July 6, 2019 at 7:26 am #23821
In the post titled: Evidence for rebirth
In point number 3 it says:
“3. However, when one attains the Arahant stage, certain “extrasensory powers” are gained; the ability to “see” previous lives (pubbe nivasanussati nana) is one of them.”
Now this is not necessarily correct because a pannavimutti arahant may not have any extra abilities and may not bother to develop them.
July 6, 2019 at 7:39 am #23824y notParticipant
It is not necessarily incorrect, either. As stated there, those powers are ‘gained’ and the ‘ability’ to see is gained; does not mean those powers have to be exercised. Like I learned French at school, but I do not bother to use it now, because there is no purpose for it.
Or,some have developed the power to read the minds of others, but will not exercise that power (unless it is for the benefit of the others), seeing it as intrusion, invading their privacy and highly immoral.
July 6, 2019 at 8:29 am #23826
AxelSnaxel is correct. Those pannavimutti arahants have not cultivated jhana, and thus are not able to recall previous lives.
– So, I simply deleted that sentence in the post.
However, people who cultivate even anariya jhana to higher jhanic states can recall past lives. Some of these abilities just come from previous lives (for those who had cultivated such higher jhanas in previous lives), which may be what y not is referring to.
Thanks for pointing it out, AxelSnaxel. The goal is to have full inter-consistency within the website and also with the Tipitaka.
Yes. This is a good topic where people can report inconsistencies they find.
July 20, 2019 at 4:43 am #23976
In “Sansaric Time Scale, Buddhist Cosmology, and the Big Bang Theory” you can include a reference to the new post Origin of Life – There is No Traceable Origin
In Power of the Human Mind – Anariya or Mundane Jhānas under the section on “Extrasensory Perceptions and Powers (Abhiññā)”. It says you can attain various types of powers after you reach arahant. Now anyone who can attain to the 4th jhana can get these powers also with enough effort, it’s just that the further you are on the noble path the easier it becomes to attain such powers and they become more potent and stable. So someone who’s a sotapanna who is skilled in jhana will be able to attain such powers to some extent with a lot of effort, but it would be much much easier for an Anagami who can enter jhana when desired and stay in it. And even easier for an Arahant.
And then it says that the Buddha discouraged pursuing such powers and prohibited public display of them. I’m not very knowledgeable with regards to this, but powers like recollecting past life’s was very much encouraged. Like the Nun Bhadda who was praised by the Buddha for being foremost among the nuns in the recollection of past lives. Also with regards with the other powers, if i remember correctly there where some cases where they were used to convert followers of other sects. And the Buddha even used them as a selling point for the life of a monk when he talked to Ajatshatru. That’s not to say such powers were encouraged, but just a bonus and helpful thing for conversion in suitable cases.
Other than that i spotted a few spelling errors in the newest post about mental and physical body. But that is not of much importance.
I very much appreciate all the new post you’ve been putting out, keep up the good work!
July 20, 2019 at 7:49 am #23981
Thank you, AxelSnaxel, for pointing these out.
I just added that reference to the post, “Sansaric Time Scale, Buddhist Cosmology, and the Big Bang Theory”.
You wrote: “In Power of the Human Mind – Anariya or Mundane Jhānas under the section on “Extrasensory Perceptions and Powers (Abhiññā)”. It says you can attain various types of powers after you reach arahant..”.
– That is correct. And as you pointed out that could be done at lower levels of magga phala too, if one wanted.
– Furthermore, some of such powers can be attained by anariya yogis too.
You wrote: “And then it says that the Buddha discouraged pursuing such powers and prohibited public display of them..”
– That is correct. He prohibited displaying such powers for mundane purposes. For example, one time a wealthy person put a very expensive alms bowl at the top of a long pole and advertised that anyone who get that bowl by flying through the air will own it. A bhikkhu who was in need of a bowl retrieved it by flying through air. That was a display of “magical powers” and that prompted the Buddha to instill that Vinaya rule.
– But there are instances where such powers were used for good purposes, even by the Buddha himself.
– Of course the Buddha minimized such uses. In most cases, the Buddha just walked for miles and miles to get to destination, without getting there “instantly” by using such powers.
– But I remember one account in the Tipitaka where the Buddha and 500 Arahants crossed a raging river at a time of a flood, using iddhi powers. They did not have another option.
July 20, 2019 at 11:21 am #23986
I’m curious how that rule applies to cases where a monk could use psychic powers to reveal unseen realms to dispell wrong views? I’ve been wishing that when i become a monk i may develop the ability to show these realms such that people in this age may see through their materialistic wrong views and recognize kamma and the 31 realms. How does that fit with this rule? I’ve also heard that at the time of Asoka, when Arahants where sent out to the edges of the kingdom to spread Buddha Dhamma (among those Sri Lanka), the arahants often used various powers to convert the people from spirit worshipping. Also when the first desana was to be given in Sri Lanka, the novice accompanying Mahinda used his psychic power to announce it to the whole country with his voice.
July 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm #23987
AxelSnaxel asked: “I’m curious how that rule applies to cases where a monk could use psychic powers to reveal unseen realms to dispell wrong views?”
– That is likely to be allowed. However, it could be much more difficult to show other realms (say, niraya) to other people. It is one thing to see it for oneself, but showing it to others is likely to be difficult.
– Of course, the Buddha could do that. In one account, some servants of Visaka used to laugh at statements of existence of niraya (equivalent of the hell) saying that is was a myth. So, one day Visaka took them to the Buddha and explained the situation and asked the Buddha whether he could show how beings are subjected to suffering there. So, the Buddha showed them a scene from niraya, and apparently they got so scared that they started following the Path.
You wrote: “I’ve also heard that at the time of Asoka, when Arahants where sent out to the edges of the kingdom to spread Buddha Dhamma (among those Sri Lanka), the arahants often used various powers to convert the people from spirit worshipping.”
– I had not heard that. If you have a reference, I can comment.
You wrote: “Also when the first desana was to be given in Sri Lanka, the novice accompanying Mahinda used his psychic power to announce it to the whole country with his voice.”
– I do not think that is true.
– However, many thousands were people started coming to listen to the desanas. It must have been impossible to speak to such a large audience in one’s natural voice. They I have heard that Ven. Mahinda used psychic powers to “amplify his voice” so that all those people could hear.
July 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm #23988
My reference for this comes from this video: https://youtu.be/hLq3V03gP4Q
About the establishment of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
He speaks about the missionaries using their powers at 18:50
And about the novice who announced it over the country at 28:00
But i don’t know where he got it from
July 20, 2019 at 5:53 pm #23989
Thanks for the reference, and also for pointing out the times. That saves me time!
It is hard to verify some of these claims. Some accounts are only in the commentaries and I normally do not trust them.
However, we can trust such detailed accounts are in the Vinaya Piṭaka.
– But those accounts in the Vinaya Piṭaka are only relevant to events during the time of the Buddha.
– What happened at the time of Ven. Mahinda is obviously not going to be in the Tipitaka, but in the commentaries. The original commentaries (except for 3 included in the Tipitaka) have disappeared and the existing commentaries are not reliable.
July 20, 2019 at 8:25 am #23984y notParticipant
I will comment on only your last para. Lal has addressed the rest.
We must keep in mind that English ‘as she is spoke’ nowadays in not necessarily British English. Most non-native English speakers and those who took their degrees in the US in particular use what has come to be termed as American English, or a mixture of both, not only when speaking but also when writing. For instance, the use of the double comparative, like more sweeter or more subtler is, strictly speaking (or ‘strictly writing’ in this case !),wrong in formal English, but otherwise common and accepted in other forms of the Language.
However, truly glaring errors often encountered with are due to plain ignorance: interchanging its with it’s, for instance No such are to be found in any of the posts. I have gone through the latest post and it is ok. Most errors, and there are many, are obvious mistakes when typing, due, I am sure, to the lack of time at hand to go over the posts again and proofread. This is therefore understandable and for that reason excusable. It becomes serious only when it alters, or when it may alter, the intended meaning. In such (rare) instances, I had to ask for clarification, and I did.
July 22, 2019 at 10:21 am #23994
AxelSnaxel wrote above, ““Also when the first desana was to be given in Sri Lanka, the novice accompanying Mahinda used his psychic power to announce it to the whole country with his voice.”
I wrote that it may not be true.
However, I have been thinking about these “mystical phenomena” over the weekend. They may not be mystical at all.
– As I have pointed out in recent posts, some of these phenomena are “beyond our sense perceptions”, but are regular features of some other realms.
In the “Cūḷanikā Sutta (AN 3.80)”, the Buddha explains to Ven. Ananda that he has the ability to “make his voice heard over a billion star systems (each one of them like the Solar system)”.
Here is an English translation: “Lesser (AN 3.80)“.
– In that translation, a cluster of billion world systems is called “a galactic supercluster”. That particular translation is probably not right, because our own galaxy has over 100 billion stars. But you can get the main idea.
I will try to write a post in the future explaining that some of these “mysterious phenomena” described in the Tipitaka may be explained with modern science. For example, this way of “having the voice heard across star systems” is NOT done in the normal way, where sound waves travel through the air.
– So, it is entirely possible that “..the novice accompanying Mahinda used his psychic power to announce it to the whole country with his voice”. It is NOT that he had to announce with a high power source like speakers that we use today; such a strong voice would have damaged ears of those who were closeby. The technique is entirely different.
– And “seeing over long distances” is NOT done with light photons as we are familiar with (which requires eyes to see). Seeing over long distances (dibba cakkhu) is NOT done with physical eyes.
December 3, 2019 at 2:19 pm #25781ChristianParticipant
“Ariya jhanas are permanent in nature compared to Anariya jhanas” – from post Ariya jhanas – power of human mind.
Now I started to doubting it. In the suttas even Buddha (before dying) goes into jhanas so if for Buddha does are not permanent so how it can be for Anagami and Arahant?
I think there need to be another or different route. Even myself I can recognize that when I do Ariya meditation I have results of getting better insight without jhana but have factors that are related to Nibbana which are different then jhana path (or regular meditation). There is something in it that does not feel right in the sense my experience showing that there is different route and Ariya factors that one experience permanently are not really related to jhana.
December 3, 2019 at 5:57 pm #25783
Christian wrote: “Ariya jhanas are permanent in nature compared to Anariya jhanas” – from post Ariya jhanas – power of human mind.
Now I started to doubting it. In the suttas even Buddha (before dying) goes into jhanas so if for Buddha does are not permanent so how it can be for Anagami and Arahant?”
I think this could be a misunderstanding of what is meant by “permanent.”
– When I say “Ariya jhanas are permanent in nature compared to anariya jhanas”, I do not mean an Ariya would be permanently in a jhanic state.
– It means when one cultivates an Ariya jhana one will be able to get into that jhana anytime one wishes. That ability does not go away even in future lives.
– One would be an Anagami if one can get to the first Ariya jhana, because one would have REMOVED kama raga. An Anagami would not be in a jhanic state at all times. Rather he/she would be able to get to that jhana any time he/she wishes.
– When an Angami dies, he/she WILL BE born in a brahma realm. That is a “permanent jhanic state”.
On the other hand, people who cultivate anariya jhana can lose the ability to get into that jhana even during this lifetime. As I have mentioned before, Devadatta was a good example. He had cultivated highest anariya jhanas AND supernormal (iddhi) powers too. But he lost all that and was reborn in an apaya.
Did I address your question or did you mean something else?
December 3, 2019 at 6:26 pm #25784ChristianParticipant
Yes, thank you. I had the wrong idea about permanency in terms of jhana. :)
December 3, 2019 at 8:18 pm #25788
Great. Thanks for pointing that out. I just revised the post to make this point clear.
December 17, 2019 at 5:50 am #25966Tobias GParticipant
I was searching trough the posts but cannot find the passages. So I explain it here.
It is said several times here on the website that a gandhabba is under stress while staying in paralowa. On the other side I remember a doctor who was out of his physical body for some days (coma). He came to a “good location” in paralowa with a “partner” (which was actually his sister, as he found out later). So here we can see that it is not necessarily a stressful stay in paralowa. Also it can be that gandhabbas go into a dream like state which feels timeless. All together I would not say that gandhabbas are really stressed while in paralowa.
December 17, 2019 at 7:12 am #25968
I think you are referring to “Account of an Interesting Out-of-Body Experience.”
I refer to a video by the person who experienced it, Eben Alexander.
– He has also written a book “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” about that experience.
Such experiences can vary a lot. Furthermore, it is likely that only “good experiences” are publicized.
– There is one common “good aspect” associated with a gandhabba. It is the fact that there is no “solid body” associated. One feels the “lightness” and move around at great speed.
– Another is that in all those accounts they “come back” to human life within a relatively short time. The frustrations that arise due to the lack of a “solid body” come when one realizes that one is unable to eat, smell, or have sex.
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